While the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation on seizure occurrence was been thoroughly explored, little is known about the effects of day-to-day variations in the duration and quality of sleep on seizure probability. A better understanding of the interaction between sleep and seizures may help to improve seizure management.

A recent study by used continuous data that was collected via intracranial EEG from ten patients undergoing ordinary life activities and spanned over months to years. This long-term data allowed us to explore the association between seizures and the duration and composition of sleep.  Seizure probability changes with day-to-day variations in sleep duration. Logistic regression models revealed that an increase in sleep duration, by 1·66 ± 0·52 h, lowered the odds of seizure by 27% in the following 48 h. Following a seizure, patients slept for longer durations and if a seizure occurred during sleep, then sleep quality was also reduced with increased time spent aroused from sleep and reduced rapid eye movement sleep.

The results suggested that day-to-day deviations from regular sleep duration correlates with changes in seizure probability. Sleeping longer, by 1·66 ± 0·52 h, may offer protective effects for patients with refractory focal epilepsy, reducing seizure risk. Furthermore, the occurrence of a seizure may disrupt sleep patterns by elongating sleep and, if the seizure occurs during sleep, reducing its quality.  A small increase in sleep duration was associated with a lower seizure propensity, though interestingly, a small reduction in sleep duration did not produce consistent effects. The occurrence of a seizure was followed by altered sleep patterns with patients sleeping for longer durations and if the seizure occurred during sleep, sleep quality was also reduced with an increased amount of time spent aroused from sleep and a decrease in rapid eye movement sleep.

Full Study:  https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00214-5/fulltext