What Is REM Sleep Disorder? by BlueEyedBizGuru

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									     What Is REM Sleep Disorder?

What is REM sleep disorder? The full name for the REM sleep disorder is
REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder and it's a sleep disorder where an
individual acts out their dreams while sleeping. REM, which stands for
rapid eye movement, is so called because of the fast back and forth
movement of a sleeper's eyes underneath their eyelids while they are in this
stage of sleep. It's during this stage of sleep, called REM sleep, that
dreaming occurs. Therefore, it's also during this stage of sleep that
symptoms of this R.E.M. sleep disorder present themselves. These
symptoms are physical in nature and can turn violent depending on the
dream and severity of the disorder.


So what are the symptoms of this R.E.M. sleep disorder? Really, there is
only one symptom of REM sleep behavior disorder - a loss of muscle
paralysis. In normal, healthy sleepers, when they enter the stage of sleep
known as REM sleep, their bodies go into a state of paralysis. It's this
paralysis that stops a
healthy sleeper from
physically acting out their
dreams, twitching and /
or punching and kicking
while sleeping. It's the
opposite for someone
suffering from this REM
sleep disorder. These
people can actually injure
themselves or their
partners while they sleep.
They could do this by
punching or kicking while
they are asleep and
dreaming.
When the individual awakens after an episode, they may remember what
happened in their dream. And, they can usually put together their actions
as they match the dream they just awoke out of. They will not, however,
remember that they were moving.




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What causes the REM sleep disorder?


The cause for REM sleep behaviour disorder is not entirely known. It is
thought that it could be an adverse effect to certain drugs or even
something that occurs from a withdrawal from drugs - including alcohol.
Although we don't know the exact cause of this R.E.M. sleep disorder, we
do know that it occurs most often in the elderly and with people suffering
from neurodegenerative disorders such as Multiple System Atrophy and
Parkinson's.


There are 2 treatments for an individual that has this REM sleep disorder.
The individual may be prescribed Clonazepam, which is thought to reduce
muscle activity during sleep. For people with neurodegenerative disorders,
                                             Pramipexole and Levodopa has
                                             proven to be fairly successful.
                                             However, melatonin has also
                                             proven its effectiveness and if
                                             you suffer from REM sleep
                                             behaviour disorder, ask your
                                             doctor about melatonin - a
                                             natural choice - before opting for
                                             the prescription medicines.


There are some ways an individual can prevent or minimize injuries from
this R.E.M. sleep disorder. If they sleep alone, they can get padded rails on
their bed to prevent falls or they could lay pillows or cushions on the floor.
If they sleep with a partner, they could ask their partner to sleep on the
sofa in the event that their episodes become violent.


Since we enter into REM sleep up to four times per night, it's possible for
someone suffering from REM sleep behaviour disorder to have 4 or more
episodes per night - depending on the
frequency of dreams.
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