Parkinson's Awareness Week

Parkinson’s UK is a charity organisation that campaigns for the better care, treatments and quality of life for those who suffer from Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s UK is all about changing attitudes and finding a cure. Parkinson's Awareness Week is an annual event that they sponsor to raise awareness of the condition across the United Kingdom. Through this effort, they want to reach more people affected by Parkinson’s, raise funds for vital research into better treatments, change public attitudes towards Parkinson's, and raise awareness of the various services and support available to anyone affected by the condition.

Parkinson's Awareness Week runs from April 10 to April 16. This year, however, Parkinson’s UK is focusing on World Parkinson’s Day, which falls on April 11. This event will be a huge gathering of people affected by the condition. Millions of people all over the world live with Parkinson’s, but very few others are truly aware of what this condition is and how it affects them. The stories of these people from around the world are going to be woven together into a film that will show what living with Parkinson's really means.

Get Involved

#UniteForParkinsons ! Use this hashtag to share the event with everyone you know and to show support for those living with Parkinson’s. Share the film when it comes out, or share your own Parkinson’s story.

Parkinson's unite

Help raise awareness and help grow a supportive global community. Share your message and encourage your friends to join in.

More than just tagging on social media, you can also help by sharing some comfort with someone living with Parkinson’s.

Sleep Disturbances and Parkinson's

Sleep can be disrupted by a variety of things. Noise, aging, and a poor cycle are just a few of them. People with Parkinson’s tend to experience more sleep disruptions than is considered normal for a similarly aged group without the condition. Most say that they are unable to sleep through the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep after they have awoken, regardless of how many hours they have been able to sleep already. This is known as maintenance insomnia.

Many people with Parkinson’s say that they don’t have any difficulty falling asleep, but that their  sleep is interrupted in this way and they can’t easily get back to sleep for the rest of the night. This is partly due to other conditions that they suffer as a result of Parkinson’s. Many report suffering nightmares, talking in their sleep, experiencing jerking movements like restless leg syndrome, having a hard time turning over, and having to get up to use the restroom. Because they don’t sleep well at night, people with Parkinson's also often feel sleepy during the day. This can lead to what is known as unintended sleep episodes where the patient falls asleep without knowing it. This can be very dangerous.

The reasons why they experience all these sleep disturbances is not yet known. They may be linked to pain, dyskinesia, depression, and even the medications given to alleviate these and other symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Parkinson's sleep

Not getting enough good rest is very bad for health. Living with Parkinson’s is already a challenge. These associated sleep disturbances just aggravates things. They affect the health on their own, and can make Parkinson’s symptoms worse.

Share these tips for better sleep to help give relief to someone with Parkinson’s:

  • Exercise - Maintain a good amount of physical activity early in the day. This helps people sleep more deeply, and also helps maintain mobility longer while providing stress relief against depression.
  • Activity - Engage in other activities that occupy the mind. This helps to resist the urge to sleep during the day and therefore get better quality sleep at night.
  • Fluids - Drinking plenty of water and fresh juices is very good for health, but avoid drinking too much at least four hours before bedtime. Avoiding caffeinated beverages in the afternoons and avoiding alcohol altogether also help you sleep better.
  • Routine - Develop a bedtime routine that helps you relax and prepare for a good night’s rest. Avoid electronic stimulation such as TV screens and do something relaxing like taking a warm bath.
  • Bedding - Use only quality pillows and sheets and blankets of the right weight to give you optimum comfort. This will help you relax and stay relaxed throughout the night. If you have trouble falling back asleep after waking up during the night, use a comfortable eye mask and ear plugs to shut out distractions and help your brain understand that it’s not time to be awake. If you suffer night pains and have difficulty shifting positions in bed, use a conforming mattress topper to absorb some of the pressure to help you rest more comfortably.