December 15, 2020

Prevalence of Sleep Disorders in Patients with Epilepsy: A Questionnaire-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy and Behavior

Background: Sleep disturbance is a frequent finding in patients with epilepsy. As evaluation of sleep disorders and quality of sleep in patients with epilepsy may provide better management of these patients, we aimed to assess the prevalence of common sleep disorders in patients with epilepsy.

Methods: Patients with epilepsy referred to an outpatient epilepsy clinic in Tehran during one year were included. Validated Persian questionnaires were used by an interviewer to assess Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), Restless leg syndrome (RLS), and insomnia. Also, patients’ demographic features and clinical seizure-related characteristics were recorded.

Results: Seventy patients (35 males) aged between 18 and 75 were enrolled. Among patients, 61.4, 35.7, and 28.6% suffered from insomnia, EDS, and RLS, respectively (mild to severe). When considering seizure characteristics, there was no significant correlation between either seizure frequency or its type and the prevalence of sleep disturbance (although sleep disturbance was more common among patients with higher seizure frequency and patients with generalized seizure). Interestingly, age had a positive correlation with EDS.

Conclusion: This study showed that sleep disturbance is a common finding in patients with epilepsy, which may become severe in some cases. Taking this into consideration, we suggest that routine evaluation of sleep disorders may help physicians to boost patients’ sleep quality.