Many people who suffer from nocturnal seizures may not be sure if they are even having this particular parasomnia sleep disorder. But with certain types of epilepsy, seizures ONLY occur during sleep. Nocturnal seizures cause abnormal movement or behavior while sleeping. The symptoms can be as mild as awakening from sleep abruptly for no obvious reason or to more violent arm or leg movements, tongue-biting or urination. While the seizure can be scary for you or your bed partner, individual seizures don’t necessarily hurt unless you fall down or get injured.
However, it’s important to get treatment. Some seizures may be related to head injuries, brain infection, low blood sugar, as well as drug or alcohol abuse or withdrawal. But even if the seizures are related to epilepsy, they can be controlled without getting worse.
Other sleep disorders may seem similar to some of what you might experience with nighttime seizures. Your sleep doctor will typically recommend a sleep study to properly diagnose the problem and recommend a course of treatment. Medication may be recommended to control the seizures. Be sure to talk to your sleep specialist about potential side effects and alternative treatment options.
For more information about diagnosing your sleep needs, please call our office to set up an appointment at 847-674-3600.