Summary, originally published by University of Birmingham
Children with epilepsy sleep poorly compared to healthy children, and are more likely to experience disruptions such as night terrors, sleep walking or sleep disordered breathing, according to a new study.
A team at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Human Brain Health analyzed 19 published studies on sleep and epilepsy in children and adolescents to try to better understand and articulate the links between them.
Their findings, published in Sleep Medicine Reviews, highlight the significantly poorer sleep experienced by children and adolescents with epilepsy, and present a strong argument for screening children for sleep problems as an integral part of diagnosis and management of the condition.
Lead author Alice Winsor explains: “We know that sleep and epilepsy have a bidirectional relationship: Epilepsy has an impact on sleep, because of seizures waking children up in the night, for example. At the same time, disrupted sleep can increase the likelihood of seizures. Despite the available research, however, sleep is not routinely evaluated by clinicians during the diagnosis and care of this condition.”