4 Parkinson’s-Related Sleep Issues

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Since Parkinson’s is primarily thought of as a condition that affects motor skills, less visible symptoms are frequently overlooked. If you have an elderly loved one with Parkinson’s disease (PD), he or she may be experiencing some of the invisible Parkinson’s symptoms, including difficulty sleeping. To ensure you’re able to recognize when Parkinson’s is affecting your loved one’s sleep, here are four sleep conditions caused by PD. 

1. Insomnia

Characterized by difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently after falling asleep, and being unable to go to sleep even when tired, insomnia is a frustrating sleep condition. If your loved one is experiencing insomnia, eliminating caffeine and alcohol from his or her diet may help. Setting a consistent sleep schedule and promoting sleep hygiene can also promote healthy and deep sleep.  Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Sleep Attacks (Narcolepsy)

Sleep attacks are periods of time when someone falls asleep involuntarily. These attacks can occur very suddenly, causing your loved one to fall asleep while standing, eating, or driving. If daytime sleepiness is a problem, talk to your loved one’s physician. In some cases, sleep attacks are caused by the medications used to treat Parkinson’s, so speaking with a physician can help your loved one have his or her medications adjusted and reduce or eliminate sleep attacks as soon as possible. 

3. Sleep Apnea

A treatable condition that causes seniors to stop breathing for a short time during sleep, sleep apnea is typically diagnosed by participating in a sleep study. You may begin to pick up on symptoms of sleep apnea if your loved one snores loudly or experiences daytime drowsiness even after sleeping through the night. After diagnosis, physicians frequently recommend non-prescription treatments for sleep apnea, including the use of a CPAP machine while sleeping.  Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Arlington, TX, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

4. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

If your loved one grinds his or her teeth, kicks, or makes aggressive movements while sleeping, he or she may have a REM sleep behavior disorder. Because seniors with Parkinson’s disease may not relax their muscles while sleeping, their bodies will sometimes move in reaction to their dreams. As with sleep apnea, a sleep study may be necessary to diagnose a REM sleep behavior disorder. If your loved one is diagnosed with this condition, his or her doctor may prescribe a combination of medications and environmental changes, such as installing padding on hard surfaces in the bedroom, to decrease episodes and reduce chances of injury.  When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep issues, you can help him or her find ways to sleep better and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Arlington, TX, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (817) 591-1580.


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