Two cases of premenstrual sleep terrors and injurious sleep-walking

C. H. Schenck, M. W. Mahowald

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49 Scopus citations


There are currently three recognized menstrual-related sleep disorders: premenstrual insomnia, menopausal insomnia and premenstrual hypersomnia. Another category, premenstrual parasomnia (sleep behavior disorder), is now suggested. Case 1, a 17-year-oldfemale, presented with a 6-year history of exclusively premenstrual sleep terrors and injurious sleep-walking that began 1 year after menarche. During the four nights preceding each menses, she would scream and run from her bed. There was no history of premenstrual syndrome. Neurological evaluations had been unrevealing, apart from mild mental retardation and attention deficit disorder; there was no psychiatric history. Polysomnography 3 days before the onset of menses confirmed the diagnosis of sleep-walking. Pharmacotherapies were not satisfactory, but self-hypnosis at bedtime was rapidly effective with benefit sustained at 2.5-year follow-up. Case 2, a 46-year-old woman without psychiatric disorder, presented with a 5-year history of sleep terrors and injurious sleep-walking that initially was not menstrually related, but beginning 8 months prior to referral, she developed an exclusively premenstrual parasomnia that, after polysomnography, was partially controlled with bedtime self-hypnosis and clonazepam, 0.25 mg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by a grant from Hennepin Faculty Associates.


  • Hypnosis
  • Parasomnia
  • Polysomnography
  • Premenstrual Disorder
  • Sleep Terrors
  • Sleep-Related Injury
  • Sleep-Walking


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