Does a Firmer Mattress Help with Parkinson's Sleep Disorders?


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Sleep disorders are a common challenge for individuals living with Parkinson's Disease. The restless nights, constant tossing and turning, and difficulty falling asleep can significantly impact their overall well-being. In search of potential solutions, many have wondered: does a firmer mattress hold the key to more restful sleep for those with Parkinson's?

This blog post discusses the connection between Parkinson's disease and sleep disorders and how mattress firmness may affect sleep quality. The message discusses the benefits and important factors individuals should consider when looking to enhance their sleep. If you or someone you know with Parkinson's is experiencing sleep difficulties, read on to find out if sleeping on a firmer mattress can enhance sleep quality.

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the degeneration of specific brain cells in the central nervous system. This condition usually impacts individuals who are above the age of 50, although it is possible for it to occur earlier. Symptoms include tremors, impaired balance and coordination, stiffness or slowness of movement, difficulty with walking and other physical activities, sleep disorders, and fatigue.

How Does it Affect Sleep Patterns?

Parkinson's Disease can cause various sleep disturbances such as difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking during the night, and sleeping for an imbalanced amount of time. These changes in sleep patterns can greatly impact a person's quality of life, leaving them exhausted and unrefreshed upon waking. Many people with Parkinson's turn to a firmer mattress to improve their sleep quality and get better rest at night.

Can a Firm Mattress Help with the Common Sleep Disorders of Parkinson's?

Parkinson's Disease can cause various sleep problems, including excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), insomnia, and other disrupted sleeping patterns. Poor quality sleep can lead to further physiological and neurological complications that compound the effects of Parkinson's.

Choosing the right kind of mattress can be challenging for those with Parkinson's-related sleep disorders. A firmer mattress provides better support for people with difficulty moving to find a comfortable position in bed, or those who experience pain due to Parkinson's. 

Unfortunately, no conclusive evidence exists that a firmer mattress will help with Parkinson's-related sleep disorders. The best way to ensure high-quality sleep for those with Parkinson's is to consult a doctor or physical therapist about the most appropriate mattress type and other possible treatments, such as lifestyle changes, medications, or specialized therapies. It’s also recommended to trial different mattress types until you find the one that is best for you.

Symptoms and Causes of Sleep Problems in People With PD

Sleep problems are common in people with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Sleep disturbances may lead to fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and mood problems. Common PD-related sleeping difficulties include:

Difficulty falling asleep

People with Parkinson's Disease can have difficulty falling asleep. Difficulty initiating sleep is when you struggle to fall asleep, even though you feel tired and want to rest. This condition is also referred to as Sleep Onset Insomnia. People with PD may experience difficulty falling asleep due to various factors. These factors are not specified.

Anxiety: People with PD are often troubled by anxiety, making it difficult to fall asleep. Reducing anxiety levels can be aided by practicing relaxation techniques and seeking counseling, if necessary.

Medication side effects: PD medications might have side effects contributing to difficulty falling asleep. Discuss any sleeping issues with your doctor to see if a medication adjustment can help.

Pain: PD pain might be keeping you awake or preventing you from falling asleep in the first place. Talk with your doctor about therapies that may help reduce or manage pain levels.

Waking up frequently during the night

People with Parkinson's Disease may also experience frequent waking during the night, which is known as Sleep Maintenance Insomnia. This usually occurs when a person wakes up several times at night, reducing their sleep quality.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is another common sleep problem that affects people with Parkinson's Disease. Individuals who suffer from RLS may feel the urge to move their legs in response to uncomfortable sensations in their legs. This can interfere with their ability to fall or remain asleep throughout the night.

Treatment for RLS can include lifestyle modifications such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, stretching the legs, and taking warm baths. Medications are available to alleviate symptoms caused by RLS. Additionally, a firmer mattress may benefit people suffering from RLS at night as it helps provide more support to the body and reduce discomfort. Friction-reducing sheets and sleepwear can also provide relief by allowing greater freedom and ease of moving. The ability to move smoothly and with ease replaces the disruptive nature of tossing and turning. This change can be surprisingly effective in improving comfort and sleep.

Early morning awakenings

Early morning awakenings are another common sleep problem in people with Parkinson's Disease. Early morning awakenings occur when you wake up earlier than desired, such as 1-2 hours before your usual waking time, and do not feel sleepy again. There could be various reasons for this problem, including excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol, insufficient exposure to sunlight, or having an irregular sleep routine.

To help reduce early morning awakenings, getting enough sunlight during the day and going to bed consistently each night is important. A firmer mattress can be helpful for people with PD who wake up early in the morning since it provides better support and comfort while sleeping.

Does a Firmer Mattress Help with Parkinson's Sleep Disorders?

People with Parkinson's disease who experience sleep disorders, such as trouble falling asleep, frequent nighttime awakenings, and early morning awakenings, may find that a firmer mattress is helpful. A firmer mattress can provide more support to the body, be easier to move on and reduce discomfort, allowing for a more restful sleep. A firmer mattress might also benefit people suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome, as it may help reduce uncomfortable sensations and alleviate symptoms.

It is important to remember that everyone's sleep needs are different, and it may be necessary to experiment with different mattresses until you find the most comfortable. To plan, it is crucial to discuss any issues related to sleep with your doctor.

