Parasomnias: A Comprehensive Review

Cureus. 2018 Dec 31;10(12):e3807. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3807.


Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders characterized by abnormal, unpleasant motor verbal or behavioral events that occur during sleep or wake to sleep transitions. Parasomnias can occur during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) stages of sleep and are more commonly seen in children than the adult population. Parasomnias can be distressful for the patient and their bed partners and most of the time, these complaints are brought up by their bed partners because of the possible disruption in their quality of sleep. As clinicians, it is crucial to understand the characteristics of various parasomnias and address them with detailed sleep history and essential diagnostic approach for proper evaluation. The review aims to highlight the epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical features of various types of parasomnias along with the appropriate diagnostic and pharmacological approach.

Keywords: confusional arousals; nightmares; nrem parasomnias; parasomnia; rem behavior disorder; rem parasomnias; sleep paralysis; sleep terror; sleep walking.

Publication types

  • Review