Parkinson’s News Forums Forums Living ​With​ ​Parkinson’s Symptoms and Progression Do you struggle with sleep disturbances?

  • Do you struggle with sleep disturbances?

    Posted by mary-beth-skylis on October 25, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    My dad never seems fully rested. Although he maintains a consistent sleep schedule, he wakes many times during the night, which leaves him exhausted come morning. I’ve heard others talking about the sleep disturbances that they’ve experienced from Parkinson’s disease. Do you struggle with similar disturbances? If so, is there anything you’ve done that has helped to minimize them?

    sussan-thomas replied 3 months ago 39 Members · 52 Replies
  • 52 Replies
  • rich

    October 26, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I had the same kinds of problems, where I couldn’t sleep consistently. I’d sleep for the first few hours and then be up for a good 30 minutes and then just kind of “bob along the surface of sleep” until morning. So I’d be pretty foggy following those nights. Melatonin and OTC stuff didn’t work, so I asked my neuro about a non-addictive aid, and she prescribed Trazodone—it has made a ton of difference! A separate neuro also got me on a CPAP machine, which I struggled with for the first week but now do fine with. That combo means I wake up only 2 times a night at this point.

    Good luck to your dad!

    • tim-brindley

      September 10, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      I do have sleep deficiency I’ve tried a lot of things to sleep more than 2 hrs at a time to no avail.

      I’ve learned to accept it as it is what it is.

    • Jon Busch

      February 2, 2023 at 2:43 pm

      What’s a CPAP machine? You take Taurine. What about all those other supplementsl that supposedly protect mitochondria ?

    • kathleen-kucik

      February 8, 2023 at 12:40 pm

      I certainly contend with disturbed sleep most nights.  I wake multiple times every night.  I have resorted to taking a 2 mg. Dose of melatonin at 8:30 or 9:00 pm when I have had one or two previous nights of being awake after about midnight.  This approach does seem to result in more restful sleep.

  • jo-s

    October 26, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    I wake constantly throughout the night. Fractured sleep (and insomnia) is among the many symptoms of PD. I’ve tried a wide range of treatments, from melatonin to magnesium and everything in between (except prescription meds), but nothing has helped, unfortunately.

    • rob-stehlin

      February 2, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      I developed a diet that has turned off my iRBD and allows for normal rested sleep every day.

      • heidi-hoschka

        February 4, 2023 at 1:00 pm

        What is the diet?  My mom has a very difficult time with sleep.

      • heidi-hoschka

        February 4, 2023 at 1:01 pm

        What is the diet? My mom has a Difficult time with sleep.

  • Sharon Vander Zyl

    October 26, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    Right now this is my husband’s worst symptoms.  Most nights he wakes yelling or striking out at some danger.  Of course, this disturbs both of our sleeping.  He started taking Mannitol (as seen on this site) and has had relief from the extreme fatigue but the nightmares continue.  He has also said that Mannitol makes his stomach feel “funny” like he is on the verge of diarrhea.  Has anyone else experienced this stomach problem?

    • tekisui

      November 2, 2021 at 4:03 pm

      Hi, Sharon. I’m a caregiver for a late-stage PD patient and have him on a little Mannitol. In his case, his normal meds (Rytary) do such a number on his colon (the usual constipation) , and he’ s taking so many drugs, that I can’t isolate an effect from Mannitol.

      But what your question really reminded me of is this: I’ve never encountered a sugar alcohol, of which Mannitol is one, that didn’t wreak havoc on my colon. If I chew too much Ice breakers gum (Xylitol, Maltitol, a little Mannitol), the muddy river instantly rages like it’s monsoon season.

      I think the effect is quite common. Even when I was a kid, my friend and I used to deliberately eat a bunch of nasty, artificially-sweetened Velamints in order to have spectacular “gas” battles with one another.

    • rob-stehlin

      February 2, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      Besides reducing violent acting out during sleep, I have been able to change the content ot my dreams from violence / action to non-violent with diet and no drugs.

  • suzanne-haidri

    October 26, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    I have Fractured sleep – its horrible. It very hard to get comfortable in bed.

