01/30/2012 04:25 pm ET

Your Sleep Questions Answered: Parasomnia Sleep Disorder

Parasomnia sleep disorder is an uncommon sleep disorder whose sufferers include would-be sleepers from across all demographics. We scoured the Web to find answers to some frequently asked questions about parasomnia sleep disorder, giving you background information so that you or your loved one can literally sleep better at night.

Note: You should not rely on the information in this post as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Patricia Escarcega

Parasomnia Sleep Disorder

Parasomnia sleep disorder is characterized by a range of
. These sleep behaviors may include night terrors, sleep eating, sleep sex, sleepwalking, rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder or other unconscious, semi-purposeful sleep behaviors.

Most Common Type

According to the
, the most common type of parasomnia sleep disorder is the "disorder of arousal." This includes confusional arousals, sleepwalking and sleep terrors.


Individuals with parasomnia sleep disorder may learn that they have engaged in
during the night but often have no memories of these events in the morning.


According to
, parasomnia sleep disorder is a disruptive sleep disorder. It is caused by arousals from REM sleep or partial arousals from non-REM sleep.

Standard Treatments

Parasomnia sleep disorder can be
by underlying medical problems and other sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea and periodic limb movements, for example, may disrupt normal sleep patterns and lead to episodes of parasomnia.


Parasomnia sleep disorder is only as dangerous as the sleep behaviors associated with it. For example, sleepwalking can be dangerous if it causes an individual to bump into something or fall down, says

Quality Of Life

Parasomnia sleep disorder can adversely affect one's quality of life, depending on the severity of the condition. According to the
, most parasomnia behaviors are "infrequent and mild" but "may happen often enough or become so bothersome that medical attention is required."

Have you ever suffered from a sleep disorder? What tricks worked for you?