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Insomnia in Parkinson’s Disease

Sleep disturbances are the most common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

 

Sleep disturbances (SD), such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and sleep apnoea, are the most common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) (occurring in almost all the PD patients).

The presence of these disturbances usually generates a lot of stress. Consequently, patients’ quality of life decreases.

As the disease progresses, both the frequency and the intensity of sleep disturbances increase, exacerbating other potentially related problems.





Insomnia is the most frequent SD in patients with Parkinson’s disease, affecting about the 80% of the population. 
This disturbance is generally characterized by difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep because of frequent and sudden awakenings.

The most common causes are:
  • Frequent awakenings
  • Night-time tremor and muscular rigidity which slow down the body movements and make the patient feel uncomfortable
  • Nocturnal breathing disturbances
  • Confusion, hallucinations, nightmares

How can we facilitate the sleep process?

  • Do not drink before going to bed, in order not to stimulate the bladder
  • Avoid stimulants
  • Take an evening walk or a warm bath
  • Rest in a comfortable and well-equipped location (try to avoid noisy or lightened rooms)
  • Use smooth underwear so as to facilitate the involuntary movements
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress
  • Avoid sheets which can make you sweat
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