  • leslie

    October 27, 2021 at 6:21 am

    I take melatonin and trazadone  right before I go to sleep, & still have fractured sleep. I sleep 2-4 hours. I have to get out of bed, it’s like my body needs to be in a different position. (I take advantage of the opportunity & use  the restroom).  I’ve tried to go back to bed but by te time I get myself on th bed ,scoot up to the head of the bead, get in my sleeping position & try to pull the covers over me, I’m exhausted & wide awake, I have concluded that i can no longer tolerate the bed. So now I do not try to go back to bed. Instead I go to my lift chair turn on the tv on & off  in 1-2 hour increments. I getup at 4:00am to take my 1st dos of meds, then around 8:00 after my husband has left for work & before my caregiver arrives 10:00, I rest/sleep in my lift chair.

  • beth-t-browne

    October 28, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    I struggled with sleep before I was diagnosed, so Parkinson’s explains why.  It appears I started my third year this past July.  I still can drive, walk with out problems except for some balance, so I did a balance class. My tremors in my hand are still there, and better when I have no anxiety.  My doctor said he may try botox on me it it has work for others.  I am exercising in a class 2x a week, and use the treadmill opposite days.  My brain does not do well with short term and since I am 84, wish I knew how much was due to old age and how much to Parkinson’s.

    • alan-m

      November 18, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      My neurologist suggested I might be struggling with REM Sleep disorder.  I act out when sleeping.  I don’t have RLS but I’ve used a CPAP machine for the past 15 years for my sleep aponea.  I guess maybe that might be when my PD was in it’s earliest stages.

      I am knackered by 9:00pm every night.  But if I awake to go to the loo in the middle of the night, I really struggle to get back to sleep.  I’ve started on a course of Melatonin.  This seems to help my REM-SBD issue.

  • Rick Tabakin

    October 29, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    One of the symptoms of PD is sleep disturbance. I find myself waking up several times a night due to a sleep disturbance (have to urinate or had a disturbing dream). I also can’t sleep beyond 4 or 5 in the morning and often have to take a nap around 4 in the afternoon.

    • barbara-ford

      September 2, 2022 at 7:23 am

      Rick, my sleep timing is exactly the same as yours. I wake up between 4 & 5 most mornings and feel alert and full of energy. I feel better about my 4:00 in the afternoon bedtime now!

      Acting out, and intense dreams are a difficult PD symptom for me. After one night when I threw myself out of bed, hit my cheek bone on the bedside table, cutting it to the bone and barely missing my eye, Trazodone was prescribed. That has stopped the intense dreams, but hasn’t changed my sleep schedule.

      • alan-m

        February 2, 2023 at 7:11 pm

        Hey Barbara F… thanks for your informative forum post.  My RBD journey has prompted acting out behaviors like thrashing my limbs about, resembling a carp on a hot sidewalk, shouting out, punching, kicking, and rolling violently out of my bed.

        I’ve been lucky not to injure myself, but my spouse has run for the hills at bedtime.

        You mention the need for napping.  I too need naps daily.  At around 3:00pm, I start to seriously flag, and soon enough I’m on our couch snoozing away for no less than one hour, more often 90 mins.

        GP’s don’t prescribe Trazodone in NZ, so Melatonin is my only option — unless I want to start taking Domperidone (10 mg) before bed nightly.  Has anyone out there tried this sleep aid?  I never heard of it until my Neuro suggested it a week ago.


  • mark-rohr

    November 2, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Oh yes, this is all too familiar to me as well. Sleep is one of my all-time favorite hobbies and I can never seem to get enough. I was diagnosed approximately 5 years ago (epic 60th birthday gift!). I take a 1/2 of a Carbidopa-Levodopa and two Melatonin nightly. Most nights I have the same results; get to sleep quickly, wake from a dead sleep, go pee at least twice, go to sleep after 3 due to exhaustion!  I’m all ears for a good solution friends…

  • francisco-manuel-goncalves

    November 3, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Neste momento o sono é o meu maior problema.

    Não tomo nenhuma medicação.

    Adormeço rápidamente, por norma vou para a cama ás 23 horas-Acrdo quase sempre entre as 4 e as 5 horas.Não consigo dormir mais e tenho de me levantar pois não consigo estar na cama acordado Evito dormir durante o dia.

