Sleep and Epilepsy

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2015 Jun;22(2):86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2015.03.005. Epub 2015 Mar 21.


Sleep and epilepsy are common bedfellows. Sleep can affect frequency and occurrence of interictal spikes and occurrence, timing, and threshold of seizure. Epilepsy can worsen sleep architecture and severity of sleep disorders. Thus, a vicious cycle is set. Certain epilepsy syndromes are so intertwined with sleep that they are considered sleep-related epilepsies. Poor sleep in epilepsy is multifactorial and is worsened by poorly controlled seizures. On the contrary, poor sleep is associated with worsened quality of life, psychological function, and memory. Improving sleep has been noted to improve seizure frequency and an overall well-being in patients with epilepsy. Hence, an emphasis should be given to address sleep in patients with epilepsy. These interactions are discussed in detail in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy


  • Anticonvulsants