REM Sleep Disorder

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, also known as RBD, is a sleep disorder that causes a person to act out their dreams. This most often happens during intense and violent dreams. RBD sleep disorder is generally seen in middle-aged to elderly people, and it occurs more frequently in men than women.

Common symptoms of RBD sleep disorder include acting violent, punching or kicking either the air or somebody close to you, jumping from the bed, and waking up in a panic and recalling your dream. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who have REM sleep behavior disorder are not just moving around while they sleep, they are actually acting out their dreams. This condition can become violent if the person with the sleep disorder also suffers from nightmares. To learn some more information about this unusual sleep disorder click here.


What Causes REM Sleep Disorder

Although the exact cause of REM sleep behavior disorder is unknown, research indicates a connection between this sleep disorder and certain neurological conditions. The sleep disorder has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, and Shy-Drager syndrome.

Current research suggests that 45% of people experiencing symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder are going through a withdrawal from drugs such as imipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, and mirtazapine. A link has also been noted in terms of alcohol withdrawal. The cause of REM sleep behavior disorder for the other 55% of people who suffer from this type of sleep disorder is unknown.


Treating REM Sleep Disorder

There are two main, yet simple components to the treatment and management of REM sleep disorder. The first step is to maximize the safety of the person who has the sleep disorder, and the second step is to try to also ensure the safety of any other people who could possibly be injured by the sleep disordered individual during an episode of REM sleep behavior disorder.

Remove dangerous objects and furniture, place the mattress on the floor, and add a bed rail help to make the sleeping environment safe.

Some individuals may require medication to treat their REM sleep behavior disorder. The medication Clonazepam (Klonopin) has been stated to reduce or eliminate symptoms with a 90% success rate.