John W. Dougherty, III, D.O., David Neubauer, M.D.


  • Parasomnias are defined as disorders that involve undesirable motor, verbal, or experiential phenomena that occur during sleep or with sleep onset/arousals[1].
  • Parasomnias occur due to abnormal transitions from non-rapid eye movement (NREM), rapid eye movement (REM), and wakefulness[2].
    • Often with periods of dissociation or overlap among these
  • Parasomnias are divided into NREM sleep disorders, REM sleep disorders, and "other parasomnias".
    • NREM sleep disorders include: conusional arousals, sleepwalking, and sleep terrors
    • REM sleep disorders include: nightmare disorder, REM sleep behavior disorder, and isolated sleep paralysis.
    • Other parasomnias include: exploding head syndrome, sleep enuresis, sleep-related groaning (catathrenia), sleep-related hallucinations, and sleep-related eating syndrome.
  • Parasomnias are classified under the Sleep-Wake Disorders section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5)[3]

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Last updated: October 15, 2014