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Can Stress And Lack Of Sleep Cause Seizures

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Emotional Stress And Lack Of Sleep May Cause Grand Mal Seizures

Hidden Emotional Causes and Stress Behind Epilepsy and Seizures

Grand mal or tonic clonic seizures are caused by a disrupted flow of electrical activity in our brain which functions with the help of neurons. Grand mal seizures or now known as tonic clonic seizures have been classified as the first known epileptic seizure. This seizure basically encompasses the electrical activity of the entire surface of your brain. It can be described as the short circuit of electrical signals or impulses and can be at times very frightening. Epilepsy, sleep disorders, brain injury, trauma, sudden stroke and side effects of medicines are common reason that can trigger seizure attack in a human body.

Impact Of Emotional Stress And Lack Of Sleep On Seizures

Emotional stress and lack of sleep have also been seen as common causes that can trigger grand mal seizure or generalized seizure attacks. For people suffering with epilepsy, sleep disorders are an additional health disorder that accompanies them. It is a known fact that epilepsy tends to disrupts sleep and causes sleep deprivation, which increases seizure activity.

In addition, the drugs prescribed for epilepsy are also responsible to disturb sleep. Lack of sleep is a trigger for seizures, so having a healthy sleep is essential for people suffering with epilepsy. Avoid taking too much emotional stress and eat a healthy and balanced diet to cope up with your seizures. Apart from lack of sleep, few more seizure triggers are discussed in the next paragraphs.

Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Dizziness

Do you feel dizzy when you first wake up in the morning? How about in the middle of the day when youre trying to work? Have you ever woken up in the night and felt lightheaded? If so, you could be suffering from lack of sleep dizziness.

Sleep loss has a broad range of symptoms that affect everyone differently. Although its not one of the primary symptoms of sleep loss, dizziness can accompany a poor nights sleep. You may even get a headache or feel nauseous at the same time. Heres how lack of sleep may cause dizziness and how to treat it.

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Basic Science Investigations Of Sleep Deprivation: Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Neuronal Excitability

To date, basic science studies of the effects of sleep deprivation on epilepsy have been largely observationalat the level of the organism rather than the neuron. Sleep deprivation increased susceptibility to kindled and penicillin-induced seizure events in cats, during both waking and sleep . In a genetic model of absence epilepsy, rats were deprived of sleep for 12 hours by shaking of their cages whenever EEG-detected sleep occurred. During the first 4 hours of the sleep-deprivation period, an increase in the number of spikewave discharges was found, whereas in the following hours, epileptic activity returned to baseline values . Limitations of these investigations are that sleep deprivation has not been separated from nonspecific stress. Other investigations focusing on REM sleep have supported the construct that REM sleep and its components suppress seizure activity, whereas REM sleep deprivation facilitates seizures . If this construct is correct, then increasing the duration of REM sleep should suppress seizure activity. Seizure susceptibility in rats, as measured by the threshold current required to elicit afterdischarges in the amygdala, has been shown to decrease relative to the duration of carbachol-induced REM sleep .

How Does Stress Trigger Seizures

Sleep deprivation and epilepsy how epileptic seizures are ...

Unfortunately, stress is an unavoidable part of our everyday lives. Stress generally comes from a particular situation or event that has happened, often unexpectedly, in our life. Multiple occurrences often combine to create a stressful situation. When a stressful situation happens, our body naturally reacts to these changes to create a physical and emotional response. These stressful situations cause us to naturally react with emotions such as frustration, panic, worry, sadness, or anger. While these are the emotional reactions, the physical reaction to stress on our body is what can trigger a seizure.

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How To Keep My Child Safe During Nocturnal Seizures

A common affliction many caregivers of children with special needs must tackle is nighttime disturbances, whether it be insomnia, night terrors, or even nocturnal seizures.

If your child or a loved one has nocturnal seizures, try the following steps:

  • Identify triggers like lack of sleep, fever, or certain sounds which could be causing the seizure.
  • Use a movement monitor or seizure monitor to track movement throughout the night.
  • Ensure the bed is a safe place with padding and perhaps a canopy to prevent falling.

While nocturnal seizures are frightening, fortunately, there are lots of steps caregivers can take to help keep children safe, healthy, and happy even while experiencing this challenging reality.

Read on to get an in-depth look at childhood nocturnal seizures and what you can do to prevent them, and keep your child safe when they happen.

What Increases The Chance Of Having A Seizure

A seizure happens when there is a change in our brains levels of excitability that causes chemical imbalances. These imbalances cause neurons to begin firing abnormally. When this happens, it becomes unmanageable and can result in a seizure. There are many things that can alter our brains excitability and lead to a seizure. These include:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • An increase in alcohol or drug consumption
  • Menstrual changes
  • Stress

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Seizures And Lack Of Sleep

It is quite obvious that we generally perform better when we have taken a good night sleep, be it thinking or reacting, our reflexes work better. Lack of sleep and poor quality of sleep can turn into frequent seizures. The association of sleep-wake cycle with prominent changes in brain electrical activity. So seizures and sleep-wake cycle are clearly related. Most type of seizures are influenced by sleep, however, the degree varies from patient to patient and type to type. If one has epilepsy, lack of proper sleep can increase the chances of seizure, it may even increase the length and intensity of seizures. In order to avoid seizures one should take an adequate amount of sleep, which varies from person to person but a simple definition would be that an adequate sleep leaves you refreshed the next morning. For adults who are dealing with epilepsy, means at least 7 hours of sleep. If you go to bed late, every now and then, and this result in waking up late in the morning, then of course this kind of disruption of the sleep-wake cycle would make seizure most likely even if they take a proper sleep.

