Although disturbed sleep has been frequently reported in patients with seizures, little is known about insomnia and epilepsy. The aims of this study were (1) to analyze the prevalence and degree of insomnia in patients with epilepsy, (2) to examine the clinical features and correlates of insomnia in these patients, and (3) to evaluate the impact of poor sleep on their quality of life.
One hundred-fifty-two patients with epilepsy (mean age 46 years) completed the following questionnaires: Insomnia Severity Index, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory-31. Patients with other known sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, were excluded from the study. Regression analysis was conducted for adjusting for age, years since epilepsy onset, number of antiepileptic drugs, comorbidities, and depression scores.
More than half of the participants (55%) suffered from insomnia and more than 70% were “poor sleepers.” Insomnia and poor sleep quality were significantly correlated with the number of antiepileptic medications and scores of depressive symptoms. After controlling for covariates, insomnia and poor sleep quality were significant predictors of lower quality of life.
These results suggest that insomnia and poor sleep are common in patients with epilepsy and may adversely impact quality of life. Further studies should examine whether improvements in sleep can improve seizure control and quality of life of these patients.
Vendrame M; Yang B; Jackson S; Auerbach SH. Insomnia and epilepsy: a questionnaire-based study. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(2):141–146.