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By marie On 2011.01.08 12:18 [Edit]
Has anyone had to deal with insomnia with there Parkinson's patient? My hubby is having a bad time of it, and I too have to get up with him because he cannot do anything on his own. Help

By susger8 On 2011.01.08 13:38
My dad sometimes wakes up at 2 or 3 at night and thinks it's morning. The worry is that he'll try to get up on his own and fall. His neurologist suggested trying Klonopin, but that didn't work at all -- he was so groggy he slept all day, then was awake at night.

Someone on this forum suggested melatonin at bedtime, up to 9 mg. We are having good luck with 6 mg (two tablets). Dad is sleeping better.


By lurkingforacure On 2011.01.08 17:38
We have horrible sleep. My husband has no problem going to sleep, and usually does before 9, sometimes as early as 7pm, but cannot stay asleep. He will wake up at 2 or 3, rummage around in the kitchen, eat, piddle around, go back to bed, wake up at 4 or 5, or 6, get up again, then crash until 9ish, it's really hard. I have resorted to sleeping in one of our kid's bottom bunk beds simply because I have to get some sleep to be able to function. I don't get to bed until 10pm or later because I have to help the kids with homework, brushing teeth, storytime, etc., and I'm it, no help. By the time all of that is done and everyone is in bed, it's late and I'm wiped. Over the past month I have had to resort to sleeping more and more on the bunk bed because I simply cannot function with his schedule.

He has offered to sleep on the floor of our bedroom but that won't work, because when he gets up he still makes a ton of noise, turning on lights, etc., and it wakes one up anyway. I feel bad because I'm a snuggler and I know he likes to have me in the bed but like I said, I have to get sleep.

We are considering getting him a cpap since his dad is on one and a lot of PWP have sleep apnea. I have read it can really help. I know he feels much better if he's able to get more than 2-3 hours sleep at a time, his symptoms seem less. I dont' know why, though.

This is a common problem with PD. Sometimes my husband will take a sleeping pill but he has said it doesnt' really extend the sleep much longer (supposed to get you 8 hours, he only might get 4, maybe) and the sleep is not the restful sleep we need. Then when he wakes up he has terrible brain fog and it. takes awhile for it to go away. I'm not sure if this helps except to know that you are not alone with this issue.

By cgold On 2011.01.09 09:40
Sleep can be a very real problem in Parkinson's disease. Not only does is affect the person, but family members. My husband's sleep is very erratic. He typically goes to be at 10:00, get up again around midnight, back to bed for another few hours, up again around 4:30-5:00. The doctor has tried different options, with little effect. This has been this way for a number of years and is part of the disease. It can be very difficult on the spouse particulary when the spouse is working a full time job. It is almost like when your children were young, and deep sleep was out as you always had one ear open to hear them. But, at least my husband can take a nap during the day just to gain the sleep the body needs.

By karolinakitty On 2011.01.09 10:19
Marie... my guy has sleep issues too. We do the melatonin and it helps... but using it over a course of time, it loses it's effectiveness, at least we found that out.. so we skip a few days, maybe a week and go back to it.....Like lurkings husband he gets the 2 or 3 am snacking, and i'm not sure if it's the drugs or just the PD itself that causes that, but i know of others who do it too....his regular neuro says he might have sleep apnea but the movement doc thinks he might have REM Sleep Disorder(here's a link: because his acting out is not so frequent anymore the movement doc thinks by his med schedule, it's helping his REM.
Anyway, he was the one that suggested the melatonin. Also, one of the side effects of drugs like Requip, Mirapex and Aricept is being narcoleptic. Falling asleep at the drop of a hat basically. My guy does this at dinner or whenever he is not focused on something. Therefore if he "naps" he's taking away from his nighttime sleep(in my opinion) but there's nothing we can do at this time.
Recently his neuro gave him Cymbalta, for pain, it mellows him out even more BUT, it also has helped with his staying in bed longer at night.....
Talk with his doc about this, just please watch that he doesn't give you any drugs that interact wrong with his PD meds. Around here we've come to find that some docs just give out the drugs and don't consider how it effects the patient.
AND, as always, each patient is different,

By Emma On 2011.01.09 10:32
Marie ... we have sleep issues as well. They are mostly related to his needing to get up to urinate, which requires my help and his difficulty moving in bed, which also requires my help. He has REM sleep disorder too. It used to be a big problem because he would get up in the night and destroy things in our house. Now he can't get out of bed by himself so it's mostly thrashing around and yelling. The result is that neither of us gets much sleep. We tried Melatonin but it gave him headaches, even at a low dose. It's a big problem and we haven't figured out a solution so I hear your frustration.

By parkinit On 2011.01.09 15:21
My spouse had just such a restless night last night.

It had been awhile, though, since he HAS recently been on a CPAP machine (for the past month or so) and it has helped immensely. I would recommend doing testing for sleep apnea as it may help. My spouse says he is more rested and the pills seem to be working better for the PD - maybe just a coincidence, but whatever it is, we've enjoyed it.

I believe he had a restless night last night because yesterday was a stressful day for him. We had a meeting that lasted for 3 hours and then visited my dad who is extremely ill for another hour. It seems like days like this put him "out of sorts" in one way or another because of the deviation from our usual routine.

We haven't tried the melatonin as I don't know that we need it on a regular basis. He has a hard time waking me up sometimes or I possibly could ask him to take it when I realize he is having trouble sleeping.

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