Parasomnias can affect people in a range of ways. If parasomnias are causing sleep problems for you (or your family) you may want to see a sleep specialist. GenesisCare can help you get more restful sleep and manage sleep problems with tailored treatment based on your diagnosis.
Managing sleep disorders
If you or a family member is experiencing on-going parasomnias, ask your GP to refer you to your GenesisCare sleep clinic. They will be able to talk to you about the problem and manage your family’s sleep-related issues.
Common types of parasomnia
REM (rapid eye movement) is part of the natural sleep cycle when the sleeper is usually in a relatively ‘still and calm’ state. RDB occurs when someone acts out vivid dreams during this sleep stage sometimes with wild movements that can be forceful.
- RDB tends to worsen over time.
- This can start with mild activity and progress to forceful actions.
- Actions consistent with RDB include shouting, swearing, grabbing, punching, thrashing and kicking.
Sleep terrors, also called night terrors, are episodes that usually occur in the first third of the night during a part of the sleep cycle called slow-wave sleep. They can include a range of different reactions:
- Sitting up in bed screaming and shouting.
- Kicking and thrashing.
- Eyes may be open and a person may be sweating and breathing heavily.
- People do not usually respond to voices.
- A person can be hard to wake. Once woken, they’ll be very confused and may not know where they are or what’s happened.
Sleepwalking (somnambulism) is when you get out of bed and walk around even though you’re still asleep. Sleepwalking is quite rare in adults but for some people can happen multiple times a night or several nights in a row.
- Most commonly involves sitting up in bed and looking around.
- Some people may talk or shout as they’re walking.
- A person’s eyes are usually open and have a confused, glassy look.
- A person may initiate unusual behaviours, many of which would normally occur when awake.
- It’s hard to wake a sleepwalker. If woken, they are often confused.
- Many people have no memory of the sleepwalking event.
This is when a person is unable to move their body when falling asleep, or when waking up from sleep. Here are some common signs of an episode:
- Inability to speak or move arms, legs, body or head.
- You are still able to breathe normally.
- You are fully aware during the event. It usually ends on its own.
- Someone touching you or speaking can help end an episode.
- It can be a scary feeling which may cause anxiety.
- Usually first appears in the teen years and most often occurs in the 20s and 30s.
- There are no serious medical risks from sleep paralysis
Meet our sleep specialists
- Sleep and Respiratory Physician | Sleep Physician
We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of sleep and respiratory disorders.
To give you the best care we can, we have the largest group of privately practicing sleep and respiratory specialists in Australia.