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If you suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder you will often violently act out your dreams.
Sufferers of REM sleep disorder may punch or kick in their sleep. They may talk or shout in their sleep or even get out of bed entirely!
All in all, whether you are a sufferer or the partner of a sufferer, you are probably going to notice the condition if it develops.
Here's the basics of REM-sleep behavior disorder, its symptoms and treatment:
REM-sleep behavior disorder is a type of sleep disorder in which you physically act out your dreams.
It is part of a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias. This type of disorder includes most of the very abnormal, unusual or undesirable behaviors which occur during sleep – things like sleep walking or sleep talking.
Rapid Eye Movement sleep behavior disorder – as you might expect – occurs during the REM stage of sleep. This usually accounts for around 20-25% of your sleeping time.
Normally during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep – the sleeping phase in which dreams occur – your limbs will be in a state of temporary paralysis known as atonia. This is why you don't normally physically reproduce the actions you are taking in your dreams.
However, if you suffer from REM sleep disorder, this paralysis either does not occur or is more limited. This means a sufferer can vocalize their dreams, move about in bed – sometimes quite violently if their dream is a lively or unpleasant one – or even leave the bed or perform actions as if they were awake.
There are five different stages of sleep:
Signs that a person is in REM sleep include:
REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms can include:
The fact that the REM sleep phase occurs in a cyclical pattern means that most people experience around four per night. They tend to happen during the morning hours.
Episodes of REM sleep disorder behavior can happen during every phase in some cases. Equally, they may occur one per week or even once per month.
It is highly likely that if you are sharing a bed with someone and display any symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder they will comment on it when you wake up.
The biological cause of REM sleep disorder is that the nerve pathways in your brain which activate in your sleep to prevent your muscles from moving during “normal” REM sleep do not work correctly.
Common causes of REM-sleep behavior disorder and factors which you put you at a greater risk of developing the condition include:
REM sleep disorder may start slowly, but it will tend to get worse as time passes. This makes visiting your doctor and securing treatment an absolute priority for sufferers.
Luckily, REM sleep behavior disorder treatment usually has very positive outcomes. Treatment tends to involve:
Your first step should always be to visit a healthcare professional though – whether that's a sleep specialist or your family doctor.
REM sleep behavior disorder can be very manageable and treatable. Yet it also isn't something you should suffer with in silence.
Henry Warren I am a professional writer and health & wellness enthusiast.