  • marlyne-wilder

    November 23, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Diagnosed PD 10/2017. Didn’t have any definite sleep problems until about 12 months ago. I would be awake until 3-4 am and out of bed at 8 am, tired and weary.  My PCP prescribed Trazodone 100 mg, then increased dosage to 150 mg at bedtime.  Worked for a couple months and then I was back to 3-4 am.  PCP does not want to increase the dosage any more.   Since I live in Illinois and cannabis is legal here, I tried relaxing THC mints.  These also helped for a short time.  I now have my medical cannabis card.  I am taking THC 10 mg Indica gummies about 10:30 pm and heading to bed at midnight, asleep within half an hour. I intend to purchase an Indica THC cartridge for calming, relaxing, and sleeping to supplement the gummies.  As with PD, everything is trial and error with cannabis.

  • andrew-l

    November 23, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    Sleep issues are my worst PD symptom. Tried everything mentioned in this forum and then some, except Mannitol which I do not believe in. Only thing that makes a true difference for me are the Orexin receptor antagonists. Take this 2x per week, the only nights I pretty much am guaranteed a good night’s sleep. Would take it more but do not want to get tachyphylaxis…

  • lamar-cartwright

    September 1, 2022 at 9:03 am

    I often suffer from insomnia. Canadian pharmacy states the range of serious problems that can cause insomnia. Of course if you have Parkinson’s, you’d probably have problems with sleep. However, I think that in most cases my insomnia is a cause of an absence of sleeping schedule.

  • rm-t

    September 1, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    My husband had sleep disturbances even before being diagnosed with PD, and we now realize that the disturbances are PD-related. So far the best bet for him is taking 3 mg melatonin and an extended-release version of Sinemet right before bed. If we feel the disturbances getting worse, we would comfortably go up on the melatonin dosage. Good luck!

  • tim-brindley

    September 1, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t ever sleep more than 3 hrs at a time. It’s more like napping.

    my body hurts so bad that I wake up every 2.5 – 3 hrs. I also have to pee a lot throughout the night so between the 2 I just don’t sleep well anymore.
    Before 2016 when the Parkinson’s reared it’s ugly head I slept like a baby all night long.

    I’ve tried different things like gummies and sleeping pills to no avail.

    I’m reserved to the notion that I sleep when I can and that’s life.

  • nsurit

    September 1, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    Yes, part of which has to do with problems emptying my bladder, however for the past year I’ve been using a catheter three times a day and that has all but eliminated that part of my sleeping problems. That solution to the bladder problem is one I avoided for several years, however do no regret making the decision. Still have trouble staying asleep,  which seems to be related to nightmares, sweating, drooling or PTSD . . . or a combination of these. Many nights are ones in which I get 4, 5 or 6 hours of fractured sleep. I don’t want a prescription for sleep, however find that Aleve PM seems to work pretty well, although the PM part messes with some of our PD meds. I use it very judiciously . . . maybe 2 or 3 times a month.

  • bludman

    September 1, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Avoiding alcohol helps with the waking up and the need to pee. If I imbibe it is early and lightly (happy hour 3 to 6!). If I overdue it I am up every 2 hours. I try to time my Sinemet for a dose right at bedtime. I find that I tend to wake when the last dose runs out. So that limits me to about 4 hours because a dose only lasts me about 5 hours and it takes me awhile to get to sleep. I find that I use the bathroom because I’m up, not up because I need the bathroom. Thankfully I can usually go back to sleep. Resigned to getting broken stretches but if I can get that first stretch to last 5 or 6 hours it is great. Tend to be up for good around dawn so try to get to bed by 10. Had to stop Rytari which was great for me but unfortunately experienced side effect. Tried melatonin didn’t seem to help. Seems like we all have similar experience. Trying CBD gummies next.

    • mike-p

      September 2, 2022 at 12:34 pm

      William, Do you mind me asking…what was the side effect with Rytari? How would you compare it to regular Carbidopa/levodopa? Thank you.

  • barry-alder

    September 2, 2022 at 9:17 am

    Yes I do. I go to sleep around 9:30pm and have my 1st call to the toilet around 11:30pm. The 2nd call is about 03:30am finding no difficulty in going back to sleep. I finally wake at around 07:45am in time to take my 1st regimen of medication at 08:00am.

    My final medication for the day is Circadin (2mg Melatonim) taken at 06:00pm.

    I’ll discuss the above pattern when I see my neurologist on 20th September.


    Barry Alder


  • phil-gattis

    September 2, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I take a cup of Yogi Bedtime tea, which includes valerian root extract, along with a 10mg Melatonin, which starts with a strong effect, then levels off to a continuous release.

