Are You Getting Enough Sleep
It can often be difficult to tell whether youre getting enough sleep. However, Walker offers a few simple questions and their corresponding answers about your sleep habits.
If the answer is yes, you are likely not getting sufficient sleep quantity and/or quality.
If the answer is no, then you are likely self-medicating your state of chronic sleep deprivation.
If so, you need more sleep than you are giving yourself.
This is often a sign of a fatigued, under-slept brain.
Simple distraction is often the cause, but a lack of sleep is very much another culprit.
Even with all this research on the importance and function of sleep, many people still are unaware of the myriad effects that poor sleep has. Especially for seniors, Walker notes that elderly individuals fail to connect their deterioration in health with their deterioration in sleep, despite causal links between the two having been known to scientists for many decades. Far more of our age-related physical and mental health ailments are related to sleep impairment than either we, or many doctors, truly realize or treat seriously.
Periodic Leg Movements And Sleep
Jumping of the legs, arms or body during sleep is not uncommon in Parkinsons. Its known as periodic leg movements. Some people get it with restless legs syndrome, but it can happen on its own. It responds well to treatment with levodopa and dopamine agonists. Speak to your health professional for advice.
Other Methods To Tackle Sleep Issues
Using sleeping tablets alone is rarely an effective way of dealing with long-lasting sleep problems as they do not treat the underlying reasons that are causing your insomnia.
Scientific studies have compared the effects of sleep medication with psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy . Sleeping tablets produce faster results than self-help treatments. But psychological treatments also produce more permanent improvements that can have lasting benefits for your sleep.
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Getting Your Best Sleep With Parkinsons
This 1-hour webinar includes an interview of a person with Parkinsons disease, a movement disorders specialist, and a sleep sciences specialist. They discuss sleep disorders associated with Parkinsons disease, the difference between those that are a symptom the disease or a side-effect of medication, and how to treat them and live your best life with a sleep disorder.
Sleep Benefit And Positive Effect Of Sleep Deprivation In Patients With Pd
The complex interaction of sleep and motor function is reflected in two interesting phenomena: sleep benefit, i.e. the experience of an improvement of motor function upon awakening , and a positive effect of sleep deprivation on motor function .
Sleep benefit was first described based on patients reports, and systematically evaluated in large cohorts of patients with PD with contrasting results. Some groups reported this phenomenon to be common in a subgroup of PD patients with specific clinical characteristics, e.g. with longer disease duration and younger age at onset of disease . This phenomenon has been reported to be so relevant to allow PD patients with sleep benefit to skip or delay medication . A study systematic evaluating motor state a night before sleep and in the morning upon awakening reported a slight motor improvement in the morning in patients with sleep benefit, without polysomnographic differences between the two groups . Another study using PSG reported shorter total sleep times and longer sleep latencies in PD patients reporting sleep benefit .
However, other groups found no actual improvement in motor functioning in PD patients reporting sleep benefit , or only in a small percentage of them , or reported in those patients with PD experiencing sleep benefit no association with the previously reported clinical variables , maybe because of methodological issues.
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What Types Of Sleep Problems Do People With Parkinsons Disease Have
Parkinsons disease affects every person differently. It also impacts sleep in different ways. People with Parkinsons may have:
- Insomnia, finding it hard to fall asleep.
- Fragmented sleep, waking up many times over the night.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, finding it hard to stay awake during the day.
- Very vivid dreams, which may cause hallucinations or confusion after waking up.
- Emotional dreams or nightmares, which may make you feel emotionally drained after waking up.
What Makes Pd Hard To Predict
Parkinsonâs comes with two main buckets of possible symptoms. One affects your ability to move and leads to motor issues like tremors and rigid muscles. The other bucket has non-motor symptoms, like pain, loss of smell, and dementia.
You may not get all the symptoms. And you canât predict how bad theyâll be, or how fast theyâll get worse. One person may have slight tremors but severe dementia. Another might have major tremors but no issues with thinking or memory. And someone else may have severe symptoms all around.
On top of that, the drugs that treat Parkinsonâs work better for some people than others. All that adds up to a disease thatâs very hard to predict.
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Beating The Lockdown Blues
Did you knowBodily functions are heavily influenced by biological clocks which are distributed throughout your body . Your clocks primary role is timing and orchestrating your bodys everyday vital functions and aligning these to geophysical and social schedules. Disruptions to your daily routine derail your clock which reflects negatively on your mood, energy, sleep, digestion, heart and immune system, just to name a few!
With COVID-19-related lockdowns causing unanticipated disruptions to our routine, Researchers at the University of Queensland have developed some guidelines to stay on a schedule to improve sleep and support your health and wellbeing.
