Parasomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by unusual and unpleasant bodily sensations or feelings that disrupt sleep. Parasomnia can occur before, during, or after waking from sleep. If you have parasomnia, you may have bizarre movements, talk, convey feelings, or do strange things. You are sleeping, but your bedmate may think you are awake.
They may occur while you are about to fall asleep, while you are sleeping, or at any other time between sleeping and waking. The majority of parasomnias are classified as either REM (rapid eye movement) or non-REM parasomnias.
REM and non-REM sleep are the stages of sleep that your body goes through every night, approximately every 90 minutes.
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Are there several types of parasomnia?
Yes. The type of parasomnia is determined by the stage of sleep in which it occurs. Non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep are the two types of sleep. Other parasomnias are classified as “other.”
What is non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) sleep? What parasomnias occur at this stage of sleep?
Non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) sleep is the first three stages of sleep — from initially falling asleep to around the first half of the night. Non-REM sleep disorders are often called arousal disorders.
Non-REM parasomnias entail physical and verbal activity. During these occurrences, you are not fully awake or aware, you are not responsive to others’ attempts to interact with you, and you usually do not recall or just partially remember the incident the next day. Non-REM parasomnias mainly occur in individuals between five and 25 years of age. Non-REM parasomnias commonly occur in those who have a family history of comparable parasomnias.
Non-REM sleep parasomnias include the following:
Sleep terrors: If you suffer from this sleep disorder, you will awaken in a panicked state. In terror, you might scream or cry out. Sleep terrors are got closer (30 seconds), but they can linger for several minutes. A beating heart, slitted eyes with dilated pupils, quick breathing, and heavy perspiration are also indications of this condition.
Sleepwalking (somnambulism) occurs when a person gets out of bed and moves around while still asleep. You can either mumble or speak (sleep talking).
You could do tough tasks like driving or playing a musical instrument, or you could do weird things like urinating in a closet or moving furniture.
Sleepwalking can be dangerous and end in injury because you are unaware of your surroundings. You might collide with something or fall.
Confusional arousals:- When you appear to be half awake yet are confused and disoriented regarding time and place, you have confusional arousal. You remain in bed, but you may sit up, keep your eyes open, and cry. You speak slowly, struggle to understand questions, and respond appropriately.
The duration of the occurrence can range from a few minutes to several hours. Confusional arousals are common in childhood and become less common as one gets older.
Eating disorder connected with sleep: If you suffer from this sleep condition, you drink and eat when half awake. You may eat meals or combinations that you would not normally eat when you awake (such as uncooked chicken or slabs of butter). Risks include eating indigestible or toxic meals, consuming unhealthy or excessive amounts of food, and being hurt while preparing or cooking foods.
What factors contribute to parasomnias?
The causes of parasomnias can be divided into those that interrupt sleep and those that are related to overall health.
Sleep disturbances include:
- The transition from just being awake to a stage of sleep is insufficient.
- Sleep deprivation and erratic sleep-wake cycles (jet lag or shift work).
- Examples include medications that induce sleep, reduce symptoms, treat psychotic diseases, treat high blood pressure and treat seizures. Asthma/allergies and infections should be treated.
- Medical diseases that disrupt sleep include wandering leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, pain, narcolepsy, lack of sleep, circadian rhythm problems, and periodic limb movement disorder.
- The sleep-wake cycle is in its infancy (in children with parasomnias).
Other health concerns:
- Abuse of alcohol or other substances.
- Brain damage.
- Menstruation or pregnancy.
- Genetics. You are more prone to have parasomnias if you have a family history of them.
- Encephalitis is an example of an inflammatory disease.
- Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are examples of psychiatric illnesses.
- Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, stroke, multiple system atrophy, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, migraines, and spinocerebellar ataxia type three are all examples of neurological disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of parasomnias?
Every type of parasomnia has some symptoms of its own. However, the following are some of the most common symptoms:
- It is tough to sleep at night.
- waking up perplexed or perplexed
- Being tired during the day.
- Discovering scrapes and bruises on your body with no recall of their origin.
- exhibiting gestures, expressions, vocalizations, or actions that you do not recall, as described by your bed partner
What is the treatment for parasomnias?
The management approach begins with identifying and addressing any underlying sleep problems or medical issues, as well as investigating medicines that may be triggering the parasomnia.
The following are general management options for both non-REM and REM sleep disorders:
- Maintain good sleep hygiene (get 7-9 hours of sleep every night; turn off lights, TV, and electronic gadgets; keep the room temperature cool; avoid caffeine and vigorous exercise close to bedtime).
- Maintain your normal sleep-wake cycle.
- Maintaining a proper schedule of bedtime and waking time
- Limit or avoid the use of alcohol and recreational substances.
- Intake all medicines