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Can a Seizure Be Caused By Lack of Sleep?

Yes, a seizure can be caused by lack of sleep. Some people may suffer a single seizure in their whole life after an “all-nighter” or after a prolonged period of poor sleep combined with major stress. A seizure disorder can take place when there is a miscommunication in the brain’s nerve cells which causes unconsciousness and makes the body jerk and twitch in an abnormal way.

Seizure in Brief

Seizure is basically a sudden impulse of electrical signals in the brain that affect the activity of the body for short span. You can think of seizure as spasm and there are a lot of reasons that can result in a seizure of brain.

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.

Awakening Grand Mal Epilepsy

One of the epilepsy related to sleep is called “awakening grand mal” epilepsy. If one is suffering from this epilepsy then it is generalized as tonic-clonic seizures. They only occur just before or just after waking up. The seizures normally happen in morning but can also occur when you wake up from nap. Usually medicines cannot control these seizures.

Some Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Quite and dark atmosphere is very essential for a good sleep.
  • Go to bed at least half an hour before you wish to sleep. Try reading in your bed rather than watching TV. (Unless reading a novel keeps you awake and watching TV make you sleep).
  • Avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours prior to bedtime.
  • Avoid taking more than one alcoholic beverage a day.
  • Exercises should be done daily but not before the bedtime.

Working on these tips would help you to get rid of sleep disorders.

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