Sleep in people with Parkinson’s can be disrupted for many reasons, and problems can be categorized as trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep. Early morning awakening with fragmented sleep is the most common sleep problem with Parkinson’s. Other causes of early awakening include depression, anxiety, pain, tremor, trouble moving in bed, night sweats and bladder problems. Trouble falling asleep is usually caused by pain, movement problems, anxiety or restless leg syndrome.
Exercise and gentle stretching can also help sleep when done before bed. Good sleep habits are important. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and late night heavy snacks. It is also recommended that you sleep in a room with limited distractions such as TV.
There are health care professionals that can help you with sleep. See your doctor or therapist for your sleep problems.
You can learn about sleep topics, including Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep Behavior Disorder in the Every Victory Counts™ program for living well with Parkinson’s.
Dr. Gary Leo, DO is an osteopath and Board Certified neurologist. He recently spoke at The Victory Summit® symposium on Parkinson’s disease and sleep. To watch his 17-minute presentation on Sleep click here. View the slides from his presentation here.