Shakespeare had it all wrong…winter is when I contentedly curl up under the covers in the perennial rainy semi-darkness that is winter in the Pacific Northwest. I have been tired all my life, and I think only with retirement am I finally able to get enough sleep. This is a big reason why I decided to retire to manage my symptoms.
Am I sleepier now because of the Parkinson’s? I think so. One of the manifestations of PD is fatigue and daytime sleepiness. (These can also be side effects of the drug I’m taking.) I think I’m having more “preacher nods”. (You know, you’re listening to the sermon and suddenly find yourself jerking your head back up.) Something that is different now is that it’s not unusual for me to zone out while I’m in some sedentary activity like sitting in front of the computer or the TV. I’m not just falling asleep, I’m in a waking dream…sometimes it’s so real I find myself grabbing something…..only to get a handful of air. Hmmm…hallucinations can be another manifestation of PD…is this a hallucination? “Hallucination” sounds kind of scary, so I think I’ll stick with calling it a waking dream.
Reason #667 why I married my wonderful husband is that he is a very sound sleeper. He (usually) is not disturbed when I inevitably get up one, two, sometimes three times a night. I think this is more “old-lady bladder” than PD. I am very grateful that I go back to sleep now. I started out on one dopamine agonist (Mirapex), and after I reported insomnia, my doctor switched me to another agonist (Ropinirole). I had never been troubled by insomnia before and it was scary watching the inside of my eyelids half the night. The different prescription did the trick.
Paul is not so heavy a sleeper that he hasn’t been awakened by my dreaming. He reports that I’m much more active now — more flailing around and apparently some lengthy speeches. Other people with Parkinson’s have literally socked their spouses while dreaming!
And now….(yawn)….I think it’s time to go to bed. Good night.