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Confusional Arousals - Causes & Risk Factors

Confusional arousals are more likely if you have a relative with this sleep disorder. Other factors that can increase your risk for arousals include:

  • Rotating shift work
  • Night shift work
  • Other sleep disorders (hypersomnia, insomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorders)
  • Not enough sleep
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Bipolar and depressive disorders

Potential causes for this disorder include the following:

  • Recovery from sleep deprivation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)
  • Psychotropic medication use
  • Drug abuse
  • Being forced to wake up

Confusional arousals occur at the same rate among both men and women. Rates are high among children and adults under the age of 35. It may occur in as many as 17 percent of children. About three to four percent of adults have confusional arousals.

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