REM Behavioural Disorder

    Many people do not know the significance of this sleep disorder. REM sleep is our “dreaming sleep”. In this sleep except for our diaphragm and eye muscles all muscles are paralysed. This inhibitory mechanism prevents us from “acting out “of our dreams.

    REM behavioural disorder is where movement occurs during REM sleep. This movements could vary from moving in bed to thrashing about. This can result in injury to one self or the bed partner.

    Sufferers of this condition may injure themselves by falling out of bed or hitting the lampshade. They could injure their bed partner as well.

    The significance of this condition is that this sleep disorder may herald the development of neurodegenerative disease.

    10-15 years before the appearance of progressive neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, people may have this sleep disorder

    It is very important to get this diagnosis made with accurate sleep testing and history and examination performed by an experienced sleep physician in this area.

    Treatment can be initiated depending on the diagnosis and severity of the symptoms.