National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 6: Parasomnias

Treatment of NREM Sleep Arousal Disorders

If no violent behavior is observed, initial treatment focuses on reassuring and educating the patient and his or her family about the fact that these arousal disorders are typically benign and tend to dissipate over time.

Good sleep health practices, such as getting enough sleep and avoiding alcohol use, should be discussed. For some of these conditions, such as sleep-walking, the environment can be made safer by removing harmful objects should be eliminated from the bedroom and locking doors and windows to prevent the patient from injuring himself or herself1.

Treatment may be required if the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) Sleep Arousal Disorders are dangerous or distressing to the individual (i.e. violent). In this case, non-pharmacological therapies for long-term management include psychotherapy, progressive relaxation, and hypnosis. Pharmacotherapy with benzodiazepines (typically clonazepam), tricyclic antidepressants (typically imipramine), or SSRIs (typically paroxetine) may provide temporary relief for those who experience NREM Sleep Arousal Disorders2.

Any underlying conditions that impact the Non-REM Sleep Arousal Disorders should also be addressed.

References

  1. Markov D, Jaffe F, Doghramji K, MD, “Update on Parasomnias: A Review for Psychiatric Practice,” Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2006 Jul; 3(7): 69–76. Published online 2006 Jul. PMCID: PMC2958868
  2. Markov D, Jaffe F, Doghramji K, MD, “Update on Parasomnias: A Review for Psychiatric Practice,” Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2006 Jul; 3(7): 69–76. Published online 2006 Jul. PMCID: PMC2958868