[Epilepsy and sleep disorders]

MMW Fortschr Med. 2005 May 17;147 Spec No 2:54-7.
[Article in German]


Sleep disorders often occur in patients with epilepsy. Every neurologist is familiar with the postictal drowsiness after tonicoclonic convulsions and likewise with the provocation of an attack after sleep deprivation that is often combined with alcohol consumption. It is more difficult to differentiate between motor disturbances and epileptic episodes during sleep. For example, nocturnal paroxysmal dystonia, which are frequently an expression of frontal lobe epilepsy, are long not recognized as non-epileptic, sleep-associated attacks. In addition, nocturnal episodes in context of a REM sleep behavioral disturbance can occasionally be differentiated from frontal lobe epileptic seizures only with great difficulty. A clear differential diagnostics between epileptic and non-epileptic attacks during sleep is, however, a requirement for a selective treatment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dreams*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Night Terrors / etiology*
  • Sleep-Wake Transition Disorders / etiology*
  • Somnambulism / etiology*
  • Video Recording*


  • Anticonvulsants