Parasomnia refers to a group of neurological sleep disorders that cause a person to show signs of being awake while they’re actually asleep. Some common parasomnias include:
Some of these, such as sleep talking, usually don’t pose any significant threat to a person’s health. Others, however, can be serious. For example, sleepwalking can be dangerous because a person is up and about, but not fully aware of their surroundings. Night terrors may put a person in imminent physical danger, but they can be very upsetting and cause major disruptions in sleep.
Parasomnia is typically treated by a sleep medicine specialist who also has extensive training in neurology. A physician who is board-certified in both sleep medicine and neurology has demonstrated their expertise in both fields by passing rigorous exams and is most qualified to treat these disorders and conditions.
Anyone who has exhibited signs or symptoms of a parasomnia should consider making an appointment with a doctor who treats these kinds of sleep disorders.
Because symptoms often include talking, walking, moving or being confused while asleep, people are sometimes unaware of the symptoms they’re exhibiting. Often, family or close friends are the first to notice symptoms. Thus, anyone who has been told that they’re acting strangely while sleeping should take their family members and friends’ comments seriously and think about seeking a medical diagnosis from a qualified doctor.
Parasomnias are treated through a variety of means. Depending on a patient’s particular symptoms and situation, a doctor might recommend:
This is just a sample of treatment options. It isn’t a comprehensive list.
Some lifestyle changes that help with many types of parasomnias include getting more sleep, exercising more and learning to manage stress.
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