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My Son's Seizures Right Before Falling Asleep

by Kathy

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.


(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.)

Comments for My Son's Seizures Right Before Falling Asleep

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Jul 11, 2014
kid that has seizures just the Instant before sleep NEW
by: Sean Mac

Sorry I typed wrong ,, I want the women with the 2 year old sleep seizure child ,,he's having them the Instant before he sleeps me to call me 215 626 5898 I'll tell u about it and there might be hope call asap when u see this I'm Sean

Jul 11, 2014
kid that has seizures just the Instant before sleep NEW
by: Sean Mac

Sorry I typed wrong ,, I want the women with the 2 year old sleep seizure child ,,he's having them the Instant before he sleeps me to call me 215 626 5898 I'll tell u about it and there might be hope call asap when u see this I'm Sean

Jan 10, 2016
Same issue with my daughter NEW
by: Naila

My daughter is experiencing the same thing right before falling asleep or when she gets sleepy.
We did an EEG as well and nothing came out.
We are still trying to figure out what it is.
Did your son stop doing it?

Feb 03, 2016
Same thing Happening to my son NEW
by: daniela

Hi Kathy,

Did you ever figure what this is? My son started doing this about 2 months ago and I first noticed it one early morning on a car ride before going to sleep.

Its starts off with a blank stare eyes blinking and looks ups and his hand moves a little bit. When I call his name he does answer. I also showed his doctor and his eeg came back normal!

Now its been 2 months they stopped for a couple of weeks than came back full force one night and he couldnt fall asleep and kept doing the same thing...

Now he started again but it only happens on car rides or when hes trying to fall asleep or extremely tired.

Feb 26, 2017
Happening to my child NEW
by: Anonymous

My son is 3.5 years old and has been having what sounds to be the exact same thing. Did you find out anything? Has your child been diagnosed? Is it still happening. Any information you could share would be appreciated.

May 05, 2017
Seizures Right Before Falling Asleep. NEW

Kathy I hope your son is Ok by now.
Can you please share your experience with his condition now.
I am worried about this situation, please let me know.
my email is

Jun 15, 2017
wife had seizure every time she relaxes and falls at sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

My wife witch he is now 40 has had seizures since she was 4 months and she also gets a seizure every time she gets sleepy or when at the ER she been given a string pain medicine she gets a seizure she's been having seizures every day in the past 11 years

Aug 14, 2017
Possible Benign Rolandic Epilepsy? NEW
by: Anonymous

My son had the same symptoms when he was a child. After all the tests; it was diagnosed as benign rolandic epilepsy. The Dr. explained it as his body being tired but his brain not shutting down. This condition affects 1 out of 1,000 kids; mostly boys, but most kids grow out of it when they reach puberty, with or without medication. My son grew out of it and has not had any issues since. If you still have no answer ask your Doctor to rule this out.

Nov 24, 2017
Help NEW
by: Brittany

My 4 year old has been diagnosed with epilepsy. He does he same thing but his dr is convinced these episodes in the car and right before sleep is not a seizure! Did you ever find out what was wrong?

Mar 04, 2018
by: Ali sydney

My son is 5 years old. He suffered from myoclonic seizure for over a year, uncontrollably with meds. When he has one it starts where he rolls his eyes back or his eyes are staring off to nowhere, seeing he arms jerk every single night His breathing gets very shallow and his heart rate speeds up, now his not sleeping. I don't think there's any changing he started experiencing one horrible serious side effect of the medicine. I could not get an appointment with a neurologist for 5 weeks. I was filled with worry. Thank God for a wonderful doctor, i read a testimonial of someone on a website her daughter was cure from seizure using herbal medicine. I called the number that was retain at the website, i explain to doctor Lawson about my son symptom and I ordered his medicine. my son used the medicine for month now, his health has change the meds worked without any trace of side effects. For over 1 year now seizure free if you don't have this herbal product it is a. It works, wonderfully. Call him at 979 475-5130 or visit email dr.lawson52@ gmail. com. I'm so grateful that he was able to SURVIVE it

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