Parasomnia Specialist

Golden Gate Sleep Centers

Internists & Sleep Medicine Specialists located in Danville, CA & Fremont, CA

Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up. Parasomnias may include abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions or dreams. Although the behaviors may be complex and appear purposeful to others, you remain asleep during the event and often have no memory that it occurred. If you have a parasomnia, you may find it hard to sleep through the night. At Golden Gate Sleep Centers, Dr. Puja Thakkar offers numerous diagnostic and treatment options at her two locations in Danville and Fremont, California, helping patients get much-needed sleep. If you’re struggling with Parasomnia, call or use the online scheduling tool to request an appointment.


Types of Parasomnias disorders:

Confusional Arousals

This parasomnia causes you to act in a very strange and confused way as you wake up or just after waking. It may appear that you don’t know where you are or what you are doing. 

Sleepwalking (Somnambulism)

Sleep walking may involve sitting up and looking awake when the individual is actually asleep, and getting up and walking around, moving items or undressing themselves. Anxiety and fatigue are often connected with sleepwalking. They will also be confused when waking up or opening their eyes during sleep. Some individuals also talk while in their sleep.

Sleep Terrors

Sleep terrors (or night terrors) cause you to wake up in intense fear with barely any memory, if any, of a terrifying dream. These episodes may cause you to wake up with the look of intense fear, kicking, screaming, thrashing and your heart racing.  Usually the victim experiences amnesia after the event but it may not be complete amnesia. This is very prevalent in those who suffer violent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Sleep Eating Disorder

These episodes occur when you rapidly binge eat while you are only partially awake. You may only have a slight memory or no memory of the binge, and the food may be highly caloric or in strange combinations.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

This potentially dangerous sleep disorder causes you to act out vivid dreams as you sleep. You may kick, punch or flail in response to your dream and episodes get worse over time.  

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis causes you to be unable to move your body when you are falling asleep or when you are waking up. These episodes typically last seconds or minutes. 


Frequent nightmares that prevent you from getting a good night's sleep are considered a sleep disorder. People with nightmare disorder may fear going to sleep or have difficulty falling back asleep because of intense nightmares. 


Bedwetting can occur as a primary or secondary condition in both adults and children. Primary bedwetting results from a failure to wake up when the bladder is full. Secondary bedwetting happens in children who face strong social or mental stress or as a sign of another medical problem such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection. 

Sleep Hallucinations

Sleep related hallucinations are imagined events that seem very real. They are usually visual but may also involve your senses of sound, touch, taste and small. You may not be sure if you are awake or asleep.

Exploding Head Syndrome

This parasomnia causes you to hear a loud imaginary noise just before you fall asleep or awaken. It can sound like a bomb exploding, cymbals crashing or a painless loud bang. Episodes can be distressing and people often mistakenly think they are having a stroke or brain problem. Try to get more sleep each night to alleviate the symptoms.

Sleep Talking

Sleep talking is common and tends to be harmless. The subject matter is often loud and fairly nonsensical. Sleep talking can occur by itself or it may also be a feature of another sleep disorder. 

Sleep sex

Sleep sex, or sexsomnia, is a condition in which a person will engage in sexual acts while still asleep. A condition usually occupied by another sleep disorder it can include such acts as masturbation, fondling themselves or others, having sex with another person; and in more extreme cases, sexual assault (including rape).

What causes a parasomnia?

Parasomnias affect approximately 10% of Americans. These disorders tend to run in families and are more common in children. Parasomnias may also be triggered by other sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and by various medications.

If there isn’t a readily identifiable and treatable cause of your Parasomnias, which is often the case, Dr. Thakkar can tackle the problem from several different angles, using a combination of the treatments above.

All too often, these group of sleep disorders can develop from one issue and snowball into a larger issue because of the way it wears down your physical and mental health. Dr. Thakkar’s goal is to reverse the cycle and gradually bring you back to healthy habits that lead to healthy sleep.

Don’t spend another night struggling with Parasomnias. Call Golden Gate Sleep Centers or use the online scheduling tool to get help.