A firmer mattress can be a helpful tool in managing Parkinson's disease-related sleeping difficulties, allowing for a more restful and comfortable sleep. It's important to note that simply finding the right mattress won't completely solve sleeping problems related to Parkinson's Disease. Other treatments may also be required to find relief.

To effectively deal with your sleeping problems, you must talk with your doctor and explore the most suitable treatment alternatives. A firmer mattress may be a helpful tool in managing Parkinson's disease-related sleeping difficulties and providing more comfort and support to your body, but it is important to remember that a firmer mattress is not the only solution for improving sleep quality. In addition to finding the right mattress, other therapies, such as relaxation techniques or medication adjustments. As well, friction-reducing sheets and sleepwear make repositioning easier especially when used on a firm surface.

Benefits of a Firm Mattress for People with Parkinson's Disease:

Improved Sleep Quality

A firm mattress can provide improved sleep quality for people with Parkinson's disease. Firm mattresses reduce motion transfer, which helps minimize disruptions to your sleep. This type of mattress also offers better spinal alignment, providing relief from aches and pains caused by the disease. A firm mattress supports the body evenly, helping promote more restful and comfortable sleep.

Reduced Discomfort

Sleeping can be uncomfortable for individuals with Parkinson's disease due to their symptoms. A firm mattress can help reduce this discomfort by providing better support for the body. The firmer surface helps by providing a firm base which makes moving easier, can reduce pain and help to improve circulation.

Decreased Rigidity and Tremors

For people with Parkinson's disease, sleeping on a firm mattress can also help decrease tightness and rigidity of the muscles. This is because it provides an even surface that supports the body's natural curves, reducing uncomfortable pressure points. As a result, fewer tremors will occur throughout the night due to improved posture while sleeping. Additionally, the firmer surface helps keep muscles from becoming too tight, decreasing rigidity and allowing them to relax more easily.

Better Air Flow Around the Body

A firm mattress also provides better airflow around the body, which can benefit those with Parkinson's. This is because a firmer surface allows air to move more freely through the mattress, promoting improved temperature regulation and breathability while you sleep. Improved airflow during the night prevents your body from overheating, which reduces restlessness and helps you sleep better. Additionally, the improved airflow helps reduce dust circulation in the bedroom, which can be an irritant for people with Parkinson's disease.

For individuals with Parkinson's, choosing a firm mattress can improve sleep quality, reduce discomfort, decrease rigidity and tremors, and promote better airflow around the body. A firmer surface helps keep the body in alignment throughout the night, promoting a more restful slumber.

Greater Support for Muscles and Joints

A firm mattress also helps to provide greater support for the muscles and joints. The extra support helps to reduce pain and tension in the body by evenly distributing weight, reducing aches and pains caused by the disease. Additionally, a firm mattress can help promote better posture while sleeping. The improved posture can help improve circulation and reduce joint stiffness, allowing for better daily mobility.


How can I improve my sleep quality with Parkinson's?

In addition to finding a firm mattress that suits your needs, friction-reducing, mobility-enhancing sheet and sleepwear sets, other therapies, such as relaxation techniques or medication adjustments, can help improve sleep quality for those with Parkinson's disease. To achieve restful sleep, it's beneficial to maintain a regular exercise routine and eat a nutritious diet.

What is the best bedding for Parkinson's patients?

Finding the right bedding for someone with Parkinson's disease can be difficult. To ensure good support and comfort, finding a firm mattress with enough cushioning is important. Using pillows and other supportive items, such as sheepskin liners or blankets, may also be beneficial to help promote better sleeping comfort.

How do Parkinson's patients sleep at night?

People with Parkinson's disease often have trouble sleeping at night. Common symptoms such as fatigue, muscle stiffness, difficulty moving, tremors, and pain can all disrupt a person's sleep cycle. For better sleep and less discomfort, consider a mattress and mobility-enhancing sheets and sleepwear that provide a different type of comfort gained through easier smoother movement. Searching for helpful items that meet your needs is important.

What is the best furniture for Parkinson's patients?

It's crucial to select furniture that offers sufficient support for the body of a person with Parkinson's disease, alongside choosing the appropriate mattress. Upright chairs and recliners can help promote better posture while sitting or lying down, benefiting those with Parkinson's disease.

How do you make someone with Parkinson's more comfortable?

Making someone with Parkinson's Disease more comfortable can be challenging. It is important to find a mattress, friction-reducing sheets and sleepwear sets for easier moving, and pillows and other furniture that support their body. Providing comfort items such as warm blankets or sheepskin liners can also help reduce discomfort while sleeping.

What appliances help Parkinson's?

A range of appliances exist that can assist individuals with Parkinson's Disease. For example, tilt recliners and lift chairs can help promote better posture while sitting or lying down. Additionally, adjustable beds allow for more control over the sleeping position, which can benefit those with Parkinson's Disease.


I hope that this article has clarified how patients with Parkinson's and sleep disorders can benefit from using firmer mattresses. A firm mattress offers many benefits, such as improved spinal alignment, reduced discomfort, decreased rigidity and tremors, better airflow around the body, greater support for muscles and joints, and more. Finding the right furniture and related items can promote better posture, mobility and comfort to help those with Parkinson's disease.

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