Sleep and Biological Rhythms

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 189–196

Sleep and epilepsy

Review Article


This review article aims to describe the strong association between sleep and epilepsy. Sleep disturbance or sleep disorders are frequently observed comorbid conditions in patients with epilepsy. Sleep state and circadian rhythm influence seizure frequency in patients with epilepsy. In fact, some sleep syndromes are categorized as sleep-related epilepsy. Furthermore, sleep deprivation strongly influences seizure occurrence. The magnitude of the effects of sleep on seizure occurrence is variable, as there are many types of epilepsy. On the other hand, epilepsy affects sleep via both seizure activity and the side effects of treatments administered for epilepsy. Epileptic seizures during sleep often disturb sleep and antiepileptic drugs can alter sleep architecture; some antiepileptic drugs even induce somnolence. Although the close relationship between sleep and epilepsy is evident, the mechanisms underlying this connection remain unknown. Further studies are necessary to elucidate these mechanisms.


Epilepsy Sleep-related epilepsy Seizure Parasomnia Circadian rhythm 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Sleep Research 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Samariyabito HospitalOkinawaJapan

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