Epilepsy And Sleep Deprivation

Seizure disorders – URIS

Getting the right amount of sleep is important for people with epilepsy. While this link isnt present in all patients, losing sleep can increase the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy, including those with no prior history of seizures.

One hypothesis for why sleep deprivation may trigger seizures is related to neuronal excitability. When underslept, neurons in the brain are more likely to produce large changes in electrical activity. In a person with epilepsy, these large changes in electrical activity can become abnormal and lead to a seizure.

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Takeaway: Prevention Treatment And Tools

Keeping a child safe during nocturnal seizures is not a one-step task – it involves being educated on what to do when a seizure happens, how to help prevent them, and taking the time to get a child the professional care they need.

Tools like the Cubby Bed can go a long way when it comes to creating a genuinely safe, cozy, and comforting environment for your child to sleep in.

The Cubby Bed takes a lot of the guesswork out of caring for a child with seizures and can get both you and your child the rest you deserve.

Interictal Spiking And Sleep Deprivation

In parallel with case series that show that sleep deprivation may activate seizures, EEG studies also have implicated sleep deprivation in the promotion of interictal epileptiform discharges . Ordering an EEG, after sleep deprivation, for suspected seizures has become a widespread but inconsistent practice . As nonrapid eye movement sleep is a powerful activator of IEDs , the question has arisen as to whether sleep deprivation facilitates IEDs simply because sleep-deprived patients are more likely to fall asleep during EEG procedures or because the study provides an additional chance to demonstrate IEDs not previously recorded. A critical review of the literature, with emphasis on method, established that sleep deprivation facilitates IEDs, even apart from its effects on sleep . Exactly how sleep deprivation might activate epileptic regions, however, is unclear. Further support for the theory that sleep deprivation activates IEDs came from a study documenting increased occurrence of IEDs during sleep deprivation in patients whose routine EEGs did not show IEDs . Most of the patients had discharges recorded after sleep deprivation, with activation rates not significantly different in wakefulness as compared with sleep. Therefore the majority of evidence supports the hypothesis that sleep deprivation activates IEDs.

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Can You Feel A Seizure Coming On

Some patients may have a feeling of having lived a certain experience in the past, known as déjà vu. Other warning signs preceding seizures include daydreaming, jerking movements of an arm, leg, or body, feeling fuzzy or confused, having periods of forgetfulness, feeling tingling or numbness in a part of the body,

What’s The Difference Between Triggers And Causes

Epilepsy Presentation, Myeshi Briley

Triggers for seizures are not the same as causes for epilepsy. A trigger for someone to have their first seizure may be a stressful situation, but the underlying cause for that person to start having seizures may be quite different. Causes can be genetic or as a result of structural damage to the brain. See more about causes of epilepsy.

Because epilepsy can develop at any time of life, it can sometimes be difficult to work out why seizures have started. If you have a seizure, it may seem to make sense that there must be a particular cause, such as stress, or alcohol, for example. However, the likelihood of having a seizure at some point may have been there already for you, and the stress or alcohol has triggered it.

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What Are The First Signs Of A Seizure

General symptoms or warning signs of a seizure can include:Staring.Jerking movements of the arms and legs.Stiffening of the body.Loss of consciousness.Breathing problems or stopping breathing.Loss of bowel or bladder control.Falling suddenly for no apparent reason, especially when associated with loss of consciousness.More items

Children And Nocturnal Seizures: Frequently Asked Questions

Nocturnal seizures are a common enough occurrence in children that theres a large variety of specific questions and concerns out there to consider.

Below, weve listed some of the most common uncertainties caregivers and parents tend to have to help you further your understanding of this important topic.

What does a seizure look like in a sleeping toddler?

A child may make strange or unusual movements, convulse, adopt unusual positions, and even make noise during a seizure.

These signs can be present even if the child doesnt appear to be conscious.

Do toddlers cry during seizures?

Crying out or making other noises can indeed be one of the signs of seizures in toddlers while sleeping.

Not all toddlers will cry, though, and even those who tend to do so might not during every individual seizure.

Crying during the night is certainly something to look out for, but its not always present, so relying solely on noise to determine when your toddler might be struggling isnt necessarily the best idea.

What causes seizures in two year olds?

Seizures in children, regardless of their age, is generally caused by some form of epilepsy.

Other chronic conditions, injuries, anatomical abnormalities, etc. can also contribute to seizures.

