Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders: a Clinical Review
Patients with epilepsy (PWE) are at risk of developing sleep disorders and there is a complex inter-relationship between sleep disorders and epilepsy. Sleep disorders could be misdiagnosed as epilepsy and also worsen epilepsy. We searched Medline and Pubmed between 1962-2012, using the following search terms 'sleep', 'epilepsy', 'parasomnia', 'Obstructive Sleep apnea', 'restless legs' 'idiopathic generalized epilepsy'. One hundred and eighteen relevant studies were reviewed and categorized into the effects of epilepsy on sleep, effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on seizures, effects of anticonvulsants on sleep, insomnia, excessive day time sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnoea, parasomnias, REM behavior disorder, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and quality of life. Sleep disorders are common in persons with epilepsy. Physicians and general practitioners need to know the interaction of sleep disorders and epilepsy.This problem has been under researched in Nigeria. More studies are needed to assess the prevalence and pattern of sleep disorders among PWE's in Nigeria.
Key words: Sleep disorder, Epilepsy, Nigeria.