An overview of sleep and circadian dysfunction in Parkinson's disease

J Sleep Res. 2018 Jun;27(3):e12673. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12673. Epub 2018 Mar 1.


Sleep and circadian alterations are amongst the very first symptoms experienced in Parkinson's disease, and sleep alterations are present in the majority of patients with overt clinical manifestation of Parkinson's disease. However, the magnitude of sleep and circadian dysfunction in Parkinson's disease, and its influence on the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease remains often unclear and a matter of debate. In particular, the confounding influences of dopaminergic therapy on sleep and circadian dysfunction are a major challenge, and need to be more carefully addressed in clinical studies. The scope of this narrative review is to summarise the current knowledge around both sleep and circadian alterations in Parkinson's disease. We provide an overview on the frequency of excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, restless legs, obstructive apnea and nocturia in Parkinson's disease, as well as addressing sleep structure, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and circadian features in Parkinson's disease. Sleep and circadian disorders have been linked to pathological conditions that are often co-morbid in Parkinson's disease, including cognitive decline, memory impairment and neurodegeneration. Therefore, targeting sleep and circadian alterations could be one of the earliest and most promising opportunities to slow disease progression. We hope that this review will contribute to advance the discussion and inform new research efforts to progress our knowledge in this field.

Keywords: human physiology; neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronobiology Disorders / diagnosis
  • Chronobiology Disorders / epidemiology
  • Chronobiology Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / diagnosis
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / epidemiology
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology