Milena Pavlova, MD, neurologist, and medical director of the sleep testing center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner hospital, says that since sleep disorders are common, it’s important to consider that sleep can be a separate symptom from epilepsy.
Sleep disorders are common in people with epilepsy, and it's important to consider that sleep disorders can be separate from epilepsy, says Milena Pavlova, MD, neurologist, and medical director of the sleep testing center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner hospital.
Why should sleep be treated as a separate entity from epilepsy?
The reason to address sleep as a separate entity is because these disorders are common. Well over half of the patients with epilepsy will have insomnia complaints, and that often correlates with the frequency of seizures. Sleep apnea is something that's also very common, also more common when people gain weight. And patients with epilepsy may gain weight as a result of the medication treatment and sometimes inactivity and various other things, so it is something to consider. It is important not to attribute sleepiness to the fact that the patient has epilepsy. It can be a separate symptom.