Taking a Rest with Parkinson’s Disease

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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My youngest grandson fought his daily naps. My oldest grandson, on the other hand, loved naps so much that when they rolled around, he would ask if it was “time for sleeping yet.” Needless to say, when the time came to sleep, they both woke happy and rested — most of the time!

When my youngest grandson woke from his naps, he almost always had a smile on his face. Within 30 minutes of waking up, he would say right out of the blue, “I’m happy.” It didn’t take going to the store with Grammy and buying a new toy. It didn’t take going to the ice cream shop and licking a chocolate ice cream cone, or a strawberry cone, or a chocolate mint cone. It didn’t take spending an hour playing with other kids at the park and laughing together.

He simply had a much-needed nap.

When we live with chronic illness, it can wear us down and wear us out. It can happen to the person with the disease or it can happen to the caregiver. We get discouraged, grumpy, and tired, and often end up feeling like not doing much of anything. When we have Parkinson’s disease, our sleep is jeopardized already, just for different reasons.

Sometimes all we need is a good rest to correct our perspective. Sometimes all we need is a good nap so we can wake with fresh eyes and a renewed spirit.

Rest can come in the form of a good, old-fashioned nap, or it may be sitting in the backyard and listening to the birds sing. Maybe it’s taking a leisurely walk around the neighborhood or sitting in a comfortable chair and reading a good book. It could even be closing your eyes and praying.

Everyone has different needs. What works for you may not work for me. I may opt for listening to the birds instead of reading a good book. But when we take the time to rest like we so desperately need, no matter the method we choose, it is easier to say, “I’m happy.” 

Right out of the blue.

There’s so much to be happy about. Sometimes all we really need is a fresh perspective.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


diana avatar


This is a good point. With so much emphasis on exercise the need for rest gets overlooked.

George Clark avatar

George Clark

A “charger nap” in the afternoon of 20-30 min max is recommended by NASA sleep studies/research. Even more important for fatigued Parkkies. Can longer naps hurt that night’s sleep or leave one groggy? For non-PD folks yes. For Parkkies the answer maybe yes or it depends!

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thanks for your comment, George!


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