REM Behavior Disorder (RBD)
REM Behavior Disorder (RBD) is when you act out your dreams, usually in a violent or unpleasant way that may also result in injury to self and others. Some behaviors include sleep talking, shouting, screaming, hitting or punching.
The onset of RBD can be gradual or sudden, and episodes may occur occasionally or several times a night.
Signs & Symptoms
- Movement, such as kicking, punching, arm flailing or jumping from bed, in response to action-filled or violent dreams, such as being chased or defending yourself from an attack
- Noises, such as talking, laughing, shouting, emotional outcries or even cursing
- Being able to recall the dream if you awaken during the episode
Treatment for REM Behavior Disorders
After participating in a sleep study and you have been diagnosed with RBD, certain precautions can be put in place to make your sleep environment safer, such as:
- Padding the floor near the bed
- Removing dangerous objects from the bedroom, such as sharp items and weapons
- Placing barriers on the side of the bed
- Moving furniture and clutter away from the bed
- Protecting bedroom windows
- Possibly sleeping in a separate bed or room from your bed partner until symptoms are controlled
Also, certain medications can help with RBD, including:
- Your doctor may prescribe a dietary supplement called melatonin, which may help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Melatonin may be as effective as clonazepam and is usually well-tolerated with few side effects.
- Clonazepam (Klonopin). This prescription medication, often used to treat anxiety, is also the traditional choice for treating REM sleep behavior disorder, appearing to effectively reduce symptoms. Clonazepam may cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness, decreased balance and worsening of sleep apnea.
We continue to study options that may help treat REM behavior disorder. Talk with your doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.
If you or a loved one suffers from one of these symptoms, contact Sleep Center at Comprehensive today to schedule a sleep study, so we can help you identify an appropriate treatment plan.
About Sleep Center at Comprehensive
The Sleep Center at Comprehensive, a division of Comprehensive Cancer Centers and Lung Center of Nevada, provides patients with sleep disorders with a wide range of treatment options for those in Southern Nevada and beyond.