Sleepwalking and sleep-related eating associated with atypical antipsychotic medications: Case series and systematic review of literature.

Journal Article (Systematic Review;Journal Article)


Sleep walking (SW) is a parasomnia behavior characterized by repetitious occurrence of ambulation during a partial arousal from non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Sleep-related eating (SRE) is one of the complex sleep behaviors that may accompany SW. Emerging evidence suggests that NREM parasomnias can be associated with atypical antipsychotic medication use.


We present a case series (n = 5) and a systematic review of the literature of cases of SW, with or without SRE (n = 23), associated with atypical antipsychotic use.


Twenty-eight cases of SW, with and without SRE, with a mean age of 44.8 years (S.D. = 15.04) and a male predominance (75%; n = 21) were identified. Quetiapine was the most commonly implicated medication with SW and SRE (n = 14). Remission from SW/SRE was noted in all cases with measures including antipsychotic dosage reduction, discontinuation of medication, switching to an alternate medication, and use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for comorbid obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment.


Sleep walking (SW), with or without sleep related eating (SRE), can be a rare but reversible side effect associated with use of atypical antipsychotics. More research is warranted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying SW and SRE associated with atypical antipsychotic use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chopra, A; Patel, RS; Baliga, N; Narahari, A; Das, P

Published Date

  • July 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 /

Start / End Page

  • 74 - 81

PubMed ID

  • 32535329

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7714

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0163-8343

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2020.05.014


  • eng