What Are Parasomnias?

Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur during sleep. Parasomnias may include abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions or dreams. Although the behaviors may be complex and appear purposeful to observers, the person experiencing them may remain asleep during the event and often has no memory of its occurrence.

Parasomnias include:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Confusional arousals
  • Sleep terrors
  • Sleep eating disorder
  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • Nightmare disorder
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Bed-wetting (enuresis)
  • Sleep hallucinations
  • Exploding head syndrome
  • Sleep talking

Related Resources

The National Sleep Foundation offers information on sleep and parasomnias.