What is a parasomnia?

Parasomnias are a group of disorders that are characterized by unwanted behavior that occurs during both REM and non-REM sleep stages. Affecting up to 10 percent of the population, the term parasomnia covers a wide range of possible sleep issues, including rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder, sleep talking, sleep terrors and sleepwalking.

Parasomnia can be secondary to underlying sleep disturbances like obstructive sleep apnea and periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMD). They can also be a result of medications. Regardless of how they arise, they can negatively affect quality of sleep of the individual and their entire family.

The most important part of treatment for children and adults is to take precautions to ensure safety, including blocking access to stairs, windows and other potential hazards for sleepwalkers. For those experiencing night terrors and thrashing, remove access to sharp objects.

Medications are available but needs vary from patient to patient. For some, it may be a matter of simply improving their sleep hygiene.

To learn more about parasomnias or schedule an appointment with one of our sleep specialists, give our FusionSleep office a call. Our number is (678) 990-3962. We’ll be glad to help you find a sleep solution to fit your needs.