Sleep is important. It restores energy and helps with immunity, learning, growth, and development. During sleep, the brain is cleansed from waste products, including the abnormal proteins from PD that build up. If your sleep is disruptive, it can cause physical and cognitive difficulties, and increase your risk for falls. If you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, try the tips below.
Healthy habits that promote better quality sleep aka Sleep Hygiene
- Get up and go to bed at the same time each day.
- Limit naps to 15-20 min.
- Spend time in natural light to help set your internal clock. If you find there is limited sunlight, there are special lights you can sit under to mimic daylight online.
- Do regular physical exercise at least a few hours before bed.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, at least a few hours before bedtime. Alcohol may make you drowsy but can rebound and cause insomnia.
- Anxiety is a common reason for insomnia. Develop a relaxing ritual before bedtime (e.g. listen to music, or practice controlled-breathing) to calm yourself.
- Keep the bedroom temperature a little cooler.
- Only get into bed when you’re sleepy.
- Consider a fan for “white noise” to drown out other sounds and relax you.
- If you can’t sleep, get OOB and do a seated activity (e.g. read, do Sudoku) until you get tired. Avoid heavy exercise as this will make you wake up.
- Avoid electronics and the artificial light from them, including smartphones, TVs, computers/laptops.
- If you continue to have sleep issues, talk to your doctor.