Are you a Parkinson’s patient with trouble staying awake throughout the day? You are not alone.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepiness during the day is seen in somewhere between 30-50% of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The origin of daytime fatigue in Parkinson’s patients has troubled researchers for some time in a “chicken or egg” scenario.
Does Parkinson’s medication make patients sleepy, or does Parkinson’s itself lead to daytime drowsiness? As researchers continue to investigate the link between Parkinson’s & sleep, take a look at 5 early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease from the National Parkinson Foundation
- Tremor or Shaking. Have you noticed a slight shaking or tremor in your finger, thumb, hand, chin or lip? Does your leg shake when you sit down or relax? Twitching or shaking of limbs is a common early sign of Parkinson's disease.
- Small Handwriting. Has your handwriting suddenly gotten much smaller than in it was in the past? You may notice the way you write words on a page has changed, such as letter sizes are smaller and the words are crowded together. A sudden change in handwriting is often a sign of Parkinson's disease.
- Loss of Smell. Have you noticed you no longer smell certain foods very well? If you seem to have more trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice, you should ask your doctor about Parkinson's disease.
- Trouble Sleeping. Do you thrash around in bed or kick and punch while you are deeply asleep? You might notice that you started falling out of bed while asleep. Sometimes, your spouse will notice, or will want to move to another bed. Sudden movements during sleep may be a sign of Parkinson's disease.
- Trouble Moving or Walking. Do you feel stiff in your body, arms or legs? Sometimes stiffness goes away as you move. If it does not, it can be a sign of Parkinson's disease. You might notice that your arms don't swing when you walk, or maybe other people have said you look stiff. An early sign might be stiffness or pain in your shoulder or hips. People sometimes say their feet seem 'stuck to the floor.'
If your sleep habits have changed since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may qualify for a new research study examining a study drug for patients with Parkinson's disease experiencing excessive sleepiness. Qualified participants receive compensation for time & travel.
You may qualify if you:
- are 35-80 years of age
- are experiencing excessive sleepiness while on stable treatment for your Parkinson’s disease