Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder

A sleep disorder characterized by experience of physically act out vivid and often unpleasant dreams with violent sounds and arm leg movements during REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep. This is also known as dream-enacting behavior.


Symptoms include:

  • Patient physically act out in dreams
  • Kicking, punching, jumping from bed in response to action-filled dreams
  • Talking, shouting and cursing in dreams
  • Patient will be able to recall dream when awaken

In REM sleep disorder nerve pathways in the brain that prevent muscles from moving during normal REM or dreaming sleep doesn’t work. This leads to increase physical activity during dreams.


Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history from sleeping partner of the patient and complete general physical examination of the patient. Other tests include:

  • Neurological examination
  • Polysomnogram means
  • Nocturnal sleep study

Treatment options include:

  • Physical safeguards in the sleep environment to prevent injuries. Physical safeguards may include; padding the floor near the bed, placing barriers on the side of the bed
  • Medications are prescribed including melatonin, clonazepam (Klonopin)
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