Friday, November 28, 2008

Trouble Sleeping With Parkinson's

Trouble Sleeping With Parkinson's

Recently I've had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. This is a problem I've rarely ever had until just recently. I get into bed and I can't find a comfortable position so I toss and turn trying one position after another until I give up and get out of bed. I sit at the computer for a while, then watch middle of the night TV. I start to feel panicky and worry that I'll never sleep again.

When I am exhausted I return to the bedroom. I get back into bed but after a few minutes I feel like I have to pee, so I'm out of bed again and so on through the hours.

Until I got Parkinson's disease I was always comfortable sleeping on my back, my side, either side, being able to roll my way through the night. With Parkinson that doesn't work any more because I have lost strength and flexibility in my left arm and cannot turn over without waking up completely to focus on that task. Trying to sleep on my back seems strange and almost scary.

I don't want to take sleeping pills because of side effects or interactions with my Parkinson's treatment. I need to relax and then take a couple of aspirin to ease the pain I have from increased exercising. I'll see what happens. I'm also considering a Valerian based herbal sleep aid from the health food store.

So here is my plan: 45 minutes before bed I'll take a Natural Factors Sleep Relax Formula capsule. I'll make sure I don't go to bed until I'm sleepy. I'll try to breathe deeply, stay calm and comfortable when I settle into one position.

My wife reminded me that I used to want the TV off when I went to sleep. Recently I've found the light and sound comforting. I do recall telling her that I had read that light can actually interfere with sleep. So perhaps the bedroom TV will have to be turned off earlier. Or I can watch it in the bedroom and ask her to turn it off when I am asleep.

The cats no longer climb on my legs to sleep since they can now climb all over my wife so that should help as well. Perhaps I can learn to appreciate the mattress pre-warming of Harry and not be bothered by having to advise him sternly to remove himself from my sleeping space.

I'll stick to this for three days and then report my results.


  1. totally can relate to how these neuro diseases effect a good nights sleep...Oh how I so miss the days of just climbing into bed and going right to sleep and then waking up with the I clock watch often throughout the night...Here's to hoping you get a decent night of shut eye tonight! Hugs B'nana

  2. I'm not having as much trouble now.I have taught myself to sleep on my back and to be relaxed and comfortable there most of the time.

    I take an aspirin just before I get into bed which seems to help. I'm sorry you have to deal with this too.



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