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Sleep Disorders

Sleep problems are prevalent among people with Parkinson's. Medications may also have a role to play in the treatment of sleep problems for people with PD, but a combined behavioral and medication treatment plan is often best. It is very common for people with PD to have sleep disorders that can include:

  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)

  • Periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS)

  • Rapid eye movement (REM)

  • Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)

  • Insomnia

  • Sleep Apnea

Difficulty with motor symptoms can impact sleep. Additionally, many drugs used to help assist with PD can worsen some sleep behaviors. Some antidepressant drugs can promote sleep due to their sedative properties. Sleeping medications that can be beneficial include hydroxyzine, Ambien, Lunestra, Sonata, Rozerem, quetiapine, clonazepam, and others. Also, stimulants such as methylphenidate and amphetamine salts can be tried. Some non-stimulant treatments for narcolepsy called modafinil also have potential to promote healthy sleep.

It should be noted that the use of methylphenidate, amphetamine, and modafinil for treatment of sleep disturbances is not approved by the FDA for PD patients, which means that most health insurance plans may not cover them.

Most over-the-counter drugs are not recommended. However, some have found Melatonin to be helpful to promote sleep.

Disclaimer:  The information provided on this Parkinson Association of Alabama Resource Center is for awareness and educational purposes only about Parkinson's medication. The PAA does not endorse any specific brand or type of medication. All discussions about medication should be between you, your care partner, and your medical teams.


Davis Phinney Foundation. Parkinson's Treatments and Therapies. Chapter 7 - Medication. Page 124 Every Victory Counts. "Manual." Sixth Edition, 2021.

Parkinson's Foundation. Medications. A Treatment Guide to Parkinson's Disease. "Brochure."

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