Young people with epilepsy often experience disruptions in their sleep, which can have an impact on their learning and behaviour.   This page gives a brief overview and includes links to detailed information on other pages.   

The impact of disrupted sleep 

It is not uncommon for young people with epilepsy to experience disturbances in brain electrical activity during sleep, which may or may not be accompanied by a seizure.  

In addition, some anti-seizure medications can cause disturbances to sleep. 

Young Epilepsy research (2018) showed that 81% of children with epilepsy were identified as at-risk of sleep difficulties and/or had significant sleep problems.  

This suggests young people with epilepsy may struggle to get adequate sleep. This can lead to tiredness the following day, exacerbating any learning and behavioural issues. 

Disrupted sleep patterns in young people can interfere with memory formation and emotional learning.  This can result in the young person being tired and possibly experiencing problems with memory and emotional wellbeing the following day.

Find out more about how epilepsy affects emotional wellbeing and behaviour. 

In this section of the guide


Information about how school attendance is affected in pupils with epilepsy.


Seizures, related factors and anti-seizure medications can affect a young person communication.


Young people with epilepsy can have problems with memory.

Motor skills

Young people with epilepsy may experience problems with motor skills.


Information for schools about transitions for pupils with epilepsy.

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Other sections of the guide that may be of interest

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Epilepsy impact on emotions & behaviour

Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a young person's emotions and behaviour, which can produce a range of emotional responses that make academic achievement at school difficult.

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

UK legal frameworks

An overview of the different laws and systems in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Key elements of support

The key elements of support that schools should have in place to ensure all young people with epilepsy are safe and included in school life

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

About seizures

Information about seizure types, triggers, first aid, treatments, records, and emergency medication for schools