REM Sleep Behavior Disorder: What is it? And How Can It Be Managed

What is REM Sleep Behavior Disorder?

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep Behavior Disorder is a relatively rare condition. There is no hardened cure for this, but Dr. Nassar and Dr. Festic of the Jacksonville Sleep Center are very well trained and can help you manage the disorder. REM sleep accounts for roughly the last 20 percent of your sleep period in the 2nd half of the night. It is shown by irregular breathing, rapid eye movement, a loss of muscle tone, a rise in blood pressure, and dreaming. The way this turns from uncomfortable sleep to a disorder is how the nerve pathways that prevent muscles from moving during normal REM sleep do not work in a person with the disorder.

Causes and Results of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

There is no direct cause of this that is known. It is associated with degenerative neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Due to the nerve pathways being blocked, people with this disorder often do various movements in their sleep. The type of movements that occur is punching, kicking, flailing, and just like you see in movies; jumping out of bed after a bad dream. Becoming very vocal during sleep is also a result of the disorder. Examples would be mumbling, talking, laughing, being emotional, and even yelling. People with the disorder usually remember their dreams much clearer than people who do not have the disorder. One of the biggest issues of this is not the bad sleeping, but the safety of you or a partner. 

How to Manage REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

The first big step is finding a sleep specialist near you. In this case, it would be Dr. Nassar and Dr. Festic of the Jacksonville Sleep Center. Always attempt to get professional help first. One big way to help control the disorder is to avoid triggers. Triggers in this case would be substances like drugs and alcohol. The best medication you could take for it would be Melatonin. It has the least amount of risks, has very similar effects, and it is the safest option for the elderly. There is a prescription drug called clonazepam that has been proven to reduce symptoms in people by 50 to 80 percent. The issue with this method is that it can have some bad side effects like overwhelming tiredness, forgetfulness, and impaired balance in the morning. Lastly, make sure anything dangerous is away from you, so you do not use it on yourself or others while sleeping. 

Find a Sleep Specialist Near You

If you have any questions about REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, or any questions about sleep in general, make sure to contact us. Jacksonville Sleep Center is here to make sleeping a breeze and give you a solution for your sleep troubles. 

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