One of the most difficult aspects of life with Parkinson’s is insomnia. It’s a common occurrence to find myself wide awake and actually in a heightened state of alertness just at the time I plan to go to sleep. Most often, for me, this happens as a consequence of dystonia; a symptom which is all about muscle rigidity, cramping and contorting. Dystonia is an incredibly painful element of Parkinson’s. Insomnia can have many causes or triggers and so that varies from person to person.
For me, last night was one of the exhausting nights of insomnia, where I am still wide awake well after 5am. In fact, I was awake until almost 6.30am before I finally fell asleep for around two and a half hours. I have long since learnt not to go into a state of conflict when insomnia hits. There’s nothing more likely to ensure that you remain awake, than becoming angry at insomnia and starting that process of battling it, in your mind, by demanding sleep. This only serves to trigger a flow of adrenaline, as you enter fight mode, and adrenaline will make you stay awake. Instead, I simply read or write or I spend time doing some of my volunteering work for Parkinson’s Road online support group. I cannot beat insomnia, so I may as well make good use of the extra awake time, is how I approach this.
I recently set up a You Tube channel. I’ve only posted a few vlogs, thus far, but one of them was during a recent bout of insomnia in which I was awake well after 5am, just like I have been overnight last night. I hope that this vlog will help other people with Parkinson’s not feel so alone in their plight but also that it helps to raise awareness in people who do not know the symptoms of Parkinson’s. This is but one of many.
Do take a look at my You Tube channel and I would be grateful if you would subscribe and become a regular follower. Here’s my vlog:
If you have been affected by insomnia or dystonia, or if you simply want to comment about the vlog, please do comment below.
(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.