APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Sleep Issues in PD

Relevant Publications - Downloadable

“Basic Sleep Strategies”
Published by the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center
This 2-page fact sheet recommends that, regardless of the cause of your sleep disturbances in Parkinson’s disease, some basic sleep hygiene strategies throughout the day, and at bedtime, can improve sleep quality.  Page two has suggestions to address sleep complications, like medications wearing off, sleep apnea, REM sleep behavior disorder, early morning waking and restless leg syndrome.


“Sleep: A Mind Guide to Parkinson’s Disease”
Published by the Parkinson’s Foundation, 2018
This 36-page booklet explains normal sleep patterns, the body clock, how much sleep we should get, challenges to sleeping well, tips for good sleep hygiene, and sleep in normal aging before discussing symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, including insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and daytime sleepiness. 


"Sleep and Night-time Problems in Parkinson's"
Publshed by Parkinson's UK, September 2012
28-page booklet looks at the causes of and treatments for sleep problems in PD. Available in PDF and Word.


Relevant Online Information

"Parkinson’s Disease and Sleep,” reviewed by David Rye, MD, and Mark Mahowald, MD
Published by the National Sleep Foundation
This 5-page web article offers a detailed description of Parkinson’s disease and the challenges it presents to restorative rest and recuperation. Some suggestions are included for improving sleep and the environment around sleeping.


"Parkinson's and Sleep Problems," by Johan Samanta, MD, PC
Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association
On this short webpage, a neurologist describes sleep problems experienced by Parkinson’s patients and medications that can help with symptoms. 


"Q&A: Sleep & Night-time Problems in Parkinson’s"
Published by Parkinson’s UK, September 2010
Extensive question and answer session with Prof. Kevin Morgan, a sleep researcher and psychologist who helps those with chronic conditions. Includes strategies for minimizing sleep interruptions, REM sleep behavior disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy, vivid nightmares, and others. 


"REM sleep behavior disorder"
Published by Mayo Clinic, July 2014
Overview of REM sleep behavior disorder, sometimes experienced by those with PD. Overview considers risk factors, causes, symptoms, and treatments.


"Sleep and Parkinson’s Disease"
Published by UCSF Parkinson’s Disease Clinic and Research Center, 2014
Describes of the sleep-wake cycle, circadian rhythms, and sleep issues specific to Parkinson’s disease. Also covers behavioral and medication changes that can help improve sleep.


“Sleep Disorders"
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation)
This page discusses the most common sleep issues for people with Parkinson's disease, tips for better sleep, treating excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea and REM sleep behavior disorder.


Relevant Online Lectures and Webinars

“Getting Your Best Sleep with Parkinson’s”
By Partners in Parkinson’s, April 13, 2016
This 1-hour webinar is an interview of a person with Parkinson’s disease, a movement disorders specialist, and a sleep sciences specialist.  They discuss sleep disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, the difference between those that are a symptom the disease or a side-effect of medication, and how to treat them and live your best life with a sleep disorder.


"My Parkinson’s Story: Sleep Problems and Parkinson’s Disease"
By the Veterans Health Administration, February 2013
This 8-minute video describes one couple’s struggle with Parkinson’s-related nightmares and an overview of the types of sleep disturbances that may be experienced by those with PD. Methods of treatment are addressed.


“Sleep and Parkinson’s”
By the Parkinson’s Foundation, June 13, 2017
This 1-hour webinar by neurologist Aleksandar Videnovic explains that problems with sleep and alertness may, or may not, be caused by Parkinson’s disease.  Nocturnal sleep disturbances discussed include causes, diagnosis, safety risks and treatment (including light therapy) of sleep fragmentation, REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep apnea, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).  Registration is required but the webinar is free.


“Sleep Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease”
By the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, June 18, 2013
In this 17-minute lecture Dr Gary Leo discuses sleep challenges caused by the neurochemical changes, medications and mood disturbances of Parkinson’s disease, and normal changes of aging.  He discusses possible causes and treatment options of sleep maintenance insomnia, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome, ending with some tips for good sleep.


“Sleep Disturbances in Parkinson’s Disease”
By the UCSF Conference on Parkinson’s Disease, November 13, 2010
In this half hour lecture Dr. Graham Glass discusses common sleep and fatigue issues in Parkinson’s disease, their causes  and treatments.  There is an 24 second audio loss at the 11:00 time stamp.


"Sleep Problems and Parkinson's Disease" 
Published by the Veteran's Administration
This 8-minute video alternates between an interview with a vet and his wife and a doctor. The vet shares how he thought his REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) was PTSD nightmares. The doctor explains RBD, safety precautions and medications that can minimize RBD symptoms.


“What are the common sleep disorders encountered in patients with PD?”
By the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), February 19, 2010
In this 8-minute video Dr. Tanya Simuni gives an overview of sleep related problems and why they may be more common in people with Parkinson’s disease. She defines terms and encourages listeners to discuss treatment options and symptom management with a neurologist.


This list of resources was updated by Denise Dagan in January 2018. It was first compiled by Lauren Stroshane for the Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach Program, August 2014.

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