What is Parasomnia?

The word “parasomnia” is a broad term used to describe a set of disorders in which the person behaves abnormally during sleep. You’ve likely heard of some parasomnia related disorders, such as night terrors, sleepwalking, and sleep paralysis, but there may be some that you’re just not aware of. Wondering if you’re experiencing parasomnia symptoms? Keep reading to learn more.

Types of Parasomnias

Finding out you’ve been behaving abnormally during the night is nerve-wracking. More often than not, people discover they’ve got a parasomnia disorder because they may have family telling them about their odd behavior during the night. Some of these disorders include:

  • Sleep walking. This one is easy to understand. Sleep walking occurs most commonly in childhood and in people who are stressed or fatigued. Sleep walkers move around occasionally throughout the night. They may even look awake and talk while they move around the house.
  • Sleep terrors. Often involving full blown panic attacks, sleep terrors are intensely confused states in which the sufferer screams, runs, and even grows combative while asleep believing they are in real danger. This disorder is common in those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Sleep related eating disorder. Also known as nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder, this parasomnia involves eating foods while completely asleep and maintaining a lack of awareness about the activity.

Sleep Apnea is a Risk Factor for Parasomnia

Prevalence of parasomnia in patients with obstructive sleep apnea is about ten percent. Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition characterized by intermittent breathing cessation during the night. It leads to all sorts of medical complications and co-existing conditions such as parasomnia. Researchers noted that an increase in parasomnia prevalence in sleep apnea sufferers was true regardless of age, race, or sex of the study participants.

If you’ve been told you’ve been having parasomnia-like events during the night and are snoring or showing any of the signs of sleep apnea, such as dry mouth, high blood pressure, or morning headaches, it’s time to see a physician. If diagnosed, your doctor will likely recommend continued positive airway pressure therapy via a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea. When it’s time to start treatment, visit us at Breatheeasycpap.com and we’ll gladly  get you set with the perfect CPAP system to initiate your therapy.