Open Access Open Badges Research article

Sleep problems in Parkinson’s disease: a community-based study in Norway

Elisabeth Svensson1*, Antoine G Beiske2, Jon Håvard Loge34, Kornelia K Beiske2 and Børge Sivertsen156

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Adult Mental Health, Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

2 Department of Neurology, Akershus University Hospital, Akershus, Norway

3 National Resource Centre for Late Effects after Cancer Treatment, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

4 Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

5 Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

6 Division of Psychiatry, Helse Fonna HF, Haugesund, Norway

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BMC Neurology 2012, 12:71  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-71

Published: 10 August 2012



The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of sleep problems in a community-based sample of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Norway, and their associated factors.


176 consecutive PD outpatients (41% females) were included in a study of non-motor symptoms, including sleep problems. All participants responded to the Parkinson’s Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS), where an overall score below 82 or a score below 5 on a sub-item indicate possible sleep problem. Factors associated with sleep were also investigated, with special emphasis on severity of PD, fatigue, mental health and restless legs syndrome (RLS).


The mean age was 68.5 years (range 35–90); the mean Hoehn and Yahr stage was 2.11 (SD 0.86), and the mean UPDRS part III was 22.3 (SD 11.7). Sleep problems were common among PD patients. While only 17% of the sample had an overall score below 82 on the PDSS, 70% of the patients had a score below 5 on one item. There was no significant association between PD severity and any of the sleep items in the PDSS; whereas fatigue, mental health problems, and RLS were associated with PDSS score.


The current findings call for increased awareness of sleep problems in PD patients, especially focusing on the association with mental health problems, fatigue and RLS.

Sleep; Parkinson; Prevalence; Norway; Associated factors