The Epilepsy Foundation states that approximately three million people in the USA suffer from seizures or epilepsy. The risk of having a seizure increases with age. There are many symptoms and triggers for seizures. Symptoms of a seizure may occur as one falls asleep at night and may not be remembered the next morning. Myoclonic seizures occur specifically at night and consist of twitching, clenching and unclenching of muscles, biting of the tongue and cheek and having an absent stare followed by confusion.
During sleep the brain is exposed to attacks and seizures because it is somewhat relaxed and disconnected from daily thoughts or body movements. The brain has little control over bodily movements and thought processes during sleep. This is when the brain refreshes and resets itself.
During sleep a number of seizure symptoms may occur. The only seizure related to sleep specifically is the myoclonic seizure, which occurs as someone is drifting off to sleep. Someone may experience symptoms of differing seizures during sleep, before sleep or because of a lack of sleep.
Stereotyped Physical Symptoms
Seizures often consist of stereotypical movements that are repetitive and sometimes become predictable to the sufferer. Physical symptoms include fiddling with hands, movements that are exclusive to one side of the body, face or eyes fixated in the same position, wide eyes, a strange feeling in the stomach that usually signals a seizure, jerking beginning in one arm or one leg, licking, chewing, puckering or movement of the lips and tongue and a pale face.
Myoclonic seizures take place just as sleep is approaching. It is typically described as having short, electrical-feeling jerks of a single muscle or a group of muscles. Myoclonic seizures involve movements, twitches and jerks on both sides of the body and face. Such movements are also seen in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and progressive myoclonic epilepsy. The epileptic syndromes that most commonly include myoclonic seizures usually begin in childhood, but the seizures can occur at any age. Other characteristics depend on the specific syndrome. Myoclonic seizures can also be triggered by flashing lights, patterns or other external events.
Signs of a Noctural Seizure
People may awake from a seizure unaware that they have suffered it. There are physical symptoms that will prove a sleep-related seizure has occurred. Symptoms vary from mild twitches on one side of the face to repetitive stiff and hard body jerks, episodes of screaming and frenzied states and convulsions. Incontinence, muscle ache and evidence of biting the inside of the cheek or tongue can all point to a nocturnal seizure having taken place.
Help is available through medicines, many of which are new and progressive in their approach to dealing with seizures. Help is available, and you may easily find a treatment regimen that is affordable to you.