Below are 10 sleep hygiene ‘rules’, recommended by psychologists, to help you get a good night's sleep with Parkinson's.
This includes tea, coffee, chocolate and cocoa. Many soft drinks also contain caffeine, so check the labels.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it can make you feel more awake. Its effects can last for 3 to 4 hours. If caffeine is affecting your body at bedtime, it can increase the time it takes you to get to sleep and make sleep lighter and more restless.
It is also important to limit the total amount of caffeine you drink during the day too.
Alcohol can make you feel sleepy. But as its effects wear off we get what’s called ‘withdrawal’ and that has the opposite effect. Although alcohol can help you get to sleep, the withdrawal effect can lead to restlessness and waking up during the night.
Another effect of drinking alcohol at night is nocturia – the need to get up and go to the toilet, which will also disturb your sleep.
Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and the effects are similar, even if you feel smoking relaxes you.
If you are in a relaxed mindset before you go to bed then you may find it easier to drift off.
Regular activity, such as a daily walk, can make you feel better both physically and mentally. But it’s best to avoid intense exercise within 2 hours of bedtime, as the effects of the activity may make you less able to fall asleep.
Try to reduce clutter and furniture and keep your bedroom tidy.
High room temperatures (24°C or higher) may disturb normal sleep and make you restless. Most people sleep better if their bedroom is cool. If possible, it’s best to keep your bedroom temperature at around 16°C to 18°C.
Light and noise can disturb sleep. Try to close windows, use ear plugs or move to a quieter room if noise is a problem. It’s important to have a dark bedroom with curtains or blinds that keep out street lights or daylight. If this is a particular problem, try using an eye mask.
Ideally, bedrooms should be calm spaces for sleeping. Keep your bedroom for sleep, so your mind associates it with activities that lead to sleep. Try to avoid things like watching television or using laptops or tablets in bed.
A regular routine is the key to better sleep. Try to stick to a regular pattern of times for bed, getting up, meals, exercise and other routine activities.