Epilepsy is a common neurologic disease occurring in approximately 1% of children. Adequate sleep is vital for good health. Disrupted sleep patterns are common in children with epilepsy. Sleep deprivation can trigger epileptic seizures, and sleep disorders interfere with seizure control. Together, epilepsy and sleep problems confer lower quality of life and negatively impact behavior and neuropsychological functioning in children. Parents of children with epilepsy also exhibit disrupted sleep patterns and increased fatigue. Higher levels of physical activity are associated with better sleep quality in healthy children and children with cancer. There are no studies analyzing the effect of physical activity on sleep in children with epilepsy.
We will evaluate the feasibility of a motivational physical activity program and its effects on sleep in children with epilepsy. We hypothesize that an increase of the physical activity level of children with epilepsy by 25% will improve their sleep quality and decrease fatigue, potentially producing similar results among the children’s caregivers. A better quality of sleep may result in improved seizure control and general health and well-being in children with epilepsy.