Cocktail-Sleep and Parkinson’s

If only we could be like cats. Cats seem to have no problem sleeping anytime anyplace anywhere. Those of us with Parkinson’s face a more complex situation.


People with Parkinson’s are often tired. That is probably the biggest understatement I have ever made on this blog. The problems we face include symptoms of Parkinson’s weak bladder, not turning over in your sleep, restless leg, body not wanting sleep at night time. Far from an exhaustive list but you get the picture. Another issue is fatigue which I can describe as feeling extremely tired even after a goodnights sleep. This can combine with medication that help movement but cause daytime drowsiness and possibly also disrupt sleep at night. We can also add antidepressants to the list as some disrupt REM sleep.

The variety of issues, require a variety of solutions. My recommendation to anyone with Parkinson’s and sleep issues is to first attempt to identify your own issues Then try and address the specific issues One thing I will ask is don’t just write off the standard good sleep practice advice. Try it and be aware that it may not solve problems but can limit them. Sleeping better now and again is a step forward from sleeping badly all the time. One simple thing that helped me was using curtains that actually shut out the light.


Shaken and stirred

But no Martini

Not 007

So no girls in bikini


Recipe for

Cocktail includes

Symtoms side effects

and your mood



Daytime sleepiness

Usual suspects

Play tiredness chess


Learn the rules

Go for checkmate

Why waste time

Why wait?

I read a lot of blogs and postings online on support websites and something caught my attention. A large proportion of people taking the Dopamine Agonist Ropinarole felt it made their sleeping worse. This caught my attention as I take Ropinarole and started to wonder if there are strategies that can help.

Armed with anecdotal evidence I asked fairly unscientifically for more information which neither confirms or disproves anything. So this time I am going to ask a series of questions.

1)Do you take Ropinarole?

2)What dose and how is it spread across a day? Please include if it is prolonged release.

3)Do you think if affects sleep and if so how?

4) Do you think it causes obsessive behaviour?

5) Are you unable to sleep or avoiding going to sleep?

6)What other Parkinson’s medication do you take?


So why these questions? When I started Ropinarole I was told it could cause obsessive behaviour but not linked to sleep. I was also told it could cause daytime drowsiness but not that it might also affect night time sleep. To me this is an important issue. To get the best out of treatment we need to understand the issues. One example of this is the prolonged release. Ropinarol Who knows how the release works? The tablet is designed to spread a dose over 24 hours and has three coatings so there are three releases. An initial release one after about 8 hours and the final one about 16 hours after taking. This is not often volunteered but is useful to know when deciding what time of day to take the dose but despite this it is only usually explained to those asking direct questions.


What will I do with any information you give me . Collate it remove anny names and use it as a basis for asking questions to Parkinson’s UK.

  • What research has been done on Ropinarole disrupting sleep?
  • Have any behavioural issues been identified as causing disruption to sleep?

These types of questions are highly important because sleep is necessary to function and at the moment it may not be identified to users of this drug. This is important because if you suffer behavioural issues due to this drug it is highly likely your instinct will be to ignore any negative impacts caused by that behaviour.

If you do take Ropinarol and are prepared to tell me about you can comment on the blog if you are happy for others to see the reply or if you want privacy use my email address.

Take care



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I am 47 and have Parkinson's and a full life with a fulltime job and a family.I live in the UK

One thought on “Cocktail-Sleep and Parkinson’s”

  1. Interesting post Jon! Sleep is something that everybody needs and most don’t get. It becomes increasingly important when you have something like Parkinson’s. Thanks for sharing!


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