Epilepsy and sleep disturbance

Epilepsy Behav. 2003 Oct;4 Suppl 2:S39-45. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2003.07.005.


Sleep disturbance is common in epilepsy, the nature of sleep disturbances in epilepsy is diverse, and the etiologies are complex. Evidence suggests that having epilepsy and the occurrence of seizures, as well as some AEDs, are associated with significant sleep disruption. The occurrence of seizures can have profound effects on sleep architecture lasting much longer than the postictal period. Persistent daytime drowsiness in patients with epilepsy is not always due to the side effects of some AEDs and may be independently linked with sleep fragmentation. Significant sleep disruption in epilepsy has been associated with impaired quality of life and impaired seizure control. All aspects of sleep medicine are important in the management of epilepsy and are confounded by the occurrence of seizures, the location of seizures, and the beneficial and detrimental effects of AEDs. Sleep should be proactively evaluated, and sleep disturbances should be treated as part of the total care of patients with epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / chemically induced
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology


  • Anticonvulsants