Sleeping with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s affects everyone in different ways but up to 90% of sufferers experience changes to sleep patterns. This could be due to the condition itself, the medication taken or a combination of the two. I have always had vivid dreams but they are certainly more frequent and there have been occasions when I call out. However, I am quite lucky at present and generally manage about six hours which is fine but means that I am awake pretty early. This does have a couple of advantages. Firstly, I can book popular pilates classes at the local leisure centre, leave it after 6am four weeks ahead and the class will be full! Secondly, the daily newspaper is delivered just after 6am and I can enjoy the morning cuppa with an in-depth read before anyone else stirs; nicer in summer than winter though.

A friend recently gave me an article about foods that may help trigger the production of norepinephrine and dopamine which includes chicken, avocado, cottage cheese, bananas and peanuts – all things that I like so worth keeping at the top of the shopping list.

I find a glass of wine in the evening helps the tremor but I will have to avoid upping the amount to two glasses a night or fall foul of a new report which suggests a pill that could reduce the desire for a second glass – help, it’s a dopamine suppressant!

The Parkinson’s UK service users panel that I have joined is to meet again at the end of November to consider ways of getting more information and initial help to those receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s – none of us will ever forget that day. If you are a sufferer and would like to tell me about your experience that would be very useful, information from other countries would be fascinating.

October sunshine in Porto Cristo, Majorca.

October sunshine in Porto Cristo, Majorca.

This month’s holiday was four beautiful sunny days in Majorca at an apartment/hotel overlooking a marina in the east of the Island. Great value and a good way to make summer last a little bit longer. In November we have four nights at a sporting hotel in Devon; now there’s a challenge!