Sleep problems are prevalent among people with Parkinson’s. Sleep problems including insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Periodic Limb Movements Disorder (PLMD), Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD). Behavioral changes known as good sleep hygiene may be quite helpful for insomnia. Good sleep hygiene includes having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, using the bed only for sleep, reducing light in the bedroom, not using technology in the hour before sleep, and decreased fluid consumption before bed. Medication may also have a role to play in the treatment sleep problems for people with Parkinson’s, but a combined behavioral and medication treatment plan is often best.

Generic Name
Trade Name
Patient Assistance
levodopa or dopamine agonist
See chart for more information about levodopa and dopamine agonists.
An extra nighttime does of carbidopa/levodopa (especially Sinemet CR) or a dopamine agonist can be used to treat RLS and PLMD.
Clonazepam Klonopin Can be used to treat insomnia, RLS, PLMD, and RBD. Possible side effects include excessive sleepiness, dizziness, and confusion. Prescribing Information
Gabapentin See chart for more information about pain.
Can be used to treat RLS and PLMD.
Melatonin Dietary supplement, not FDA-approved. Can be used to treat insomnia and RBD.
May cause headache, dizziness, and nausea.Available OTC.
Sedating antidepressants (trazodone, mirtazapine) Desyrel, Remerol See chart for more information in Other Antidepressants.
Can be used to treat insomnia.

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