Parasomnias II

Antonio Zadra and Mathieu Pilon

in The Oxford Handbook of Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195376203
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Parasomnias II

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Sleepwalking (somnambulism) and sleep terrors are known as disorders of arousal and constitute two of the most frequent and impressive NREM sleep parasomnias. This chapter discusses the clinical presentation, etiology, polysomnographic findings, diagnostic considerations, prevalence, and treatment options associated with these two parasomnias. Sleepwalking and sleep terrors share many characteristics. Most episodes arise from slow-wave sleep and are characterized by relative unresponsiveness to external stimuli, mental confusion, automatic behaviors, and variable retrograde amnesia. Episodes can be precipitated by factors that intensify or fragment sleep. Factors suggested as being operant include unusual sleep parameters, elevated psychopathology, deregulation of serotonergic systems, and a strong genetic component. A variety of treatments have been recommended, but well-designed controlled clinical trials are lacking.

Keywords: sleepwalking; somnambulism; sleep terrors; parasomnia; genetics; treatment

Article.  13376 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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