Parkinsons Disease And Sleep
Reviewed by David Rye, MD, and Mark Mahowald, MD. Published by the National Sleep Foundation
This web article offers a detailed description of Parkinsons disease and the challenges it presents to restorative rest and recuperation. Some suggestions are included for improving sleep and the environment around sleeping.
What Causes These Issues
Several studies have investigated the causes of these sleep disturbances and have found that a combination of motor symptoms, iatrogenic issues, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and neurodegeneration come together to disrupt normal sleep patterns. In addition, certain medications can cause vivid dreams and nightmares, which become worse in conjunction with RBD. Some of these issues can also be caused by pain, muscle cramping, nocturia or non-Parkinsons causes like exercising too late in the day, drinking caffeine and alcohol or too much light in the bedroom. These symptoms can be addressed through certain lifestyle changes or in some cases by medications. However, before trying any of these methods, its important to talk to your doctor.
Unfortunately, while sleep disturbances are common symptoms of Parkinsons and can have severe impacts on quality of life, insufficient studies exist about treatments. Though many medications are in existence, they are not applicable across the board and often can have unfortunate side effects. More research is necessary to find better solutions, and your participation in clinical trials can be instrumental in working to find these solutions.
Sleep hygiene is the set of habits and behaviors that help you sleep well on a regular basis. Below, we offer some general and Parkinsons-specific sleep hygiene tips to hopefully help improve your sleep.
How Are Sleep Problems Diagnosed In People With Parkinsons Disease
If youre having problems sleeping, sit down with your healthcare provider to discuss the issue in detail. Your provider will ask you questions to better understand your symptoms.
Be prepared to explain when sleep disruptions happen and how they affect your life. Keeping a sleep journal for a few weeks can help you remember the details.
If your provider suspects you may have a sleep disorder, they may recommend you have a sleep study. This overnight test uses electrodes attached to your skin to track how your body functions when youre sleeping.
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Periodic Limb Movement Disorder And Restless Legs Syndrome
Do you often feel the irresistible urge to move your legs around during the night in order to get comfortable? If so, you might have restless legs syndrome . This condition can be associated with PLMD . PLMD causes slow rhythmic movements of the legs and feet, whereas restless legs syndrome causes more twitchy unpleasant sensations in the legs. Naturally, if you are frequently moving your legs, you are likely to wake up throughout the night, limiting your ability to get a good nights sleep. Periodic limb movements are quite common in older adults as well as those with Parkinson’s. Restless legs syndrome frequently affects middle-aged and older adults in addition to people with PD.
The Different Stages Of Sleep
- Rapid eye movement sleep
- Non-rapid eye movement sleep
The lightest stage of sleep is NREM, after which comes deeper sleep states. As people move back through to the lighter stages, they enter the REM state. If awoken during REM sleep, the sleeper will often report a dream.
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Changes In Sleeping Patterns
As Parkinsons progresses, you can also develop problems with sleep patterns. These may not happen in the early stages, but can be noticeable later. You might wake up often in the middle of the night or sleep more during the day than you do at night.
Another common sleep disturbance for people with Parkinsons is rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. This is when you start acting out your dreams in your sleep, such as verbally and physically, which can get uncomfortable if someone is sharing your bed. Dr. Rundle-Gonzalez says many times a bed partner will be the one to notice sleep problems.
REM sleep behavior disorder can also happen in people who dont have Parkinsons. However, if this isnt something youve dealt with before, its likely related to your disease. There are medications your doctor can prescribe to help you sleep comfortably through the night.
Sleep Matters: A Review Of Sleep Issues In Parkinson’s
Sleep disorders are present in 66-99% of people with Parkinson’s disease . In this 1-hour webinar Okeanis Vaou, MD, describes common sleep disorders in PD and how to treat them. Disorders described include REM sleep behavior disorder, daytime sleepiness, insomnia, nocturnal motor fluctuations, and restless leg syndrome. Dr. Vaou ends the webinar with tips on how to maintain good sleep hygiene.
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The Effect Of Exercise
Exercise has been shown to have a variety of beneficial impacts, and sleep is no exception. In fact, a study found that after four months of physical activity, adult insomniacs got an average of one extra hour of sleep per night. Exercise improves sleep quality, quantity, number of nighttime waking incidents and the time it takes to fall asleep. Sleep also gives you more energy and therefore contributes to a positive feedback loop of more exercise and more sleep.
From preventing against cancer to improving your learning capabilities to making cool-headed decisions, consistent and proper sleep habits can offer a wide range of positive effects. But even if you know how important sleep is, when youre having trouble sleeping, what can you do to fix it?
