Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm Sleeping with Parkinson's

I have had pretty good results in my struggle to be able to go to sleep and stay asleep every night.

I have started going to sleep alone in a guest bedroom with a firm mattress. I don't use this room for anything except sleeping.

Even through the heat is turned down in my house in deference to the high gas prices, I keep an electric heater going next to my bed to keep the room warm. That, I have found helps me sleep the night through. Now that we are in the middle of winter where it seems to me that we have a tiny day and a very long night, I try to get exposure to sunlight or a SAD light for at least 20 minutes per day.

I take 2 slippery elm capsules and 2 aspirin just before bed so I can breath better while I'm asleep. Right around 10:15 pm I'm in bed and after 15 minutes I'm asleep. At some point my wife pops by to spray a relaxing mist of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, spirits of camphor, witch hazel and distilled water. That spray helps my breathing. It claims to remove toxins from the air as well. Then she closes the door to keep the heat and the mist in the room and the cats out.

I stay asleep until 1 or 1:30 am for a road trip down the hall. Sometimes I sleep straight through till 3 am, remembering dreams along the way. My next sleep period takes me to 5 am and then another till I wake up for the night around 7:00 am.

I've been able to eliminate my afternoon nap which frees up some non-sleepy work and research time. I'm still having trouble when I wake up to pee after my first sleep period. I find it hard to get back to sleep then. Sometimes. It can take one half to a full hour. I've read where this is the worst time of the night for people with sleeping problems. The rest of the night I awaken two or three times but go back to sleep quickly. My need to urinate has lessened since I have been getting my insomnia under control, perhaps it is the saw palmetto and nettles I take twice a day.

It certainly helps not to have cats sleeping on my legs and a dog battling for more space on the bed.


  1. Steve
    I have read that it is very bad to use your bedroom to watch television that it ought to be a place where you sleep....I sure hope and pray you sleep well tonight..Take care btrflynana

  2. Yeah the idea is that your brain needs to know that bedroom's are for sleeping, and associating that with going to sleep. It's best going to sleep the same time every night, but very hard for me to do.
    HUGS, Steve


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