Interactions between sleep and epilepsy.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Sleep is one of the best-documented factors influencing the expression of seizures and interictal discharges. Janz studied the relation between seizures and the sleep/wake cycle and divided the epilepsies into three categories: nocturnal, awakening, and diffuse. Since then, the effect of sleep on the ictal and interictal manifestations of epilepsy has been studied extensively. Many seizures are activated by sleep or arousal from sleep. Interictal discharges are also seen more commonly during sleep, with the greatest activation seen during nonrapid eye movement sleep. Sleep not only increases the frequency of epileptiform abnormalities, but also may alter their morphology and distribution. Sleep deprivation also facilitates both epileptiform abnormalities and seizures. Seizures, on the other hand, also impact sleep. Epileptic patients demonstrate multiple sleep abnormalities, including an increased sleep latency, fragmented sleep, increased awakenings and stage shifts, and an increase in stages 1 and 2 of nonrapid eye movement sleep. These disturbances may in turn be modulated by antiepileptic treatment. This review summarizes the interactions between sleep and epilepsy, including the timing of seizures during the sleep/wake cycle, the influence of sleep on various seizure disorders, the effects of sleep deprivation, and the changes in sleep patterns caused by seizures and their treatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Méndez, M; Radtke, RA

Published Date

  • March 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 106 - 127

PubMed ID

  • 11435803

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0736-0258

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00004691-200103000-00003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States