Parasomnia Not Otherwise Specified

chemical structure of parasomnia

Defining Parasomnia Not Otherwise Specified

Parasomnia Not Otherwise Specified (Parasomnia NOS) is the term of the standard assorted group of symptoms for sleep disorders and is defined as any symptoms of sleep disorder pattern which do not fit into any particular Parasomnia disorder category. It is an assortment of many sleep disorders that are described by a disturbed sleeping pattern and troubled sleep. It can be characterized by irregular activities that typically take place during sleep. There are various categories of Parasomnia which also fluctuate in frequency of occurrence and degree of rigorousness. Sometimes, individuals outgrow their childhood Parasomnias, but childhood sometimes these may also continue later in life.

Parasomnia NOS is a common disorder among children all around the world.  The number of cases reported yearly is increasing. The common occurrences of these disorders factors in schoolchildren includes abnormal sleep time, abnormal sleep length, night awakening, or breathing issues while sleeping and a possible mix of more than one of the above. There are other common occurrences like intermittent, violent movement of arms and legs while asleep. This occurs during the deep sleep portion of the sleep cycle and tends to occur later in the night like Sleepwalking and Sleep Terror Disorder.

Sign and Symptoms

  • Violent movements of the limbs during sleep
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Night terrors
  • Frequent hallucinations
  • Exhibition of bedwetting on more than one occasion
  • Day time laziness, irritability and headaches
  • Poor concentration and loss of focus
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Memory loss and decreased motor synchronization

Causes and Risk Factors

Parasomnias NOS are caused by a combination of multiple factors which result in sleep disturbances. Potential risk factors include:

  • Family history of sleep disorders
  • Nightmares and childhood fears
  • Parental cruelty
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Eating late at night
  • Pain and breathing issues

Parasomnia NOS can disturb a person's lifestyle like any other sleeping disorder. There are several other issues associated with Parasomnia NOS, which include:

  • Daytime sluggishness and lack of concentration
  • Accidents caused by sleeping at inappropriate times (e.g. while driving)
  • Thoughts of suicide


The treatment begins with the correct diagnosis of the disorder, which can be done at a rehabilitation center that specializes in diagnosing sleep disorders. If the symptoms cannot be diagnosed under any specific Parasomnia disorder, it can be concluded that they have Parasomnia NOS.  This can be achieved through detailed review of medical records, psychiatric therapy, neurological examinations and polysomnograph or sleep test.


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