Helping Seniors with Parkinson’s Get Good Sleep

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

Sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Unfortunately, seniors with Parkinson’s disease sometimes find it difficult to catch a good night’s because of PD symptoms like muscle spasms that contribute to nighttime insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Tampa Parkinson’s care provider, Home Care Assistance, offers an overview of the most common reasons for sleeplessness and ways to help.

Sleep Problems Associated with Parkinson’s Disease

There are several factors associated with Parkinson’s disease that contribute to this sleeplessness. These include:

  • Nighttime stiffness, rigidity or tremors
  • Frequent urination during the night
  • Nightmares and vivid dreams
  • Depression that reduces the ability to sleep
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Daytime sleepiness and long naps

However, there are several ways by which you can help your senior loved one improve his or her quality of sleep.

Practical Solutions 

  • Stay awake during the day. If you can keep your senior loved one busy during the day, it will help combat his or her urge to sleep. If your schedule cannot accommodate regular daytime activities with your senior loved one, find a Tampa Parkinson’s caregiver who can keep your loved one engaged throughout the day.
  • Review medication schedule and dosage. If your senior loved one isn’t sleeping well at night, it could be because of their medication. Check with the doctor about adjusting the time at which the medication is taken as well as the dosage to help combat daytime sleepiness, nightmares, or poor sleep quality.
  • Exercise early in the day. This will help your senior loved one remain active during the day, but exercising in the evening might also keep the brain active at night causing poor sleep.
  • Reduce fluid intake. Drinking too much in the hours leading up to bed could mean more bathroom trips in the middle of the night and interfere with sleep. It’s important to stay hydrated, but if this is a problem for your senior loved one, consider reducing fluid consumption after 6pm.
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Use the bedroom only for sleeping. If your senior loved one likes to watch TV before bed or read, have them do so in another room. This habit will help them to relax and signal to their mind that it is time to sleep.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages before bedtime. If your senior loved one is particularly sensitive to caffeine, avoid coffee, black teas, and colas after lunchtime.

For more suggestions, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Tampa to speak with a friendly Care Manager about care options that can benefit your senior relative with Parkinson’s. We provide flexible hourly and live-in care for seniors in Tampa to maximize senior safety, health, and wellness. Contact us or give us a call at (727) 330-7862 to schedule your complimentary in-home consultation.

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