The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

My Son's Seizures Right Before Falling Asleep

by Kathy
(Canada)

My son was 2 when I noticed his 1st "seizure" right before falling aspleep during a car ride. I have recorded his episodes and took the recording to show it to his doctor. Right away the doctor said it is a seizure and sent us for a sleep deprived EEG. The EEG came back normal.

So, as per doctor, this is what he does before falling asleep and he will grow out of it. It's been 1 year since the first episode and they still continue on daily basis. Problem is that it truely looks like he is having seizure (eyes rolling back, uncontrollable hands
and legs movement, heavy breathing) but as soon i call his name he stops and he is aware what he was doing, and it only happens right before falling asleep.

Should I ask the doctor to send him for a sleep test? I have read that some children after receiving flu shot developed some types of sleep disorders, and my sons episodes started 2 weeks after receiving flu shot. Any suggestions? Please help.



Kevin: Hi Kathy, While I don't think I know enough myself about what your son is experiencing to comment much, I might be able to point you in direction that could be helpful. Have you looked into the symptom cataplexy? It lines up with a couple of the things you describe--mainly inability to control limbs and possible reversal upon hearing name, a loud noise, or other stimulus.

Cataplexy is a symptom of the neurological condition narcolepsy. What's more, narcolepsy is an auto-immune disorder, so an impetus such as a flu vaccine could trigger it out of its dormant state.

Much of what scientists know about narcolepsy comes from the study of dogs with the condition at Stanford University. Here is cataplexy being demonstrated by the pup of the world's leading narcolepsy researcher, Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, who still works at Stanford and gives lectures occasionally in our Sleep and Dreams class. You'll notice that his dog, Bear, often reverses his cataplexy and comes back to attention when the filmer whistles. Perhaps something similar is happening when you call out your son's name.



Again, I'm not sure if this would accurately describe what your son is experiencing, but at least looking into narcolepsy and perhaps mentioning it to your doctor may be helpful. I truly wish you and your son all the best.

Warmly,
Kevin


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Experiences With Sleep Disorders In Children.




Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?


A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

How This Site Was Made

In 2007 I discovered a guide to website building that would change my life. After learning from it diligently, it would eventually empower me to help Dr. Dement take his life's mission of spreading education about sleep health to the online world. Now, several years later, this site reaches over 100,000 visitors per month and counting.

The results are due in large part to the methods taught in that guide, and they are replicable for others who have knowledge of a subject they would like to share with the masses. I've detailed some of my journey here for those who might be interested.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.