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Dr Natalie Diaz talking about the importance of sleep
July 1, 2020

The Importance of Sleep: Part Two

by Natalie Diaz

Dr. Natalie Diaz is a movement disorders specialist. In this PNI Minute, she talks about sleep and diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

On average an adult should get about seven to nine hours of sleep and if you’re not getting that, or you’re not waking up refreshed in the morning, you should talk to your doctor.

It could be something simple like reducing stress, eliminating caffeine and alcohol in the evenings. Sometimes medications or medical illnesses that you may have may be playing a role.

Sleep Disorders and Disease

Sometimes, there may be a sleep disorder such as restless leg syndrome where people could have uncomfortable sensations or an irresistible urge to move the legs at night, which disrupts their ability to fall asleep. REM sleep behavior disorder, where people act out their dreams by talking, yelling, flailing their arms and legs can also disrupt sleep. If you have a disorder like Parkinson’s disease, you may be at a higher risk of developing some of these sleep disorders.

It also may be that your medications are wearing out at night while you’re sleeping and so tremors, stiffness, slowness comes back at night and making you very uncomfortable when you sleep. So, if that’s happening, talk to your doctor because the doctor can adjust the nighttime medications so that they last and you can sleep more comfortably.

In summary, sleep is very important not only for brain function and for memory, but for our general health.

Watch Part Two of The Importance of Sleep

Watch Part One of The Importance of Sleep as Dr. Natalie Diaz discusses sleep hygiene and provides tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

For more information about movement disorders, visit or schedule a consultation at 424-212-5361.

About the Author

Natalie Diaz, MD

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz, MD, is a board-certified neurologist with fellowship training in movement disorders. Her clinical practice focuses on the evaluation and management of patients with Parkinson’s disease, atypical Parkinsonism disorders, Huntington’s disease and other choreiform disorders, dystonia, and ataxia.

Last updated: July 9th, 2020