What is effective and safe for insomnia? - Cure Parkinson's

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What is effective and safe for insomnia?

Arlington7 profile image

I have extreme insomnia. Some nights I can’t fall asleep at all and am up the whole night. My MDS prescribed Zopiclone (aka Imovane) - available in Canada, where I live, (but not in the U.S.) The Zopiclone works for me but is not recommended by Parkinson Canada b/c the drug increases the risk of cognitive impairment, which I’m already struggling with. But alternatives such as melatonin, breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation don’t work for me, and CBD would, I fear, fry my brain. Does anyone have any better suggestions?

30 Replies

Why do you think CBD would fry your brain?

Most CBD contains NO THC unless it is made from a "pot"strain. The HEMP strain , ie Hemp oil, has less than >0.3% THC and where usually from.

I tried several varieties of CBD edibles and they just relax you.

Investigate and become knowledgeable.

I Are used to have extreme Insomnia. It’s much better now I go to bed the same time every night and get up the same time my doctor gives me 50 mg tablets of qietapine,

I sleep about six hours each night occasionally once a week I can’t sleep at all

Generic carbidopa levodopa ER does it for me. Are you taking any kind of levodopa medication?


Have you tried valerian eg kalms night or until good luck

Good question. My husband has PD and began to sleep better when he started thiamine. He does keep very regular hours which is said to help with sleep.

The other thing that I think helps is that he doesn't get up often to pee. More salt helped with that. He used to be up 3 times a night. Now he gets up once.

He doesn't watch any tv, but works at his computer most of the day. He walks every morning now.

JAS9 profile image
JAS9 in reply to ForViolet

Yes getting out into the early morning sunlight resets your circadian rhythm.

My sleep improved when I started taking mannitol. Before diagnosis it was terrible.

Was on vacation for a couple weeks without Manitol and and now waiting for reorder to arrive. Just within that time sleep has really been terrible! Wonder if it was because I was without Manitol?

Dragona profile image
Dragona in reply to redhawk1

Hi can you tell me how much mannitol you take and do you get any side effects thank you

redhawk1 profile image
redhawk1 in reply to Dragona

Was taking about a tablespoon in the morning with coffee or cereal. Reorder of Manitol arrives this week so will see if sleep improves.

Let us know!

redhawk1 profile image
redhawk1 in reply to Dragona

In regards to Mannitol side effects initially a little excess gas. Improved regularity of BM.

This is the same for my husband, mannitol gives him a full night's sleep. It works better than anything else we've tried, pretty much always gives him at least 6 hours uninterrupted, and often more.


Arlington7 profile image
Arlington7 in reply to MarionP

Thx for your reply to all. I would not take clonazepam or any other benzo on a regular basis b/c they have been implicated in cognitive impairment.

MarionP profile image
MarionP in reply to Arlington7

I think you may be badly mistaken about clonazepam in several respects, which could consign you to more misery by not realizing it's proper use and proper value. You are much more likely in fact to sustain cognitive impairment as well as overall cognitive decline through loss of non-rem sleep then you would be through appropriate informed judicious use of clonazepam. But it seems you are not interested in opening that door and so your own ignorance and fear will consign you to the very loss you're afraid of, and I think sadly so because that loss is unnecessary. You really ought to do some homework with a few experts or ask me for more details, that is if you promise not to waste my time. It's up to you, but you're wrong about clonazepam, probably a symptom of too much unnecessary publicity and yourself mistaking your abilities for that of a professional, which is too bad because it may shut you out of exactly what you need. It is not so much the particular medication you use as how you use it, and therein lies the knowledge that you lack and the knowledge that you need to seek. Otherwise your fear is fully uninformed, and really therefore counterproductive, defeating the desire and purpose you have. The goal if you remember is to prevent cognitive decline. Lack of sleep is going to cause more of that than any use of clonazepam, especially informed judicious use of clonazepam, which you need a little coaching with. Your own knowledge is probably insufficient. And I said nothing about benzos I spoke about clonazepam, a particular benzo that is apart from the rest of the pack in terms of its mildness and lack of significant side effects, as long as you don't use it improperly.... And as a novice, you will not know how to use it properly versus improperly. That's why you go talk to somebody who knows more than you do. Look up my bio, clinical pharmacology is part of my professional experience bailiwick. Don't make the mistake of confusing yourself with a doctor, whose actual professional knowledge will be available to you, because that's the only way you can get your hands on any clonazepam anyway. So really you shouldn't be driving your vehicle all alone, unless you have had your own practical and extensive personal experience with that medication is a patient, or experience and training in clinical psychopharmacology, as many clinical psychologists are, or you are yourself a physician. It all depends on how serious you actually are about getting the sleep you need, in order to combat a cognitive decline which comes chronic sleep deprivation. Up to you.

