What is Parasomnia?

Parasomnia refers to a category of sleep that includes the following conditions which can occur at any age of sleep:

  • Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) parasomnias
    • Sleep walking
    • Sleep terrors
    • Confusional arousals
    • Teeth grinding
    • Restless leg syndrome and other limb movements
    • Sleep related eating disorder
    • Sleep sex
  • REM parasomnias
    • REM sleep behavior disorder
    • Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis
    • Catathrenia

Parasomnias are often genetic but can also be related to brain disorders. They may also be triggered by other sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, and by various medications.

The occasional parasomnia episode is probably nothing to be concerned about but if these become excessive or cause harm to yourself or others, then you should consult a physician immediately. Your physician may have you complete a sleep study to help diagnose any abnormalities that may be attributing to the condition.

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