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Sleep and epilepsy: unfortunate bedfellows
  1. Frances Mary Gibbon1,
  2. Elizabeth Maccormac2,
  3. Paul Gringras3
  1. 1 Child Health, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2 Sleep and Neurodisability, St Thomas Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3 Children’s Sleep Medicine, Evelina Childrens Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Paul Gringras, Paediatric Neurosciences, Evelina Childrens Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK; paul.gringras{at}


The relationship between sleep and seizure disorders is a particularly vicious cycle. Nocturnal seizures can interrupt sleep while a number of factors, including antiepileptics and sleep disorders that cause sleep fragmentation, can worsen seizures. Understanding and managing seizures and related sleep disturbance is therefore an important and treatable intervention target that could potentially improve children’s sleep, but also their learning, mood, behaviour, seizures and parental quality of life.

  • sleep
  • seizures
  • quality Of life

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  • Contributors PG conceived the content of the review. PG and FMG contributed to writing the review. EM wrote the parent account that begins the whole review and read and checked the rest of the review.

  • Funding Professor Gringras and Dr Gibbon are investigators on the Changing Agendas in Sleep and Treatment in Childhood Epilepsy (CASTLE) Project— independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (RP-PG-0615-20007). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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