Symptoms of Parasomnias

You should seek treatment whenever there is risk for injury to yourself or another person from the parasomnia. It is also important to seek treatment if the parasomnia disrupts your sleep or the sleep of your bed partner or roommate, or if there is distress about your symptoms (e.g., nightmares), or if the frequency is quite high or escalating. An overnight sleep lab study may be needed.

It is important to know that no matter how unusual or violent the behavior, a parasomnia is rarely linked with a psychiatric disorder. However, people who suffer from parasomnias may endure ridicule, confusion and/or shame about their symptoms. In many cases, seeking help from a therapist or support group can help you and the people close to you cope with these issues.

You should see your specialist if you have:

  • Frequent disturbing dreams and nightmares
  • Recurrent episodes of feeling paralyzed when falling asleep and waking up
  • Acting out of dreams
  • Sleep walking or waking up in other rooms of the house or the apartment with no recollection of how you got there
  • Unexplained bruises and injuries in the morning
  • Been told you are having awakenings with a terrified look and loud screaming
  • Found out in the morning that you have consumed food without realizing it
  • Bed-wetting
  • Seen, heard or felt things during transitions from sleep to wakefulness or vice versa that are not real

Related Resources

The National Sleep Foundation offers information on sleep and parasomnias.