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Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson’s: All You Need To Know
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) is one of the common sleeping disorders experienced during Parkinson’s disease.
It may be difficult for some patients to identify Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in the beginning, but it gets noticed as the symptoms & suffering progresses. Usually, EDS is observed among Parkinson’s patients who’ve been suffering from this disease for a longer duration.
To all those who’re new to Parkinson’s, let us share a brief on the same.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder. The resultant effects of Parkinson’s include stiffness of muscles & movements, shaking of limbs, and difficulties in activities like walking, imbalance, and coordination.
This disease affects more men than women & is mostly found affecting adult people.
Fatigue & sleepiness are common sufferings among Parkinson’s patients. However, when you hear any Parkinson’s patient saying that he/she is too tired, they actually mean they’re feeling sleepyhead. In other words, they’re experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness that is all about the urge to have sleep.
What is Excessive daytime sleepiness?
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness experienced by Parkinson’s patients is nothing but an inability to stay awake & alert during the major part of the day that ultimately leads to an extreme desire to sleep & often results in unintentional lapses into drowsiness.
“EDS effects in Parkinson’s up to 50-70% & fatigue in Parkinson’s is estimated to affect 40-60%.”
Excessive daytime sleepiness in Parkinson’s
EDS is a severe sleep disorder that often leads to dangerous situations. Most patients suffering from Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson’s may:
- Want to sleep at random times/places during the day.
- Fall asleep unexpectedly while driving, thus putting others’ lives at risk.
- Don’t feel the desire to exercise or improve your quality of life. They also feel lazy in connecting with people just because they’re feeling sleepy all the time.
- Tend to take frequent naps during the day that makes them less sleepy at nighttime, thus impacting the quality of sleep.
After reading all this, you must be questioning – “What could be the possible causes for EDS in Parkinson’s?”
Well, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness is a non-persistent symptom of Parkinson’s that may show up as the disease progresses. It may arise due to several reasons like:
- Poor nighttime sleep routine
- Using Dopaminergic medicines (like Mirapex, Requip, Rotigotine, etc.)
How to treat Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson’s?
It is well said that – “Where there is will there is a way.”
If you have had a lot of suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness in Parkinson’s & the situation is only getting worse, you have to find the way out. Sometimes, medicines can only minimize the adverse effects, but you always have options for making a few lifestyle modifications to improve your conditions.
Here are a few suggestions you may consider for normalizing EDS:
1. Create & Implement Good Sleep Hygiene
- The time when you sleep & wake up plays a crucial role in defining your sleep-wake cycle. Some occasional sleep-wake routine changes are acceptable for normal people, but people suffering from Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson’s MUST create a bedtime routine & fix waking timings too.
- Take assistance from the surrounding elements like a comfortable room environment that lets you have a sound sleep, limit smartphone usage at least an hour before bed, and more of such things that make you feel drowsy.
2. Avoid Daytime Naps
- Napping during the day, especially in the latter part of the day makes no sense for PD patients. It only keeps you awake unnecessarily during the nighttime when you’re expected to sleep peacefully.
- Make sure you don’t nap after 3 PM & only nap before this timing for 10 to 20 minutes only if you’re super exhausted.
- You may indulge yourself in getting ample light outdoors that keeps you attentive & fresh.
- Exercising is one of those physical activities that keep you busy & healthy. You only have to spend a little time exercising & it gives abundant benefits to your mind & body.
- Try exercising for an hour per day & it will help you a lot in getting better nighttime sleep as you may feel a bit tired after daily exercising.
4. Know your Don’ts
- You need to be extra careful when you’re suffering from Parkinson’s. Thus, it gets important to outline activities that you should NOT do.
- One of such activities is avoiding driving if you observe any symptoms of EDS. It’s because the chances of accident increases as drowsiness attacks & sudden onset of sleep may put you in critical situations.
5. Consult your Doctor
- Even if you think you’re the only one who understands your situation better right now, you still need to consult a healthcare provider & discuss your sleep disorders with them.
- Medicines like Modalert are also available to enhance daytime performance & wakefulness during the day. Also, it helps in getting better sleep at night. Who knows if your doctor finds such medication suitable for your health & you see improvements in Excessive Daytime Sleepiness during Parkinson’s!
The Bottom Line
You may find numerous solutions when looking for one. Thus, it is better if you don’t let yourself suffer from any kind of sleep disorder during Parkinson’s disease, including EDS. Make sure you seek medical assistance from the very beginning & do everything possible so that you suffer less.