How do you get a good night's sleep?

Hi all,

In the next edition of The Parkinson (our membership magazine), we are going to be featuring hints and tips for getting a good night's sleep.

Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom you'd be keen to share with our readers? 

Thanks in advance!

I find I cannot turn in bed and then my arm and leg go to sleep. and I wake up about 4 times in the night. A PD Nurse told me to get Satin PJ's as these slip and do not stick to the sheet. I have done this and it makes turning over a bit better. so I sleep longer now i only wake up about twice in the night. I have also bought an Electric Bed with a sprung matresse with a 1 inch topper of memory foam on top. best thing i ever did.


Thanks so much cocney girl, I'll add this to my article!

medication is a big thing " timing "  taking pd drugs to close to bed time this will make it harder to sleep as drugs just starting to work making brain very alert " active" try to take couple hrs before bedtime making your body & brain alot calmer .Also ask help gp for getting bed lever installed making life better for turning in bed ! Also if your having trouble moving around at bedtime ie " mobiity " ask pd nurse about slow release drugs for night time.hope this helps.

I wake up quite oftne in the night and I get up about every other night.  I havent got tany tips for sleeping betterbut I would observe that getting up can be a better option than  lying there stewing.

I have a few things I can do .. like Spanish CDs//DVDS,  music tutors and I will listen or watch the news (bbc World service radio (radio 4 converts to this automatically overnight) and Al Jazeera news channel very good)... I 've even been known to do some decorating .

One advantae is I now know where "DOgger " and "Cromarty" are .


Andy (Ojalahey)


you can come to my house need some decorating doing ,i watch that will make me tired ! andy

I agree with Gus, timing of your medication is crucial !. I try and take my last tablet around 8pm and go to bed at least two hours after that , and as long as I get to sleep before midnight, apart from getting out for the bathroom trips , I usually get quite a good nights sleep.  

Hi - my top sleeping-better tips are:

an eye mask to keep out the early morning light (essential nightwear!!)

satin nighties/nightshirts OR satin sheets to help turning over (not both together, tooooo slidey) - google "Betweenthesheets" which looks as if it has a brilliant selection

a firm mattress with a square edge (not a roll-off round edge) helps turning and it is more obvious where the edge is

for nocturnal bathroom visits make sure all doors are left wide open (otherwise I get stuck opening them) and fit child nightlights into electric sockets enroute so don't have to put main lights on - they last for years and years and hardly use any power

if can't get back to sleep listen to a FREE relaxation app on a phone or ipad - use headphones if necessary so don't wake OH - leave it all set up ready at bedtime and easy to get at. Lots of choice of spoken words or soothing music. 

Sweet dreams





In line with Ohalahey's advice, the big thing is not to lie there worrying about not sleeping or you start to associate bed with being awake.  Of course if you are working this is easier said than done  You may be sleeping more than you think.  I have friend who "doesn't sleep a wink" yet on holliday several of umy friends have  observed that she doesn't budge all night.  That's not to say that the quality of sleep is not affected. 

Personally I can't fall asleep without the sound of the radio which is set to switch itself off eventually.  Though they wouldn't thank me for it, the comforting voices of the  dear ladies of my recorded Woman's Hour programmes  which I have so much enjoyed for donkeys years are guaranteed to send me off..  .  


Visualise beautiful landscapes such as the Yorkshire Dales, the Sussex Downs or the Malvern Hills. Then add in some background music, preferably strings. Greensleeves works for me. Give your imagination free rein.

Thanks so much for your responses!

I have had sleeping problems for a while now, I dont know if it's the drugs or just tention, but i wake up with horried head aches and feel that i have woken up every hour.  Starting from tonight I'm starting some new things so i will have to see how it goes. I look forward to reading the next issue. 

chop chop

This thread has helped me combine the tips to really improve my sleep. The key ones for me are. 1. If you can't sleep get up to avoid associating bed with not sleeping 2. Time your meds to be on as you fall asleep. Slow realease versions help 3. Get comfy, an adjustable bed really works 4. Stretch routine, non aerobic, to release as much tension as possible 5. Try a dim light but be prepared for separate rooms from your OH. It's just as important that both if you gets as best a sleep as you can.

Thanks Kendo, they sound really good i will try them and let you know how i get on.

 chop chop.


Hi as u can see by the time I have sleeping problems have had them all the time since been diagnosed don't know what to do with myself through the night aching pain stiffness I'm on painkillers plus all the normal medication for Parkinson's I think its a common problem but I just wanted to tell u your not on your own and if u want company at stupid times of the night ha hope u get sorted soon n get some sleep best wishesx

Thanks Meggie, Thats a great help i may that you up on that some time. My legs have always kept me awake in the past but i think its just got worse. Never mind I'm trying some new things so fingers crossed.

 chop chop

Hi chopchop ive just had to take ill health retirement due to my sleeping problems didnt really want to   as im only 52 but couldnt manage any longer onlack of  sleep  good thing now is i can have a nanna nap on a afternoon ha it really helps even if its only 20mins .I dont think people understand all the other problems that come with parkinsons like sleeping problems..Hope trying new thing help and if u get chance nanna nap on afternoon ha Best wishes xxx

hello meggie, make sure you speak to your pd support worker about your benifits your get esa,pip,esa support group as well in time they will fill forms out for you send all medical paper work ,also picture of tablets,living aids. click on support for you top page  enter post code nearest  pd worker.all the best

Hi Gus thanks ive sent off the forms to my pd support worker hadnt even recieved any money off them before i had that booklet to fill in its a joke isnt it as if u havnt got enough to dea lwith but at least having someone filling them in for u takes the pressure off a bit , Hoping i dont have to go to atos Best wishes .

alot of people with pd are getting pip now medical evidence thanks to pressure on government only so good luck