Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee


REM Behavior Disorder

REM behavior disorder (RBD) is a phenomenon occurring during sleep in which the patient acts out dreams. These dreams are sometimes violent in nature or may involve “survival” type themes (i.e., escaping death or physical harm).  This disorder can often be confused with other disorders such as sleepwalking. The key features of RBD are: 1) it occurs out of REM (or dreaming) sleep, and 2) it involves acting out dreams. To verify that this activity occurs during REM sleep, RBD is usually diagnosed via an overnight sleep study. RBD is frequently disruptive to the bed partner’s sleep, and is most often diagnosed in men aged 50 and older. It is treated with medication in many cases. Behavioral interventions such as “alarming” techniques to arouse the patient from sleep during these episodes are also used to ensure safety. Recent research has indicated a clear link between RBD and an increased risk for development of Parkinson’s Disorder.
Click here to make an appointment to discuss RBD with a sleep doctor.