Violent/agitated dreams

I have now had PD for some 8 years and of course am steadily advancing with lots of dyskenisia and balance issues.

These are being controlled as best as possible with levadopa (madopar) and various other meds to suit my various conditions.

Recently however, I am upset to find that I am apparently experiencing dreams which can turn violent or very agitated and is only made obvious because my wife wakes me as she finds it worrying that she may be the unwitting victim of being hurt (we sleep in a double bed). 

I sleep very deeply and soundly and it is very rare for me to wake during these dreams.

Has anyone else experienced this and what can be recommended to calm things down.  

Thanks for any advice offered



I had them well before i was diagnosed or well before i aware i was even ill, at first i thought i must be going Mad or it was or it was some form of p.t.s.d comming threw because they featured the actual death of friends from years before, they were there all the time i couldn't switch it off very graphic and somewhat distressing after month and months an year on, then they featured falling down the stairs, i don't know why the change but it was a relief, Now i just launch myself sometimes almost out of bed at the point i'm dreaming that i am falling, I'm told i shout and i also bite my tongue.

My pd nurse tells me vivid dreaming is a known feature of PD, she prescribed clonazepam but i wasn't keen on it  with what that might bring with the pills so declined, there might be something else i havent had a follow on appointment yet.

My wife has them mostly bought on by her PD medications to the extent that i had to remove myself from our double bed as she also swings and kicks & screams or even laughs. We live with it and those violent nightmares do not seem to bother her at all, remarkably she sleeps all of the night after 16 years since her Dx.

When she is dreaming and screaming ot talking I do wake her up and have her turn around ,this oftens helps stop the dreams for the rest of the night. in the states may prescribe a drug called Seroquel as a last resort for hallucinations at night ,however recent thinking by our government health officials is that anti-psychotic drugs should not be used at all with Parkinson's

Wish we had better solutions.




Hi jiveace,

I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing dreams like this, it sounds very upsetting and worrying for you and your wife. Have you discussed this with your GP, specialist or Parkinson's nurse? You might also find our sleep and night-time problems in Parkinson's booklet helpful:

Best wishes,


Thank you for your response.    I have been reading up on this and understand that there are new approved meds that can help but like yourself am nervous to introduce even more into my system.


Thank you for that.    My wife is also suffering the effects of my dreams and I do get nervous that I may unwittingly attack her.

A lot of this was initiated by Amantadine which I was prescribed to help my uncontrolled movements during the day but had to reduce the dose of this as it also caused confusion and halucinations.

Hi jiveace

Just like you, my dreams/nightmares caused me great concern! Many times my wife has had to vacate our bed very quickly because of my wild (sometimes violent) movements during my nightmares. Its amazing just how quick and nimble one with such a debilitating condition like PD can be during these episodes. I've never suffered hallucinations but I often wake up in the night after having extremely vivid dreams. I put these side effects squarely on the shoulders of my medications. Without doubt the culprit is one or a combo of various meds that I have taken over the course of my 20 year PD journey. 

I tried and tested so many (including Amantadine) that it was difficult to put the finger on one in particular, so I finally decided not to pursue more drugs to counteract effects of my PD meds. It works to a degree. My sleep is better and nightmares are fewer. My new motto is; More is bad, less is good!

I hope you find a solution...........which may well be single beds



Mr Jiveace,

I guess after 16 years with PD we both just always say that whatever comes about that "this is the new normal" and try to go with the ebb and flow of Parkinson's ,the hope of course is for better treatments .Having seen a link on WNBC tv station (USA) of a cure for PD in one patient with severe shaking dyskinesia l remain hopeful. That successful treatment was by Drs. Paul Fishman & Eisenberg , M.D's, using  "MRI Guided Ultra Sound Waves" ,targeting the area of the brain responsible for dyskinesia ,this was at  The University of Maryland.

