Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dangerous dreaming: Kicking, screaming and falling out of bed might be more common than reported

Date:
September 21, 2012
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
A troubling sleep disorder that causes sleepers to physically act out their dreams by kicking, screaming or falling out of bed may be more common than reported, according to specialists.

A troubling sleep disorder that causes sleepers to physically act out their dreams by kicking, screaming or falling out of bed may be more common than reported, according to Loyola University Medical Center sleep specialist Dr. Nabeela Nasir. The condition is called REM behavior disorder. The sleeper, usually a man, will kick, punch, scream, thrash about or fall out of bed, potentially injuring himself or his partner.

"I don't think we have a clear idea how prevalent it is," Dr. Nasir said. "Patients don't report it, and doctors don't ask about it."

Dr. Nasir would like to raise awareness of the disorder, because sufferers often can be treated successfully with medications. And even when medications don't work, patients can prevent injuries to themselves and their partners by safe-proofing their bedrooms, Dr. Nasir said.

REM behavior disorder occurs during rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, when dreams occur. Normally, a sleeper's muscles don't move during dreams. But this temporary paralysis doesn't occur in patients with REM behavior disorder. They physically act out vivid dreams in which they are, for example, running, fighting, hunting, warding off attackers, etc. REM behavior disorder belongs to a class of sleeping disorders called parasomnias, which also includes sleep walking and eating while sleeping.

REM behavior disorder occurs most often in men, typically after age 60. Many patients eventually develop Parkinson's disease or other neurodegenerative disorders -- but this does not happen to everyone.

Many patients can be successfully treated with a class of medications called benzodiazepines. One such drug is clonazepam, which works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. (Side effects may include daytime drowsiness and dependence.) Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, also is being studied as a treatment.

Dr. Nasir recommends safe-proofing the bedroom. For example: Sleep on a mattress on the floor; clear the room of furniture and objects that could cause injury, such as glass lamps; and sleep alone, if necessary.

Not all dream enactments are caused by REM behavior disorder. In some people, alcohol or antidepressants can trigger dream enactments, Dr. Nasir said. A patient who acts out his or her dreams, or experiences other sleep disorders, should see a sleep specialist, Dr. Nasir said.

Dr. Nasir is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She is board certified in Neurology and Sleep Medicine and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Dangerous dreaming: Kicking, screaming and falling out of bed might be more common than reported." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120921111032.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2012, September 21). Dangerous dreaming: Kicking, screaming and falling out of bed might be more common than reported. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120921111032.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Dangerous dreaming: Kicking, screaming and falling out of bed might be more common than reported." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120921111032.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins