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FND Techniques

Sleep and FND

A preliminary investigation of sleep quality in FND by Dr Chris Graham found many of those with FND reported poor quality in sleep. The degree of functional impairment was also found to directly correlate with the severity of sleep impairment. 

Further studies comparing abnormal sleep in patients with Epileptic or Functional [Dissociative/Non- epileptic] Seizures found time awake after sleep onset (WASO) was high in both groups as well as periodic limb movement disorder. Insomnia, fragmented sleep, daytime sleepiness and fatigue are all common complaints of those with Functional Seizures and have been shown to impact patient quality of life. Though more studies are needed, preliminary findings suggest those with Functional Seizures have a higher ration of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. 

Further studies on the effects of sleep and functional symptoms are needed. Though, general sleep research has found that poor sleep quality can greatly influence memory. 


Most people would agree that having a good night’s restful sleep is essential and aids good health, so it is reasonable to believe that in times of illness, sleep becomes even more critical.  Some even say that sleep is Nature’s best cure.

When getting enough sleep becomes a problem its worth having a check to see if there are simple things that can be done to bring in changes that may help restore a good sleep pattern.

People experiencing FND often become very sensitive to their surroundings, so it’s worth contemplating what kind of atmosphere is in the bedroom.

Ideally, bedrooms need to be peaceful places, with a relaxing atmosphere. So as soon as you enter the room there is a feeling of calm and quiet: a place where the worries of the day can melt away and the feeling of being safe and comfortable can reign.

These days electrical equipment like mobile phones, electric alarm clocks, radios, T.V and computers are now all common features in the bedroom. These can be “invaders” to a quiet, restful space and a subtle reminder of the outside world and the pressures of the day and can interfere with the ability to rest and sleep. The electrical and radio waves of these appliances can also interfere with the ability to sleep.  So to aid restful sleep, making the bedroom an electronic-free room may be helpful.

If there are lots of things stored on top of the wardrobe or there is “clutter” around the room, it might be worth de-cluttering your sleeping space.  If you are unwell, then tackle the task slowly, a little at a time.  Consider the “view” from the bed; there is a suggestion that “clutter” around the room generates visual noise and can be very disturbing to sensitive individuals and even though you may be asleep this visual noise is registered by the brain and can interrupt the restful quality of sleep.

Some people that have FND are sensitive to color, so avoiding red which is a stimulating color may be helpful.  Choose instead shades that feel peaceful and restful to you.

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