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Parkinson’s medication and daylight savings

Parkinson’s medication, sleep and daylight savings

The change from Eastern Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on the first Sunday in October. The clock will spring forward 1 hour.

A common question for people living with Parkinson’s is how this will affect their daily medication routines. Should we follow the Daylight Savings clock time, or the ‘real’ time?

The advice from our Parkinson’s Nurses is to stick to your routine by the clock. That means using the new Daylight Saving’s Time as your guide for taking medication.

If you normally take your dose at 8am for example, then continue to take it at 8am, or whatever your regular times are after you have adjusted the clock to Daylight Savings Time.

However, you should also be aware that you could feel some other effects from the time change. Research has shown that rolling the clocks forward at this time of year can cause sleep disruption.

So give yourself time to adjust, and take additional rest if you feel like you need it during the transition to Daylight Saving Time.

Also make a point of keeping up your exercise routines – and especially get out in the sun whenever you can. Exposure to sunlight will help your body to make the adjustment to the new time as well.

Getting good sleep

The physical symptoms of Parkinson’s can sometimes cause sleep disturbances and prevent adequate rest. The restorative effects of sleep can improve health and help people living with Parkinson’s  better manage the disease on a daily basis, so ensuring you get enough quality sleep is essential.

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule — go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time.
  • Choose your bedtime based on when you want to get up. Plan to spend seven to eight hours a night in bed.
  • Make a bedtime routine — for example, snack, bath, tooth-brushing, toileting — and follow it every evening.
  • Spend time outdoors and exercise every day, in the morning if possible. Avoid exercise after 8:00 p.m.
  • If you nap, try to do so at the same time every day, for no more than an hour, and not after 3:00 p.m.
  • Do not read or watch television in bed.

Good sleep hygiene

If you have any questions, call the Parkinson’s NSW InfoLine: 1800 644 189

Read more

Medication and symptom management

Parkinson’s information and fact sheets

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