Nocturnal Seizures

What are Nocturnal Seizures?

Nocturnal, or sleep-related seizures cause abnormal movement or behavior while sleeping. Activity ranges from awakening from sleep for no clear reason, to violent arm and leg movement, tongue-biting, and urination.

Nocturnal seizures frequently occur in people who experience epileptic seizures during the day, but may also occur only at night.

EISC sleep medicine specialist Dr. Andrew C. Peterson explains:

How are nocturnal seizures diagnosed?

In order to diagnose nocturnal seizures, your doctor may recommend a polysomnogram (sleep study).

What treatment options are available?

The most common way of treating nocturnal seizures is with medication.

Nocturnal Seizures

Video Transcription

I like to talk a bit about seizures or epilepsy which can often occur at night or nocturnal seizures. A seizure is an event that happens a behavior associated with a rhythmic electrical discharge in the brain that’s gone be the same thing every time and this can occur when you’re awake or asleep. People that may have recurring seizures are triggered by anything have epilepsy.

Seizure occurring in sleep either sleep quick transition during the night sometimes can be hard to diagnose they can present with unusual movements disorders at night and may present confusion confessional arousals or bed wetting or falling out of bed are all sort what we call parasomnia or unusual behaviors associated with a sleeping phase.

Individual seizures don’t hurt people unless they fall down or get injured. Prolong seizures can enter the brain but those are certainly less common. To sort out nocturnal seizures, when they don’t happen during the day sometimes requires doing an all-night video e-recording.

This can capture the activity what’s going hopefully capturing an actual spell and determine what exactly is happening and what the best course of treatment is. There many things that can mimic seizures and are not seizures can take a lot sorting out sometimes to figure out what exactly is going on and what the best treatment is.


Learn more about nocturnal seizures


Questions? Contact the Eastern Iowa Sleep Center today.