Parasomnias: Disorders That Disrupt Sleep

A parasomnia is a disruptive physical act that occurs during slumber. People who suffer from walking or talking while asleep (somnambulism and somniloquy), or thrash around while dreaming have parasomnias. These physical acts may cause partial awakening, full awakening, or disturbances of sleep-stage transition.

While you or someone you know may experience one or more of these disorders, they are considered rare. The most common are talking while asleep, night terrors, starts (body jerks), and disorientation or confusion upon wakening. In many cases parasomnia activity is inherited.

Types of Parasomnia

  • Somniloquy
  • Somnambulism
  • Sleep starts
  • Confusional arousal
  • Bedwetting
  • Night terrors
  • Teeth grinding
  • Nocturnal eating disorder
  • Rhythmic movement disorder
  • REM behavior disorder
  • Hypnagogic hallucination and paralysis.