We all have sleep issues. Part of it is due to aging, but for most Parkies, it becomes a big issue. It is rare that I speak to someone with Parkinson’s who doesn’t have problems sleeping. If you are like me, you have tried meditation, sleeping pills, melatonin, special pillows, no TV or email before bed, etc. All of the things your doctor recommends for sleep. But do they work? Not really. At least for me. I know that some of you do your best work in the middle of the night when you cannot sleep. Sometimes it is just impossible to turn off your brain.
The doctors give many reasons for this, among them side effects from Parkinson’s meds, lack of dopamine, PD aches and pains, etc. Some nights I am too achy to sleep. A hot shower in the middle of the night helps. So does a heating pad. Fortunately those nights don’t happen very often. Most of the time, if is just difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. I go to bed late. I may be sleepy during the day from lack of sleep the night before, but by 10:30-11:00, I am wide awake. I often break the cardinal rule that says no iPad games before bed. I just can’t help myself. Sometimes I read, often falling asleep mid-page, only to wake up a few minutes later, unable to sleep again. I used to be an avid reader, but its just not the same anymore. My friend, Dr. Maria de Leon, the Parkinson’s Diva, wrote last week in her blog post Dopamine Makes the World Go Round that Parkies often lose the desire to read because of low dopamine levels. She recently changed meds and her love for reading has returned. Ok, that is a good thing, but it doesn’t help my sleep problems. Maria, did it help you sleep any better?
There are some advantages to Parkinson’s insomnia. Another friend, Clara, is an artist. She says her favorite time to work is in the middle of the night when she cant sleep. The house is quiet. The phone doesn’t ring. There is no one to disturb her. The peacefulness of the house helps her focus.
During the Australian Open, I was able to watch the men’s final tennis match between Federer and Nadal as it was happening at 4:00 am. That was a treat.
Barbara swears by silk sheets and separate bedrooms to help her sleep. But Barbara, do you slide out of bed from the silk sheets?
Lisa says medical marijuana does the trick for her. Hmmmm. Maybe worth a try.
And Kim has suggested an interesting solution. Yoga Nidra. I had never heard of it before Kim mentioned it. And all of a sudden it is all over the internet. Yoga Nidra is a form of meditative yoga that helps you sleep. No, you don’t do downward dogs in bed. According to Wikipedia:
Yoga nidra (Sanskrit: योग निद्रा) or yogic sleep is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. This state of consciousness (yoga nidra) is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light pratyahara with four of his or her senses internalised, that is, withdrawn, and only the hearing still connects to the instructions. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state called samadhi.
Ok, you got that????
An article from Pure Wow Los Angeles is easier to understand. You can read it here:This Sweat-Free Yoga Craze Is What Angelenos Are Doing to Get More Sleep
I had to find a way to do this and not disturb my husband. I found AGPtEK Ultra Soft Comfortable Wired Sleep Headphones Eye Mask with Built-in HD Audio Speaker, Perfect for Insomnia Treatment, Bedtime&Travel &Meditation on Amazon. There are a lot of others if this isn’t the right one for you. The extra long cord allows you to roll over without pulling your phone or tablet off the nightstand or where ever you put it. So maybe, if I don’t get tangled in the cord, I might just sleep a little better.
I will let you know how it goes…….
Another Twitchy Woman non-Scientific Poll
This is my PD silver lining ….. 🙂 Clara of Clara’s Designz