Now something no one else has mentioned either, and is extremely safe, is the possibility of using an antihistamine to induce sleep, including non-rem sleep. The most effective and appropriate one that I know of is Benadryl parentheses diphenhydramine ), or if you can still find it somewhere, chlorpheniramine maleate. But the former is better, diphenhydramine. Starting with 25 mg and if you don't have a result then go with 50 mg and finally up to 75 mg. They also come in tablets that you can cut in half so as to titrate. A good titration to start with would be one and one half tablet, equal to 37.5 mg. Safe and harmless all the way up to 75 mg. Take the medication about an hour to 45 minutes before bedtime. You will get a better result if you use the brand name version Benadryl.

Either way, best of luck to you.

koshca profile image
koshca in reply to MarionP

Clonazepam is a dangerous drug, very.It is addictive and tolerable, Wich required increasing doze with time.

It should be avoided any possible way.

MarionP profile image
MarionP in reply to koshca

Okay, doctor. I'm sure in your hands that may be true. You obviously know best. Unlike me, who have been actually licenced to prescribe it. Fine with me.

koshca profile image
koshca in reply to MarionP

All my doctors refuse to prescribe Clonazepam to me as it is very harmful, it is only good for short term, say about 2 weeks.It's already have an impact to you as you act very aggressive and impolite.

MarionP profile image
MarionP in reply to koshca

well of course in your hands, you are untrained medical supervision, instead of letting the doctors decide, of course it would be dangerous, that's the whole point of having the doctors do medical supervision, rather than superceding them by yourself, that's what they're trying to do, rather than you doing so. I don't know why you would want to override a doctor's trained legal supervision in the first place and in any event that's the whole point of prescription control in the first place isn't it? What you're suggesting is the same as representing yourself in court when you are not a lawyer. Is that how you operate? No wonder you may have problems with it. I don't use it and would not prescribe it for myself in any event, I have a doctor who does the prescribing for my personal medical needs. If you are providing your own medical supervision and counter to what a doctor would do, that's your problem and I certainly see why it would be dangerous in your hands. In my country one does not prescribe for oneself, and is not allowed to impersonate a physician. Is it different where you live? I can see you may not be a candidate yourself and maybe in your specific case your prescrcibers have established that. As for your ad-hominem, that's simply more such evidence. In any case, since you are already in professional medical doctors' care, one must wonder why you think you need clinical information here since you are already under professional care, do you not know the difference between actual medical care and an anonymous website? Apparent judgment such as you display is exactly why you should be working faithfully with your actual medical caretakers. Hopefully this will be useful education for you. As I said before, I wish you all the best. Perhaps you can benefit from their counsel if you show them this conversation.

koshca profile image
koshca in reply to MarionP

Relax. Come down.We are on the same boat, not higher or lower, there are no PhD holder or librarian (nothing personal).

We all have PD . Now we are equal, the same. That is understandable to loose some high position on somebody previous age, having knowledge from old schooling, with old baggage, denaing novel study and envy of more successful colleagues, being

respectful, and loose it, being just vulgar PD patient.

But remembering that we are on the same boat very helpful for being polite .

Maybe in your time Clonazepam was OK to prescribe, but nova day ,, still, this drug consider to be dangerous. , There are a lot of info in Internet about that.

MarionP profile image
MarionP in reply to koshca

Boy are you ever judgmental and you presume way too much. Speak for yourself and thank you for not preaching. You can speak for yourself alone...certainly you do not and can not speak for me and I would bet that many would ask you to let them speak for themselves as well. Move on and let go, if you can, thanks.

Whatever you take, make sure you follow as much as you can of the sleep hygiene guidelines as that will help its effectiveness. E.g. sleepeducation.org/healthy-...

I was dx in 2018. Since dx my sleep has been very broken - waken many times and take ages to get back to sleep. Historically I have had low back pain from time to time which worsened recently following heart bypass op in January. My hip was extremely painful 3 weeks ago and GP prescribed low dose 10mg Amitriptyline daily to relieve nerve pain. Within 2 weeks hip pain had eased and sleep improved dramatically. Unsure what will happen when need for this medication ceases!

Try Amitriptaline,it gives me 11 hours sleep 😴

That is a tricyclic antidepressant, highly anticholinergic and you will be having considerable constipation if you start to use it on a habitual basis, plus it may not be safe for you to operate machinery or drive very much after having used it.

Try cannabis, I use it for 6 years already, no damages, it is all ok. And, btw, I use THC only, 10 mg. No harm.

MarionP profile image
MarionP in reply to koshca

6 years, no harm? We begin to have some illumination underlying your previous conversation, and provides a very important context with which appraise your remarks.. Your form of habituation is not suitable for everyone. It is indeed very important for people to have some insight into who they are talking with, so that the remarks can be taken under the appropriate context. Thank you for your disclosure.

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