Journal of Neurology

, Volume 252, Issue 8, pp 936–943 | Cite as

Perception of sleep: Subjective versus objective sleep parameters in patients with Parkinson’s disease in comparison with healthy elderly controls

Sleep perception in Parkinson’s disease and controls
  • S. HappeEmail author
  • G. Klösch
  • J. Lorenzo
  • D. Kunz
  • T. Penzel
  • J. Röschke
  • S.-L. Himanen
  • G. Gruber
  • J. Zeitlhofer



Subjective sleep perception, as measured against objective parameters such as those obtained by polysomnography, have not been examined thoroughly to date. Little is known about subjective sleep perception in patients with chronic somatic diseases.

Patients and methods

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and healthy elderly controls filled in a sleep log over 14 days, which included a self–rating questionnaire concerning sleep and quality of time awake, sleep times and somatic complaints. All participants underwent polysomnography in the sleep lab on nights 7 and 8, and slept all other nights at home.


Seventeen patients with PD (64 ± 6 years, 6 female, Hoehn and Yahr median = 2), and 62 healthy controls of the same age without sleep disturbances (64 ± 8 years, 36 female) were included. Patients with PD showed reduced subjective sleep (p = 0.001) and quality of time awake (p = 0.02), decreased sleep duration (p = 0.01) and reduced sleep efficiency (p = 0.004) compared with the controls. Subjective sleep efficiency at home was no different from that in the sleep lab for both groups. Patients with PD reported more somatic complaints (p = 0.001) than controls but did not show a firstnight effect.


In summary, patients with PD have subjectively and objectively disturbed sleep as compared to healthy controls of the same age. However, they may not rate this poor sleep as much changed from their baseline sleep at home, and they have more somatic complaints. Increasing sleep efficiency might be of importance in PD patients, as it shows an association with subjective quality of time awake in the morning.

Key words

subjective sleep perception polysomnography Parkinson’s disease elderly healthy controls 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Happe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • G. Klösch
    • 1
  • J. Lorenzo
    • 3
  • D. Kunz
    • 4
  • T. Penzel
    • 5
  • J. Röschke
    • 6
  • S.-L. Himanen
    • 7
  • G. Gruber
    • 8
  • J. Zeitlhofer
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Clinical NeurologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Dept. of Clinical NeurophysiologyUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.BerlinGermany
  5. 5.MarburgGermany
  6. 6.MainzGermany
  7. 7.TampereFinland
  8. 8.ViennaAustria

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