7 Ways to Help Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease

Fatigue is a common, frustrating Parkinson’s disease symptom. It can feel both physical and mental, from lack of sleep as well as from apathy, another common symptom.

Pain from symptoms like rigidity can make falling asleep more difficult. Insomnia is also common with Parkinson’s, which can make tiredness during the day worse. Insomnia and daytime sleepiness can also be side effects of Parkinson’s medications.

In addition to talking with your doctor, making changes to your routine, physical activities or medication may help you feel more energised.

  1. If you feel exhausted during the day, talk to your doctor. A change in medications may help.
  2. Budget your energy. Try to get to bed a little earlier if your next day is going to be busy. Pace yourself during the day, and try to take a short rest if you can.
  3. Exercise regularly. Some find that starting the day with a brisk walk or a yoga session helps them feel energized the rest of the day. Research suggests that vigorous exercise right before bed can hurt sleep, but a few yoga stretches or light cardio may help you slip into sleep easier.
  4. Take a short nap. Longer naps too late in the day can disrupt sleep, so aim for 10 to 30 minutes at around 2 or 3 p.m.
  5. Keep a regular schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, even on weekends. If you find that you’re having trouble falling asleep, get out of bed and read or try another relaxing activity. Reading or watching TV in bed can throw off your schedule.
  6. Have fun. It may sound obvious, but finding activities that make you feel more energized can help. Spend time with a funny friend, participate in a volunteer activity you feel passionate about or watch an engaging movie.
  7. Try to reduce stress. Several commenters noted that stress worsens fatigue. If you’re feeling stressed out, exercising, meditation, reading, working on a puzzle or anything else you find relaxing can help. One study found that writing about your stressors and “personal narrative” can also help ease stress.

To find out more about living with Parkinson’s visit our ‘All About Parkinson’s’ portal.

Source:  The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research