Good wishes,



husband has these dreams and lashes out like mad. He has been offered Clonazepam but they make him drowsey and dopey next day, so stopped them. These dreams do not happen every day and how can you take something to prevent them, when you don't know if they will happen that night or not?


Thanks be ,that they don't happen every night, I have found nothing( in my 16 years of attendance in  PD caregivers groups at hospital)  that eases the dreams and screams other then as you yourself have had  with Clonazepam which has undesired side effects.

What I do (as I must sleep away from her  now because of this) is to yell or getup from my own bed and turn my wife around , I state "you are dreaming" and she moans a bit then "OK" and the bad dreams are  usually over for the night. 

Upon awaking she does not remember these incidents and I must say we are lucky that she sleeps well w/o any medications for such.



Hi jiveace

i was dx pd February this year.

I know where you're coming from, I have been having weird stuff happen with regards to dreaming,

my wife thinks it's very funny but can be a bit disturbing for me. I scream out sometimes, and laughing

and whispering is quite common for me. I have been known to swear like a trooper (I don't normally swear hardly ever) 

i often kick my legs out while dreaming of playing football, I've been on a roller coaster hanging on to the headboard! 

The best one was when I was goal keeping ?? I dreamt I was diving at the attackers feet to stop him scoring 

I found myself on the floor having dived out of bed and into the wardrobe !! (Plus I used to hate being in goals)

i had a chat with my pd nurse and she told me that you can take certain medication to help

but this brings other side effects, so I didn't pursue that option.

maybe you could try some meditation or some other relaxation techniques?

others may have some advice

good luck jiveacei













Hi - your post really made me laugh.   Did you manage to stop the goal?  I have found since reducing the dosage of Amantadine that it is not so bad but guess that as time goes on, this will not be the end of the various problems I will encounter.

Funny old world isnt it?

regards to you and hoping you will continue to have a sense of humour (vital with this desease).


What happens in Parkinson's is that when dreaming, a normal non affected person is in a state of paralysis while dreaming ,for some still unexplained reason this paralysis ceases in a PD person and dreams are often quite vivid and acted out, my wife here in New York City  who has PD for 16 years was able to swim the English Channel... but only in a dream.




Thanks for your message, I haven't been on here for quite a while,

Not sure whether goal went in I think I brought the striker down

and ref awarded a penalty ! Being short and wearing glasses as a youngster 

they used to stick me between the posts and I hated it! Anyway, good news is 

I haven't had as many dreams lately apart from when I was on the roller coaster at Alton Towers ( 

i don't go on them normally but obviously in my dream world I do!

i was shouting woah and hanging on to the headboard!

Anyway thanks and take care


Hi Mike

thanks so much for your message, just goes to show how amazingly

complicated our brain is!

take care both 




Hello Soleil,

Oddly since my wife was recently almost 3 weeks in the hospital for Parkinson's related hypotension problems she had her medications switched around with a few added to treat her low blood pressure

The good news is that her nightmares & wild dreaming episodes have stopped, we do not know why but as they say "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" .

Hope the UK does not have this terrible heatwave we are plodding through in New York City.

Best wishes,




Hi Mike 


i,m so pleased for you and your wife, I'm due to see my neurologist next month so I will ask 

about dreams although touch wood haven't had one for about a week.

last week beginning 18/08 was quite hot for us even! 32  degrees celsius or  89 degrees in old money

cooler now 22 or so.


take care






Glad it is cooler weather in England , Gary !

I am happy because my wife's (PD medication related?) nightmares have ceased, to finally put away the silencing earplugs.

Our present life is trying to defeat "Freezing " freezing of movement ,which is presently at it's worst and quite disabling.

Wishing you good examination results with your neurologist ,next month.

My wife has several Physician appts. next month as well ,one with a specialist in PD related low blood pressure problems perhaps Parkinson's has stopped her autonomous system in the brain from regulating BP as her body might require it and therefore the freezing ,the jury is out today but I expect a verdict soon.

Good wishes ,