Helpful suggestions for insomnia - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement
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Helpful suggestions for insomnia


Can anyone give suggestions for insomnia that don't involve a prescription drug....things you have had success with or know to work. I know I have read some here on the site but didn't need at the time.

Many thanks!

13 Replies


I hear you. Here are some things that work for me:

Calm guided meditation music

Magnesium lotion and/or spray

Melatonin 10mg ER

Neck warmer

Warm fuzzy socks

Lavender essential oil.

Valerian Root

Silent Night (an herb)


These are a few things I use, not all at the same time

But one or two at a time.

Let me know how you do.

Peace, Eva G.:)

You are a treasure! This is just what I was looking for. Thank you and sleep tight.


You are welcome <3

In those good old days before PD, I sometimes had trouble getting a good night's sleep, usually because of some bothersome problem which seemed worse at night when the rest of the nearby world was sleeping peacefully. Sleep returned as the problem diminished or became a part of life. With PD, at least in my case, Insomnia seemed to set its own schedule. Even when there were no particular problems, I went to bed at ten, and awoke before midnight, feeling little drowsiness. Sleep would not return until, usually, four or five in the am. Then, during the day, usually at the most inappropriate time, the need for sleep would catch up.

Here's what helped for me. I chose to welcome the awake time during the early morning hours when I was wide awake and my family was asleep. Access to the inner net and to, favorite reading and writing projects, books, movies etc. made the nights pass quickly, enjoyably and much more productively than when lying in bed trying to rest. I no longer have any serious problems with sleep. Being retired it is now possible to enjoy a short (?) nap during the day.

Melatonin with gabba, over the counter at Costco.

CBD helps me sleep and for other pd symptoms.

Hiya Boyce. This suggestion is not something to supplement but to remove from your routine.

How late at night are you at a computer screen? That can be a factor in mucking up your sleep cycle. The cool blue rays coming from the screens of electronica - and some energy efficient light bulbs - fool the brain in such a way that regular melatonin is not released. No melatonin, no fais do-do. Sleep's not going to come easily

Here's one link that spells it out. If you search "blue light" "screens" "melatonin" you'll find other articles.

For most of the past year I would be up late - reading on line - and wasn't feeling sleepy til 1and 2a. I was sleeping 3-5 hours, at best. I'd also get bouts of falling asleep mid-morning or mid-afternoon, even right after a 4 shot latte. By which i mean, literally starting to fall asleep - eyes shutting, head dropping - while seated at coffee joints. (Yes, at multiple places.)

Both my neuro and eye doctor had told me about the blue light-screen-sleep-issue. The neurologist warned that if I didn't get a handle on my "sleep hygiene", I would shorten the time my meds were effective. 2 yrs instead of 7.

You'd think that'd be warning enough. But, even with that in mind, it took me months to discipline myself. My work is computer-based and I would be on line much of the day and then in to the night. (Maybe, that inability to break from the screen was my compulsive ropinerole-induced behaviour... )

It was only a month ago that I got a handle on it. I went camping and hiking in Glacier National Park where phone signal is dodgy to non-existent - 0 to 1 bar the norm. No internet at campsite. Result: Down to sleep by 8 or 9, and sleeping 8 and 9 hours. Restful sleep. Little to no daytime drowsiness. Woo hoo..

I then went to Portland for the WPC. Once again plugged in, I did read on line a bit at night. But still was in asleep circa 11p. While I managed to get sleep at night, i found some of that drowsiness hitting me while at the conference. (Once, during a session on daytime somnolence. )

It takes some doing and discipline to change my computer habits. But having slept so well recently away from blue light, I have to. So that's what I share here. If you like to read in bed, do so off a printed page using an old fashioned light. Close the computer several hours before you want to sleep. And don't be checking for "just one thing." It can wait til morning.

Sleep well.

Just an observation. I'm new here and so am looking around. The various suggestions made in response to this post are outstanding in quality and diversity. Wll informed, bright folks.

And from a few of you knowledgable HU friends, I have learned that popcorn, turkey, cherries, halibut and chickpeas are all foods that are supposed to help you sleep a little more soundly. And of course, chamomile tea! And do your daily exercise - but not too close to bedtime! And, as Motal said, don't use the computer too close to bedtime because of those blue light waves, which interfere with sleep. ( I really find that last one the hardest one to change!)

Yes. Get comfortable, then put in a quiet, black and white movie.

My favorite Character

I'm shocked, shocked to find such an enjoyable surprise posted here! Good old Casa Blanca! Thanks a million.

Boyce3600 Better late than never! I just saw this post. Two things that helped me:

1) Silk/satin pj's

2) Bamboo pillow

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