If a child has epilepsy, then the seizures can be caused by certain triggers such as lack of sleep, stress, or fever.

What do infant seizures look like?

Can stress cause seizures in toddlers?

What are the three types of seizures?

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Link Between Sleep Deprivation And Epileptic Seizures

According to the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, one study showed that sleep deprivation is a cause of idiopathic generalized epilepsy in 28 percent of epileptic patients. During the same study, sleep seizures, known as temporal lobe epilepsy, were also observed in 27 percent of patients. A strong relation was found between sleep deprivation and the temporal lobe seizures in patients who kept daily diaries, which included details about the duration and date they experienced sleep seizures.

The information analyzed by Vanderbilt indicated that patients with partial epilepsy, who were free of daily stress, did not seem to experience frequent seizures during sleep or when sleep was disrupted. Those with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, had a higher risk of worse seizures or more frequent epileptic seizures.

Obstructive sleep apnea is an intermittent pause in breathing. A French physician brought it to the worlds attention back in 1965. Since then, the interface between epilepsy and sleep disorders has received more attention. Today, sleep deprivation is often looked at during EEG when a waking EEG fails to show any abnormality.

Driving Regulations For Dissociative Seizures

ESPE 3760 – Petit Mal Seizures

Driving regulations for the UK are set by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency . You will need to stop driving and tell the DVLA that you have dissociative seizures. You may be able to apply for a new licence once you have been seizure free for three months.

If seizures are considered likely to happen while driving, a specialist review would also be needed. These regulations are based on the risks of having a seizure while driving.

Visit for more information.

Find out more about driving and epilepsy

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What Are The Symptoms

Although dissociative seizures start as an emotional reaction, they cause a physical effect. Features of the seizure can include palpitations , sweating, a dry mouth, and hyperventilation .

Some features of dissociative seizures are very similar to epileptic seizures. These physical features may include loss of awareness, loss of sensation, and loss of control of bodily movement.

Do Patients With Dissociative Attacks Have Sleep Disorders Other Than Insomnia

Sleep can be useful in distinguishing PNES from other neurological disorders. Pseudo-cataplexy , pseudo-parasomnia and PNES may have a similar appearance.58 Cataplexy and parasomnia are the most common sleep disorders that can be confused with epilepsy.68,69 Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone or falls caused by strong positive or negative emotions it is usually a symptom of narcolepsy.70 Parasomnias are complex or bizarre behaviours that result from sleep.68 Somnambulism, sleep terror, and rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder are common parasomnias that could be mistaken for nocturnal epilepsy.71 There are no literature data on the presence of these parasomnias in PNES, and studies that monitored overnight EEG video did not describe them.13,57

Popkirov et al found a comparable percentage of sleep-disordered breathing in epileptic patients and PNES patients , while periodic limb disturbance was more frequent in patients with PNES than patients with epilepsy . However, the study was conducted on a limited sample .67

PNES and post-traumatic stress disorder are often linked via experienced psychological trauma, thus sleep abnormalities, especially nightmares that occur in PTSD, might be similar in PNES.58

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How Can I Manage My Stress Levels

We all manage stress differently. A recent study of people suffering from stress-related seizures found that 90% of the people who took concrete steps to actively manage the stress in their lives believed it had reduced their seizure risk. Basically, if there is stress in your life, you should make a personal plan to make the situation better or to avoid it.

Can You Talk During A Seizure

How sleep deprivation could be affecting your performance ...

People who have simple partial seizures do not lose consciousness. However, some people, although fully aware of whats going on, find they cant speak or move until the seizure is over. They remain awake and aware throughout. Sometimes they can talk quite normally to other people during the seizure.

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Managing The Symptoms Of Epileptic Seizures

Avoiding triggers can help epilepsy patients control the number of seizures that occur. Sleep deprivation and stress are two common causes for epileptic seizures.

The support of family, friends, classmates and co-workers is important. They need to be aware of the condition and how to help in the event that a seizure takes place. Many people with epilepsy say it gives them peace of mind knowing that people around them can jump in if necessary.

Here is what to do if you witness someone having a seizure:

  • Lay the person down on his/her side.
  • Loosen clothing around the neck.
  • Check for a medical ID bracelet.
  • Do not put anything in the persons mouth.
  • Monitor the persons vital signs.
  • Stay with the person until medical personnel arrive.

Avoiding triggers and making sure people are aware of the condition are just two issues that epileptics have to think about. People with epilepsy face a number of other challenges, including both cognitive and social problems. The good news is that the disorder can be controlled and patients can lead a full life. At the same time, researchers around the world continue to examine epilepsy and sleep deprivation, in the hopes that eventually epilepsy sleeping problems will be wiped out.

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Causes Of Epilepsy Seizures: Seizure Triggers

Triggers are situations that can bring on a seizure in some people with epilepsy. Some peoples seizures are brought on by certain situations. Triggers can differ from person to person, but common triggers include tiredness and lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, and not taking medication. For some people, if they know what triggers their seizures, they may be able to avoid these triggers and so lessen the chances of having a seizure.

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