#AimForZero Lost Hours of Sleep

Research shows that there is a significant relationship between sleep deprivation and seizures in people with epilepsy.1

Supported by this research, epilepsy specialists and advocates consistently discuss the importance of getting enough sleep with people living with seizures. Survey results show that 3 out of 5 people with epilepsy report they get adequate sleep.

How much sleep is enough sleep?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sleep requirements change with age, and there is no “magic number” because individual sleep needs vary. The recommended amount of sleep for children is 10 to 12 hours per day, for teenagers 9 to 10 hours, and for adults 7 to 8 hours.

If people with epilepsy are not getting the recommended amount of sleep, do not wake up feeling rested, or do not have energy for their daily activities, they should work with their healthcare provider to find ways to ensure they are getting enough sleep. People who also have a sleep disorder or seizures at night can be sleep deprived too. People with interrupted or poor quality of sleep should talk with their healthcare provider.

Learn more about epilepsy and sleep and find tips for getting a good night's sleep.

Sleep and SUDEP

There are additional considerations about sleep that are important for people with epilepsy. The majority of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) cases occur during the night and often times the person is found face down in bed. Learn about research on body position and SUDEP.

For these reasons, the American Academy of Neurology/American Epilepsy Society SUDEP Guideline recommends that people with frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures and nighttime seizures use a seizure alert device or share a bedroom with someone who can provide seizure first aid when possible. Read some common questions and information about seizure alerts.

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#AimForZero Lost Hours of Sleep


1. Kotagal P, Yardi N. The relationship between sleep and epilepsy. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2008 Jun;15(2):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2008.03.007. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18555190.

Authored By: 
Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute
Authored Date: