YOPD Council: Sleep, Light, Nature, and Parkinson’s

yellow sunglasses on boardwalk

The human body was built to work in partnership with the sun. Its light can transform our moods, focus, sleep, energy levels, immune systems, bone density, and mental health. As a result, spending time in the sun can be particularly beneficial to people living with Parkinson’s who experience symptoms like depression, apathy, poor sleep, pain, and fatigue.

In this episode

Our YOPD council members talk about all the ways sun and light help them live well with Parkinson’s.   

To download the transcript, click here.
(Note: This isn’t a perfect transcript, but it’s close.)

Show Notes

  • Insomnia in people with Parkinson’s is common and often changes and worsens over time, and there’s no one-size-fits-all cure. Dr. Ronald Postuma suggests you roll with your body’s natural tendencies. If you wake up at 4 am, rather than laying in bed awake for an hour, get up and try to find time for a nap later in the morning
  • Vivid dreams and/or acting out your dreams (REM sleep behavior disorder) are common sleep issues for people with Parkinson’s
  • A lack of sleep can affect everything from mood and cognitive skills to tremors and rigidity. What actions can you take to improve your sleep? Our panelists and experts recommend the following: “micro naps,” spending plenty of time outside, exposing your eyes to natural light in the beginning and at the end of each day, listening to guided meditations, and organizing your sleep space before bed
  • Some people use medication to improve their quality of sleep. Others who have found that medication can become addictive and/or interrupts their sleep patterns turn to homeopathic or behavioral remedies such as melatonin, hot showers, or reading before bed. Continue to try new options and find what’s right for you, recognizing that your solution may be different than someone else’s

resources and topics discussed 

Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue

A Primer on Sleep and Parkinson’s

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Make the Best of a Bad Night’s Sleep

Setting Your Biological Clock

A Former Pro Climber on Enduring Chronic Illness

The Nature Fix

The Nature Pyramid

Joovv

Take Your Parkinson’s For a Spin in the Great Outdoors

Sunlight and Parkinson’s

Medical Marijuana, CBD, and Parkinson’s

Sleep With Me Podcast

[Webinar Recording] Sleep and Parkinson’s

Heather Kennedy’s YouTube Channel

Huberman Lab

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*The Third Season of the Parkinson’s Podcast is made possible through generous support in honor of Dr. Margaret Hilgartner.

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