Parasomnia means “next to sleep”. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors that may occur in sleep including talking in sleep, walking in sleep, driving in sleep, eating in sleep, wetting the bed (in case of children) or other behaviours such as initiating sexual behaviour while being asleep.
For many patients who suffer from from parasomnias there are other conditions that can look like parasomnia when the actual issue is not a parasomnia at all. It is therefore important to have a good evaluation for parasomnia including more extensive brain wave monitoring.
The parasomnias are often very easily treated and are common in children under the age of 14 and of children aged 5 or 6 who have parasomnias, 80% will resolve by the time they are 14.
Parasomnias can be dangerous for example, someone walking in their sleep might go out of a hotel window and cause themselves significant injury. For this reason treatment should include a coucelling component.
There are a number of characteristic triggers of parasomnias including anything that makes one excessively sleepy as well as stressors.