Sleep-Related Dissociative Disorders:
a disruption or breakdown of memory, awareness and identity that occur just before falling asleep or waking up, when very tired. It is common among survivors of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Episodes, which often occur several times a week, may involve defensive behavior. It is a way of reliving the abuse. To an observer, episodes look similar to sleepwalking or a confusional arousal. This condition, which is rare, may be treated with medications as well as psychiatric and psychological evaluations. (See also Psychological Illness and Sleep.)

Eating Disorder:
frequent awakenings at night followed by compulsive, “out of control” binge eating and drinking. It is also called Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED). People are only partially awake during episodes and may not remember them. Sugary, high calorie foods or even non-foods are consumed rapidly. Attempts to stop someone during an episode generally results in anger or aggression. Eating disorder may be related to other sleep disorders, a psychiatric disorder, or to the use of certain medications. SRED responds well to medication combined with good sleep habits.

Excessive Fragmentary Myoclonus: a series of muscle contractions that occur during REM and NREM sleep. Brief, twitch-like muscular movements vary in regularity and pattern. Often, the fingers, toes and corners of the mouth are involved. They differ from periodic limb movements, which are longer in duration. Fragmentary myoclonus may also occur during wakefulness. The movements disrupt sleep, though they are difficult to remember. Other sleep-related muscle or movement disorders may be present. Clonazepam or anti-convulsant medications provide relief in many cases.

Exploding Head Syndrome:
the sensation of a loud noise just prior to falling asleep or waking up. The person is not fully awake. For some people, a flash of light accompanies the sound, which varies from a bang to an explosion. Attacks may arise once in awhile, or there may be several per night. Sleep deprivation has been known to aggravate symptoms. This condition is bothersome but painless. Good sleep habits are important, although in some cases the medicine clomipramine may help.

Groaning: a loud moaning sound during sleep, also known as catathrenia. After taking in a slow, deep breath, the moaning sound accompanies a long exhale, which lasts up to 40 seconds. The groans do not seem to be related to any emotion or psychological disorder. There is also no abnormal brain activity during this REM sleep stage event. Mild restless sleep or daytime fatigue may follow. No treatment is necessary unless symptoms are severe enough to consistently disrupt a bed partner’s sleep, or an underlying condition is suspected.

Nocturnal Leg Cramps: sudden and intense feelings of pain in the leg or foot that occur while asleep or awake. They tend to begin suddenly or can slowly intensify. Cramps last from a few seconds to 10 minutes, then often disappear as quickly as they came. Residual soreness may remain after the cramp disappears, which can disturb sleep. Nocturnal leg cramps differ from Restless Legs Syndrome, which is much more intense and consistent. They may be associated with any of several medical conditions, including diabetes and muscle diseases. Daily exercise including stretching may relieve symptoms.

Nocturnal Paroxysmal Dystonia (NPD): a complex motor attack that arises during NREM sleep. Most evidence points to NPD being a form of epilepsy.

Nocturnal Seizures: seizures that occur during sleep, now classified as a seizure not sleep disorder.

Rhythmic Movement Disorders: repeated body movements and possibly loud humming or other sounds while asleep or drowsy. It is mostly seen in infants and very young children. Three types of rhythmic humming include body rocking, head banging, and head rolling. Episodes occur while the child is drowsy but not fully asleep. No treatment is necessary unless the movements interfere with sleep or cause injury. (See also Children and Sleep.)

Sleep Bruxism (teeth grinding): grinding or clenching the teeth during asleep. The jaw contracts enough during sleep to produce a grinding sound. This action is strong enough to wear down tooth enamel. Signs of sleep bruxism include tooth pain, jaw and facial muscle pain, limited jaw movement, and sore gums. Many people are unaware of this activity. The most common treatment is the use of an oral appliance (mouth guard) worn during sleep. Stress reduction exercises to relax the facial muscles may also help.

Sleep Enuresis (Bedwetting): accidental urination during sleep because a person fails to awaken from sleep as they should when their bladder is full. It also results from a failure to produce a bladder contraction to prevent the flow of urine. Primary bedwetting develops in children who have not yet stayed dry for six consecutive months. Secondary bedwetting occurs in children has experience nighttime bladder control before. Enuresis may be associated with certain diseases, or with child neglect or abuse. Treating underlying issues is important. Behavioral modification including positive reinforcement, alarm therapy, and fluid restriction may help.

Sleep-Related Painful Erections: painful erections that awaken men from sleep. (See also Men and Sleep.)

Sleep Talking (Somniloquy): talking out loud during sleep. It may occur by itself or be secondary to any of several sleep disorders including: REM Behavior Disorder, Sleepwalking, Sleep Terrors, or Sleep-Related Eating Disorder. The subject matter may be mundane or emotionally charged, nonsensical or coherent. It is common in children, although some adults also experience it. In some instances, it runs in families. Somniloquy is harmless and requires no treatment.

Suggested Downlaods

Things That Go Bump
Additional Parasomnias
Women and Sleep
Men and Sleep
Children & Sleep
Physical Illness or Injury
Drugs and Sleep