    I brew another cup of the tea, which I put on my dresser to drink if/when I awake at night & get up to pee.  This was my neurologist’s suggestion, & it works well, helping me gently back to sleep.  If I don’t drink the midnight  dose of tea, I just save & use it for my next bedtime dose, so nothing’s wasted.

    • phil-gattis

      September 2, 2022 at 9:25 am

      My neurologist also suggested that I try to consume any alcohol earlier in the evening, as it kinda wreaks heck on my sleep pattern, while Melatonin fits well into my body’s natural sleep pattern.

  • beth-t-browne

    September 7, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Me again. Still struggling with sleep. I have seen three Movement doctors and none have helped with sleep. They don’t want to give you anything.

    For me, with bad allergies and lung issues, I desperately need sleep. So frustrating. \

    I have tried so many things I see on Facebook to no avail. Money wasted.

  • troy

    September 8, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    Yes- one of my earliest symptoms was acting out in sleep. The first time I was dreaming I was Bruce Lee, doing some sort of flying kick over a car; my wife and I woke up when I was kicking her in the side. Initially, L-dopa and a weighted blanket helped, but I was eventually put on Mirapex, which made a drastic difference. I still wake up somewhere between 3:30-4 am every morning, regardless of what time I go to bed. So, I just get up and start my day. That takes a toll.

  • sasha

    September 8, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Sleep was a struggle every night until I found a combination of CBD liquid extract plus a GABA Ease supplement that works pretty well.

    We also wired our house for ethernet so we could turn off the wifi          (which I believe to have a negative effect on sleep).

  • mike-p

    September 8, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    I’m 5 yrs into this thing and yes, sleep problems are very bothersome. 5 mg of Melatonin does help me some. I’m not against getting a prescription sleep aid if it gets worse. This method isn’t for everyone but I turn the TV on with volume real low and turn so I can’t see it. Helps stop my mind from racing.

  • daniel-salas

    September 8, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Hello.. I am 61 and was diagnosed 4 years ago. Sleeping has been an issue for me but lately it seems to be getting better. What I do is I wake up early and exercise for 45 min. At night I take one tan of Clonazepam which was not working very well until my MD added TRAZODONE. It has been a game changer. Before I was waking up 3-4 times every night. Now I sleep from 11 to 4:00 am walk around for 15-30 min and go back to bed for another 1.5-2.0 hrs.

    I feel much better now..????

  • francisco-manuel-goncalves

    September 9, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Translation: Before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I never had any problems such as sleep, although I did not sleep, or had to, because I worked.* At 11:00 p.m. I went to bed and at 7:00 a.m., I was taking a bath. Like Parkinson’s, I did not alter, Same nothing, everything the same. Lately, for reasons not related to homework, I didn’t sleep for 7/8 hours, but I’d rather be a passenger. I didn’t sleep during the day. I have a busy time, because I live alone, I still consider myself self-employed, cook my own food, clean the house, take care of the garden, produce some food, such as sweet potatoes, feijão, pears, figs, etc. From second to sixth I am in physiotherapy from 9 am to 10:30 am. I did everything not only to feel useful, but also to go to an institution. A neurologist, I received any medication to sleep. Two years ago I had surgery My heart, and I believe that during my hospital stay, I was medicated to sleep. I concluded that the less I think about doing, the better the days will pass.

    Antes de ser diagnosticado com parkinsson, nunca tive problemas com o sono, bem peço contrario, dormia o necessáario, pois trabalhava.*As 23 horas ia para a cama e as 7 horas , estava a tomar banho.Com o parkinsson, não alterei, mesmo nada,tudo igual.Ultimamente por motivos naõ relacionados com a doença, não durmo as 7/8 horas, mas julgo ser passageiro. Não durmo durante o dia. Tenho o tempo ocupado, pois vivo sózinho,ainda me considero autonomo, cozinho os meus alimentos, limpo a casa, cuido do jardim, produzo alguns alimentos, como batatas, feijão, peras,figos etc. De segunda a sexta estou na fisioterapia das 9 horas ás 10,30 horas.Faco isto tudo não só para me sentir útil, mas também para adiar a ida para uma instituição.Nenhum neurologista me receitou qualquer medicamento para dormir.Há dois anos fiz cirurgia ao coracão, e julgo que durante o internamnento,fui medicado para dormir.Chego á conclusão que quanto menos pensar na doença, melhor passarei os dias.

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