Donate to Parasomnias Research, Patient Care and Education

Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that include abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions or dreams. These behaviors may include sleep terrors, sleepwalking, nightmare disorder, sleep paralysis, bed-wetting, sleep hallucinations, exploding head syndrome, sleeping and confusional arousals. People experiencing these episodes may appear to be awake, but they usually remain asleep and have no recollection of the event occurring. Parasomnias are rarely associated with a psychiatric disorder even though behaviors may be unusual or violent.

Northwestern Medicine Sleep Health Centers offer diagnostic studies, treatment options and patient support to those experiencing symptoms of parasomnias. By donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will provide physicians at the Sleep Health Centers the support needed to conduct groundbreaking research in the area of parasomnias, as well as advance treatment options available to patients.

There may be a genetic factor that causes parasomnias since they are often seen across families. Parasomnias may also be caused by brain disorders, other sleep disorders like sleep apnea or by some medications. People of all ages can experience parasomnias, but children are particularly affected because their brains have not matured. Symptoms of parasomnias typically fade as a child grows. Though big strides have been made in parasomnia research, there is still much to learn. Your donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will be monumental in ensuring that research continues and relief is found for those who suffer.

It is important to recognize symptoms of parasomnias to avoid the risk of injuring yourself or another person. Symptoms of parasomnias include:

  • Continual nightmares or disturbing dreams
  • Acting out dreams
  • Sleepwalking or waking up in other rooms of the house
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries upon waking up
  • Consumption of food without realizing it
  • Bed-wetting
  • Waking up with a loud screaming or a terrified look

Parasomnias Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

One of the most effective ways to treat parasomnias is to improve sleep habits. Getting enough sleep, having a bedtime routine, maintaining a regular sleep schedule and managing stress can make a huge difference in controlling symptoms. Behavioral therapy and avoiding alcohol and drugs are proven ways to treat parasomnias. Certain medications may also be used to control symptoms when other changes are not enough.  Physicians at Northwestern Medicine are completing groundbreaking research in the area of parasomnias so that fewer people feel the pain and despair of this disease. Donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will give physicians the opportunity to achieve this goal. Give the gift of sleep with your contribution.

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