Parkinson's Disease Support Group

Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder often characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement, and in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement. The primary symptoms of Parkinsons are due to excessive muscle contraction, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain.

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Body Jerking while sleeping

My husband's whole body jerks at different times during the night while he sleeps. It isn't when he's drifting off to sleep, but can be two hours later or anytime during the night. It just isn't a leg or arm, it's the whole body and often it awakes me. He'll jerk once and then a few minutes later jerks again and then again, etc. He says that he is dreaming and I should awaken him, and he'll turn over. Before he started taking meds, he would have dreams that he is being chased and he used to reach out his arms to stop the things that was chasing him. Those kind of dreams are part of PD, a sleep disorder of some kind, I think. I forget what the medical term is called. His dreams aren't quite so bad but he still has this jerking. I also noticed the jerking started years ago but it was much milder and PD wasn't in the picture yet.
Has another else noticed this problem?

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

This "body jerking thing" was the first odd sign I experienced several years before the tremor started in my left hand. My husband commented about it many times. It's less frequent now that I'm on Requip but still wakes me up now and then. I think it's my body's reaction to that annoying restless leg deal when I'm asleep. Interesting, I didn't know anyone else started with that... The first sign for many people is a decrease in their sense of smell or shouting/flailing during vivid dreams.
If you husband still has problems "acting out" during dreams my MDS says to try melatonin (SP?) 3 mg at bedtime for 2 weeks, then 6mg at bedtime. I haven't tried it but he's always up on all the current research.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am sorry to say yes I know what your hubby is going through had one of those nights has night, told my neuro about night timr trimmers he said no but them it is usually followed, or preceeded by a ni;ght where i wake up in the exact position i fell a sleep in
deleted_user
deleted_user

My wife says I walk, and talk in my sleep. I am completely unaware of this but I beliEve she her..We've researched this phonemena and it exits in almost all Parkinson's individuals.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for your replies. It hasn't gotten out of hand yet, and I hope it doesn't. I mentioned the jerking to the internist the last time we went to the MDS but she didn't say too much about it. However, before Christmas our MDS gave a talk on PD and he mentioned that one of the symptoms for PD was REM which is a sleep behavior disorder.
If it gets any worse I'll tell the specialist the next time we go to see him.
I don't think my husband wants to take anymore pills if he can help it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

my husband is doing the same thing. He was on requip, then the dr changed it to stop the hand shaking. As soon as that happened, we were up all night with the jerking.(first time that had happened) Dr changed meds again, still jerking. I stopped all Parkinsons meds till his next appointment, and STILL jerking, so I put him back on requip, jerking stopped. Requip is used for restless leg, so I am thinking he has that, so the requip is addressing that problem. He also has nightmares, but can't tell me what the problme is, (he has a brain tumor also and has lost most language)I don't know if he just got the restless leg thing or has had is as he has been on requip for about a year. Hope this helps.
deleted_user
deleted_user

ConnieBell
My husband also has these symptoms. sometimes jumps out of bed attacking the "attacker" in his dreams. He has gotten much better since he started taking clonipin a medication that helps with this sleep disorder. He was swinging and talking out loud also. Hope this helps in someway.
peachybum
peachybum

i decided to not read the answers before mine. Dreams , living out dreams in the sleep state are very common with pd

Just another shit side effect

My neuro keeps asking me if l experience these things

Well how would i know, im asleep and sleep alone

All i can say is that if you need an amazing movie scenario, you should crawl into my mind at night when im sleeping
deleted_user
deleted_user

Connie: My husband does the same thing. Scares me sometimes, makes me cry most of the time. He is taking Requip and Azilect and has had some relief, but not much. He has always been a quiet person, therefore does not tell me if he is having any issues severe side effects. He just turned 50 and has been diagnosed for about 2 years now. Just sent our only child off to college last fall and this should be the time of our lives, but he, unfortunately, cannot do much of anything that involves walking, talking or fine motor skills. Lost his job last summer during these economic times and no employer is going to hire someone shuffling in to their office, trembling, and has icy cold hands. Social Security doesn't think he is disabled. Hang in there and be the loving and supporting person I am sure you have always been.
deleted_user
deleted_user

My father has done this for some time now to the point of actually pushing my mother out of bed just recently. He has advanced stages of the disease and I am not sure if this has anything to do with it being worse then it use to be. I know that he is dreaming while doing this and does also yell out and move his arms around. Not sure if this helps...
Sherma
Sherma

My husband does this body jerking thing nightly. He has said for several months before I was dxd with PD that whatever I had he has too. He has stopped saying that since we know I have PD. (don't blame him wish I could do away with it). He has essential tremor and at times it is hard to eat, he shakes so violently. We had no idea that this jerking is part of PD. He has other symptoms so he may have been right to begin with. I pray not.
Sherma
Bridges
Bridges

This is not unique to PD. People with ADHD seem to manifest it as well.
deleted_user
deleted_user

My husband also does this. Sometimes he gets violent and tries to hit me in his sleep. He says he is dreaming of being attacked and is fighting back. My husband is a very sweet and gentle man, and is very apologetic about this and has even offered to sleep in the spare bedroom. But I love him and need him with me. The doctor (neuro) he is seeing now says he can do no more for him. I'm at witts end.
deleted_user
deleted_user

My body seems to jerk only once in a while. Its both arms that will jerk and shake, and my right leg shakes and jerks. Its the right side of my body that is worse.
deleted_user
deleted_user

When you go into REM sleep, your body releases a chemical that basically paralyzes your body. This keeps your dreams in your head and your body still. REM sleep disorder doesn't let your body 'paralyze', so you actually do what you are dreaming while you are fully asleep. Take him to a sleep doctor and have a sleep study done. My husband has had an REM sleep disorder that was diagnosed in 1991. I was told that many people with PD have it. He was diagnosed with PD in 2001. My husband has jumped off the bed while dreaming he was parachuting, he has hit his head on the wall while playing football in his sleep and I've had at least 2 black eyes when he was dreaming there was an intruder in the house. Most often, his dreams are about being in Vietnam and he can be very violent. Clonopin is the #1 med. given for this disorder. We have at one point, had our mattress on the floor and padded the walls. One dr. gave him a harness to wear in bed to keep him from getting out of bed. We have now been in separate beds for a while. Talk to your dr. about it and have your husband take the sleep study.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi ConnieBell,
Lynn does the jerking sometimes and he has advanced to doing what some of the folks' responses tell about. He jumped out of bed at 4:00 this morning shutting the doors to our bedroom. I hadn't seen him move that fast in a long time. I tried to wake him and he seemed to be awake but he still was fearful. He told me this morning that he dreamed there were "buggers" in the house which would eat your toes while you slept. He of course has the Parkinsons and now I wonder what in the world to do about this new manifestation. He already takes the klonipin for restless leg...maybe he needs to up his dose on that. We need to make an appointment with the neurologist as we missed our last one. Good luck and hang in there. Sandy