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Nocturnal epilepsy is a seizure disorder in which seizures occur only while sleeping[1]. Several common forms of epilepsy, including frontal lobe epilepsy, can manifest in a nocturnal state.


The condition may be difficult to diagnose. The subject himself/herself may be unaware s/he is having a seizure disorder[2]. To others, the involuntary movements made during sleep may appear no different than those typical to normal sleep[3].

One who suffers a nocturnal seizure may notice some unusual differences upon awakening in the morning, such as a headache, having wet his/her bed, having bit his/her tongue, a bone or joint injury, or lightheadedness. Others may notice unusual mental behaviors with the person, consistent with the aftermath of a seizure[4].


Like other forms of epilepsy, noctural epilepsy can be treated with anticonvulsants. Carbamazepine has been found to work the best[5].


  • Manford, Mark (2003), Practical Guide to Epilepsy, Butterworth-Heinemann, ISBN 0750646217  

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