Flourish Health & Wellbeing eMag - Nov21 - Flipbook - Page 55
Influence of sleep on
Sleep patterns influence epilepsy. Many people
with epilepsy recognise this association over
time. They find that improving the quality of their
sleep reduces their chance of seizures. At the
time of diagnosis of epilepsy, it can be difficult to
accept that our everyday sleep might be
important in controlling seizure activity.
Quantity and quality of
sleep and epileptic
Epileptic seizures are more likely to occur during
periods of sleep loss. The amount of sleep loss
that can trigger epileptic seizures varies from
person to person. This observation is
occasionally used to assist in the diagnosis of
epilepsy. Diagnosis involves monitoring electrical
activity in the brain using a tool called an
electroencephalogram (EEG) recording.
Approximately 50% of people with epilepsy have
a normal EEG the first time it is measured.
However, when the EEG recording is done after
a period of deliberate sleep loss, for example
allowing only three hours of sleep the night
before, then there is more chance of recording
epilepsy-related EEG activity.
Hours of sleep is not the only aspect to consider.
Poor quality sleep also increases the risk of
epileptic seizures. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a
sleep disorder which can provoke seizures in
people with epilepsy. Although less common,
Restless Legs Syndrome is another sleep
disorder that can trigger seizures in people with