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What is Narcolepsy?

At SleepMS, we diagnose and treats a wide range of sleep disorders, including parasomnias. Dr. Clerk is a highly-qualified sleep specialist, with over 19 years of experience and board certifications in both sleep medicine and psychiatry. Learn more about our parasomnia sleep disorder treatments at below or request an appointment today!

What are parasomnias?

Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that include abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep. These behaviors include:

  • Abnormal movements

  • Atypical behaviors

  • Strange perceptions

  • Irregular dreams

  • Abnormal emotions


They are broadly classified based on the sleep stage they occur in.


What are the different types of parasomnia sleep disorders?

The several common types are:


Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NSRED)

A nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder is related to sleepwalking and occurs when an individual eats while sleepwalking. Sufferers of the NSRED parasomnia do not recall eating and are at risk of gaining excessive weight.

Sleepwalking (Somnambulism)

Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a parasomnia that occurs during the early sleep stages. Sleepwalking can include any action an individual performs while sleeping (often standing up and walking around), of which he or she has no recollection.


REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)

REM sleep behavior disorder, also known as RBD, occurs in the REM stage of sleep. An individual with this parasomnia may act his/her dream out and may cause injury to self or bed partner. Individuals generally recall their actions upon waking. This type of parasomnia is more often seen in men over 50 years of age.

Sleep Talking (Somniloquy)

Talking in your sleep, also known as somniloquy, is a parasomnia that can range from quiet mumbles to loud, repetitive shouts during sleep. Sleep talking is typically a repeated act, occurring multiple times throughout the night.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a parasomnia characterized by involuntary back and forth movement of the teeth during sleep, causing wear and stress on the teeth and jaw. Migraines and morning headaches may occur as a consequence of bruxism.

Night Terrors (Sleep Terrors)

Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, usually awaken patients in extreme panic and fear. Night terror parasomnias commonly occur in the pediatric age group but may be seen in adults as well.

What are the symptoms of parasomnia sleep disorders?

Some of the symptoms that indicate you may be suffering from a parasomnia include:

  • Sleepwalking

  • Bedwetting

  • Screaming or yelling while sleeping

  • Waking in the night confused or afraid

  • Consuming food while sleeping without recollection

  • Waking up somewhere you do not remember going to sleep

  • Inability to recall movements or actions during the night

  • Extreme or recurring nightmares

  • Self or bed partner injury


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit our sleep specialist for parasomnia diagnosis and treatment.

What are the risk factors for parasomnia disorders?

Some individuals may be predisposed to certain parasomnias. You may be more likely to suffer from a parasomnia if you:

  • Have family members who suffer from parasomnias

  • Abuse drugs or alcohol

  • Are experiencing stress

  • Are taking medication(s) with side effects related to parasomnias

  • Have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


There are a number of other health conditions and disorders that may be linked to parasomnias. You should check with a sleep specialist to determine whether your health history may place you at risk for developing a parasomnia. Children may experience parasomnias as well.

How are parasomnias diagnosed?

If you believe you may be suffering from a parasomnia, it is important to schedule an appointment with a parasomnia sleep disorder specialist, such as Dr. Clerk, who can evaluate and diagnose your condition. Parasomnia disorders can result in harm to one’s self or others and may have an association with other neurological disorders.

Making a diagnosis typically begins with a physical examination and a medical and sleep history evaluation. Further tests, such as a sleep study, may be recommended to make an accurate diagnosis.

What are our parasomnia treatments?

Parasomnia sleep disorder treatments may include:

  • Lifestyle modifications, which may consist of exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, and other changes based on an individual’s needs.

  • Behavior therapy, also known as behavior modification, which is a treatment designed to help change some of a patient’s day-to-day behaviors that may be contributing to parasomnias. This may also include seeing a behavioral sleep psychologist.

  • Medical management, which may consist of prescribing medications or non-pharmaceutical therapies for the treatment of parasomnias.


If you believe you may be suffering from a parasomnia, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Dr. Clerk is a trusted sleep specialist in CT, who is known for diagnosing and treating all kinds of sleep disorders. Call (408) 295-4532 today!

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