The number of reported cases of sleep issues has increased dramatically in recent years. There are a variety of underlying causes, as Walker describes:
To date, we have discovered numerous triggers that cause sleep difficulties, including psychological, physical, medical, and environmental factors . External factors that cause poor sleep, such as too much bright light at night, the wrong ambient room temperature, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol consumption can masquerade as insomnia. -Matthew Walker, 243
Sleeping Easy With Parkinsons Disease
What is Parkinsons Disease ?
Parkinsons Disease is a movement disorder that targets the nervous system of the body. The disease is caused by nerve cell damage in a section of the brain known as the substantia nigra, which subsequently reduces the levels of the chemical dopamine being produced. Dopamine is crucial for smooth control of muscles and movement.
People with this chemical imbalance experience a range of symptoms which can be categorised into motor and non-motor.
Motor symptoms can include:
- slowing of movements and decreased range of movement
- stooped posture
- balance issues
Non-motor symptoms can include:
- Sleep disorders
- Mood disorders
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Constipation and early satiety
- Urinary issues
- Impulsive control disorders
- Visual disturbances
- Sexual problems
A 2018 study found between 60-98% of PD patients suffer from sleep disturbances, making it the most common non-motor symptom.
Carers may also be affected by the sleep difficulties of their loved one.
Can PD be cured?
Unfortunately a cure for PD has not been found yet.
At present the main goal of therapy is to slow down progression of the disease so that people can maintain a better overall quality of life for as long as possible.
How can PD symptoms be treated?
There are two broad ways this can be achieved medical and non-medicinal.
Non-medical treatments and management provide a plethora of options, with the underlying aim being to stay active and healthy and promote mobility.
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Tips For Getting Rest And Sleep With Parkinsons Disease
The physical symptoms of Parkinsons disease can often prevent those who live with the condition from getting a good nights sleep and adequate rest. The restorative effects of sleep can improve health and help those with Parkinsons disease better manage the disease on a daily basis, so ensuring they get enough quality sleep is essential.
The National Parkinsons Foundation has published some tips on how to get a good nights sleep including:
Parkinsons News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Medication Not Working The Way It Used To
In the early stages, taking medicine works well to get rid of symptoms. But as Parkinsons progresses, your medication works for shorter periods of time, and symptoms return more easily. Your doctor will need to change your prescription.
Dr. Valerie Rundle-Gonzalez, a Texas-based neurologist, says to pay attention to how long your medicine takes to kick in and when it stops working. She says you should feel like symptoms significantly improve or are almost gone while on medication.
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Visit Your Doctor More Often
The last and the most important advice we could give is to see your doctor often. Talk to your doctor about your conditions and figure out whether you need to make some changes in your diet to improve your symptoms.
Disclaimer: The information shared here should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions presented here are not intended to treat any health conditions. For your specific medical problem, consult with your health care provider.
Take Part In Parkinsons Sleep Well Week
If you have Parkinsons disease and find it difficult to sleep, youre not alone. Up to 90% of people with the condition are similarly affected.
Identifying the root causes of sleep problems is the first step to solving the issue. Disrupted sleep can be due to a number of factors such as poor sleep hygiene, Parkinsons symptoms or Parkinsons medications.
From 2430 May take part in the EPDAs Parkinsons Sleep Well Week, part of the EPDAs month-long Sleep Well campaign, and join other people with Parkinsons to share sleep tips and ideas. For more resources to improve your sleep habits and help you sleep well, please visit the EPDA website.
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Changes In Sleep With Aging
As people age, they experience a number of changes in their circadian rhythms, and among the most noticeable are the changes in the sleep-wake cycle. Older people tend to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier than they did when they were younger. They wake up more often during the night and have more difficulty going back to sleep than younger people. They also tend to sleep more during the daytime hours. Therefore, if one looks at total sleep time over the 24-hour day, the total time spent sleeping changes very little but the distribution of sleep may be quite different. Younger people experience a consolidated nighttime episode with little or no daytime sleep, whereas older individuals experience sleep episodes throughout the 24-hour day. Daytime sleepiness is affected by two major factors: the amount and quality of nighttime sleep, and the strength of the circadian rhythm. In addition, older people tend to have a reduced amount of N3 or deep slow wave sleep.
Search Strategy And Selection Criteria
The English-language literature was searched with the Medline database to identify articles pertaining to the epidemiology, characteristics, aetiology, diagnosis and treatment of sleep-related problems associated with PD. Bibliographies in articles and books were also used to identify relevant publications.
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Fighting Nightmares With Parkinson’s
Guess what? Just before my husband went to sleep that night, he was watching the 11:00 p.m. news which reported a shooting at a convenience store in Florida. Coincidence that two hours into his dreams, he is being attacked by an intruder with a rifle? Hmmmmm….?
Do you also experience nightmares on Parkinson’s Street? Re-read Step #2.
I’m turning off the tv tonight!