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Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal and unnatural movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams that occur at any time in the sleep process.

Confusional Arousals

Confusional arousal is a condition when an individual wakes up confused. The person is partially awake and can sit up and look around. It is a rare in adults but common in children. Infants and toddlers usually experience confusional arousals beginning with large amounts of movement and moaning, which can later progress to occasional thrashings or inconsolable crying. They usually remain in bed and then return back to sleep. These episodes last anywhere from seconds to minutes and may not be reactive to stimuli.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

REM sleep behavior disorder is the most common REM sleep parasomnia. Here the person physically acts out his dreams. It can be a side-effect of alcohol or medication but it could also be associated with neurological disorders and narcolepsy. It can result in injury to the sleeper or others.

Please see a sleep specialist of you have any of these symptoms.

Sleepwalking Disorder (Somnambulism)

Sleepwalking has a prevalence of 1-17% in childhood and is most frequent around the age of eleven to twelve. About 4% of adults experience somnambulism. Sleepwalking may involve sitting up and looking awake when the individual is actually asleep, getting up and walking around, moving items or undressing themselves. Sleepwalkers may open their eyes while asleep or be confused when they wake up. Some people talk in their sleep, saying meaningless words and even arguing with people who are not there.

Please see a sleep specialist if you think you have this condition as it can be dangerous to yourself and others.

Sleep Related Eating Disorder

Sleep Related Eating Disorder is a condition in which people get out of bed and eat while they are asleep. They may eat snacks but also may eat raw foods and sometimes even toxic substances. This can be very dangerous, especially for those who are diabetic or have food allergies.

Please see a sleep specialist if you have this condition.

Sleep Terrors

Sleep terror is the most disruptive arousal disorder since the person may panic and scream, run around and hurt themselves or their surroundings in the process. Most people either don’t remember or only partially remember the experience afterwards.

Please see a sleep specialist if you feel you have this condition.

Nightmare Disorder

Nightmare disorder, also known as dream anxiety disorder, means the person gets frequent nightmares, often about the person being in danger. While everybody gets an occasional nightmare, people with this disorder get them often.

Sleep Eneurisis (Bedwetting)

This is common in children who don’t yet have enough bladder control or the ability to wake themselves to go to the bathroom. It is called secondary bedwetting when the child re-starts bedwetting after a period of control. In adults, secondary bedwetting may be a sign of another medical problem such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection.

Please see a sleep specialist if you or your child has this condition.