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Causes of Seizure in Your Sleep & the Cure for Nocturnal Seizure

Epilepsy is a severe condition and attending to it in its initial stages will be of immense help for any individual. When an individual suffers from a seizure, he or she experiences body jerks and other actions such as twitching, loss of movement, speech, and consciousness.

Seizures can affect the processing of the brain and produce symptoms such as confusion and lack of awareness caused due to the abnormal functionality of brain cells. The symptoms change from one individual to another. In few, seizures occur only during sleep called as nocturnal epilepsy.

Nocturnal Epilepsy is a Seizure that Happens When You are Asleep

Nocturnal epilepsy is a seizure attack that occurs only when a person is sleeping. The doctor classifies the seizure attack as nocturnal when the person is experiencing them during their sleep. Nonetheless, there is also a possibility for the occurrence of a seizure attack even when a person is awake during a time that is naturally the period of sleep.

People experiencing nocturnal epilepsy may display unusual conditions. The common symptoms include a headache, bedwetting, muscle strain, weakness, joint injuries, lightheadedness, and discovering that they have bitten their tongue. There is also likewise the chance for the individual to find themselves wake up on the floor or find objects knocked to the floor.

Causes of Seizure in Your Sleep

Causes of Seizure in Your Sleep

As of now, there is no known cause of a seizure when you are asleep. However, neurologists often link the activity of the unusual functioning of the brain cells. It could also be due to brain tumors, head injuries, and reduced oxygen level that reaches the brain. Besides, special cases of nocturnal seizures could also result in special conditions such as juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, frontal lobe epilepsy, and awakening tonic-clonic seizures.

Most of the nocturnal seizure attacks occur in the first or second hours after heading to sleep. The same is also true when the seizures happen for the same period before awakening. There is also a likelihood of the occurrence of the seizure attack after waking up. Rather than repeating at nighttime, nocturnal epilepsy also has the likelihood to occur during the afternoon nap too!

As it is difficult to diagnose this situation, the neurologist will consider all the options before arriving at a conclusion. Depending purely on the symptoms expressed by the patient will be impossible to tell that the individual displays signs of nocturnal epilepsy. Additionally, it will be hard for the doctor to know the longevity of the symptoms in the body or the average time of single seizure attack.

Is it Possible to Cure Nocturnal Epilepsy?

If the doctor suspects and categorizes the seizure attack as nocturnal, then it is possible to cure the condition using anticonvulsants. However, it is essential to find the right kind of medication because it is possible for an anticonvulsant medicine to upset the entire sleeping pattern of the person. As regular sleep cycle is essential, the doctor will have to take care of providing accurate treatment that will lower the symptoms increase the chances for the occurrence of nocturnal epilepsy.

How to Avoid a Seizure in the Sleep?

A better measure to avoid the occurrence of nocturnal epilepsy or seizure in the sleep is by having a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep offers a body that needed rest and the provision to reconstruct and re-energize after a tiresome day. At the same moment, it will also help in improving the functionality of the brain and impulses of reaction. It is also preferable to avoid the use of electronic devices before heading to the bed.


  1. Epilepsy Foundation. (n.d.). What are Seizures? https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/what-are-seizures
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Epilepsy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20350093
  3. Epilepsy Society. (n.d.). Nocturnal Seizures. https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/nocturnal-seizures#.YTTwOI4zbIU
  4. Epilepsy Action. (n.d.). Seizures During Sleep. https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/seizures-during-sleep
  5. Medscape. (2021). Nocturnal Epilepsy. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1187333-overview
  6. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2019). The Epilepsies and Seizures: Hope Through Research. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Epilepsies-and-Seizures-Hope-Through
  7. American Epilepsy Society. (n.d.). Seizures and Sleep. https://www.aesnet.org/patients/about-epilepsy/seizures-and-sleep
  8. MedicAlert Foundation. (n.d.). Nocturnal Seizures. https://www.medicalert.org.uk/about/medical-conditions/nocturnal-seizures

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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