I'm going to very briefly cover the going theory on this. You'll have to look it up if you want more details soon, as I'm sick - unrelated to E.
An epileptic seizure is more than just a lot of electrical activity that shouldn't be there. It's also neurons firing in sync in groups, when they shouldn't.
There are times that the brain does fire like that, and it's not abnormal, such as falling asleep, waking, changing sleep phases.
So, if the brain's firing syncs up normally, and the person is already more likely to have seizures, which is an abnormal syncing, then the chances are much higher in those normally syncing moments.
ive had my problems with it,although it stopped probly ten years back when i changed my eating habits.its like i stopped all that junkfood and grewup and started eating better meals.they said i had Obstructive Sleep Apnia and i was having problems breathing while i slept at night.if its happening to you though,my advice is to try and find yourself an epilepsy monitoring unit where the hospital can monitor all them seizures while your sleeping.may sound a bit boring,but if your having seizures in the daytime while your not sleeping also,it can give you a ton of awnsers you never even knew about!once upon a time i had seizures daily,seems the more insight into my condition i knew about-the more i could change and the slower them seizures became.almost to a halt!five years of freedom acually,but why they came back to just a couple per year,i may never know?
for you,you look up different types of sleep apnea and maybe youll see what im talking about.
this is just some insight into obstructive sleep apnea.i know theres more,but i think you may be able to look it up:
Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Several types of sleep apnea exist, but the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. The most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring, although not everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea snores.
Anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea, although it most commonly affects older adults. It's also especially common in people who are overweight. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment may involve using a device to keep your airway open or undergoing a procedure to remove tissue from your nose, mouth or throat
I was not aware of having seizures when I fell asleep until I had the internal grids put on my brain. They found that I was having seizures every 10 minutes after falling asleep. I was not even aware of these until they told me about it. It just makes me wonder if that is the cause of so much damage to the brain when they went in.
I'm .. well, better. Not all better, but human again.
I'm trying to find the info I read that made me think about the sleep brain rhythms, and I can't. Maybe I saw it on tv. I get easily hooked on medical programs.. not like House, though I love it, too, but stuff about real medicine. I've seen some truly ucky surgeries on tv, including one for a right temporal lobe resection for epilepsy. :D Totally fascinating.
So, I did some other research, while laying here wanting my face to stop hurting, and this is what I found:
A podcast -- There's an article, but it's an intro. You have to download and listen to the podcast. It's amazing!
Here's a link from the NIH about understanding sleep. I probably should have put it first. It's a great primer on how sleep works, and possibly why we need it.
What I was looking for, and found, in this article was this: during stage 2, our brains slow, and we have sleep spindles. These are bursts above the slow waves of sleep. This is where I tend to have seizures.. as I transition between 1 and 2. Maybe these bursts are so close to seizures that my brain follows them into the uncontrolled bursting that marks seizures?
I also found something I didn't know that I will quote here:
"If our REM sleep is disrupted one night, our bodies don't follow the normal sleep cycle progression the next time we doze off. Instead, we often slip directly into REM sleep and go through extended periods of REM until we "catch up" on this stage of sleep."
This might explain why I so easily get to REM, and often skip stages 3 and 4. I have an REM sleep problem, and tend to wake directly from it, sometimes not ending it until after I'm technically awake. If I can get one really good night's sleep, it all gets more normal until I get interrupted again. This creates a form of sleep deprivation. Even if we sleep, when we don't get enough of each stage, it still creates a deprivation, and we all know (or should know) that deprivation brings on more seizures.
There is a section about dreaming, about how we don't know why we sleep. My dad offered up a theory once that I think is quite sound. He thinks we dream to sort out the things we have experienced during the day, and file them into our long term memory. People who don't dream well DO tend to have long term memory storage problems. Also, after I've dreamt, even if it's a nightmare, somehow things I did the day before click in better, make more sense to me, and are more easily applied in the future. We may be wrong, but it sounds good to me, and makes a lot more sense than Freud's constant neurosis theories. :P
So, next article, since I said a lot about that one. While, in general, I think a lot of this particular site is stupid and lame, this one article is worth it. Don't read the rest if you read the one before, but check out the chart. It deals with frequencies of brain waves during sleep.
The k-complexes after sleep spindles are somewhat similar to a lot of epileptic seizures. It wouldn't be a stretch to think if your brain is already malfunctioning from epilepsy, it could continue those and turn them into seizures. I'm not a neurologist, so don't think I'm right - just consider it an option. :P
I can't find it now, but I KNOW I read an article about most seizures from nocturnal E occurring in transitions between sleep stages, and most often just after falling asleep, and just before waking. Maybe I read it in Epilepsia. It's a really expensive magazine for epileptologists. Because of the university I graduated from, I have an online library that includes this magazine. Everything I can get to is a year old or older, because the publisher has a restriction, and of course it's almost always in medical jargon, but it has good info. My search for it sucks, and I'm not up to paging through contents of each issue until I find the article. heh. If I find it somewhere else, I'll post it.
Okay, last but not least, pictures! I love visual aids. :D
EEG During Generalized Seizure
EEG During Sleep Stages
Now, obviously, I have an untrained eye.. but stage 4 looks SO much like the seizure above. Not perfectly, and these are very stripped down EEGs, but.. wow. Those pictures alone make me wonder how people with epilepsy could possibly NOT be affected by sleep if our brains are already prone to the patterns seen in the first picture.
So I might possibly having more seizures recently due to my equally recent change in sleep pattern? Actually, those are only seizures I have during the day. I could be having partial ones when I sleep then. My neuro wants me to probably use a take home EEG system in a week or so.