REM Sleep Disorders and Behavior Information
The REM sleep disorders category is a broad one that includes any kind of abnormal activities that one engages in during REM sleep. Most people’s bodies undergo a protective paralyzation during REM sleep. This does not occur in those who suffer from performing dysfunctional behaviors that occur during the normal REM sleep stages.
Disorders that fall into this category include narcolepsy, which is characterized by occurences of sudden, intense daytime sleepiness. In patients with narcolepsy, REM sleep occurs very quickly, usually within fifteen minutes of falling asleep. Patients with this problem are known to fall into a deep sleep at a moment’s notice, often at inappropriate times.
REM sleep behavior disorder is another sleeping problem. People who suffer from this will act out the dreams they have while asleep. This can often lead to dangerous or violent situations, especially since those who suffer with REM sleep behavior disorder commonly have more intense, realistic, and violent dreams. That makes this one of the most dangerous sleep conditions, as individuals with this disorder are likely to hurt themselves or their partners while asleep.
Sleep sex, a rare condition that causes one to engage in sexual activity whilst asleep, is an equally dangerous issue that can lead to rape and the possible contracting of sexually transmitted diseases, some of which are fatal. Many people may claim to have sleep sex disorder, but they can only receive this diagnosis if they are tested to prove they are in REM sleep when the sexual acts are committed.
Those with REM sleep problems usually exhibit similar symptoms during sleep. These include activities such as flailing; grabbing at the air or at their partners; jumping out of bed; falling out of bed; punching, hitting, or kicking their partners; sitting up suddenly; talking; yelling; and waking with a start. This is why sleep disordered individuals are most often alerted to the problem by a partner. Those who have this disorder should avoid drinking alcohol, especially soon before bed, and becoming sleep deprived as these factors worsen any existing conditions.
While there is no one magical cure for all these disorders, there are steps that can help one to cope with or stop having these problems. To get a sleep disorder diagnosis, one usually has to visit a specialist and have tests performed on him or her while sleeping. This allows doctors to understand what is going on in the patient’s brain during sleep and what types of miscommunications are causing the individual’s problems. Once a proper diagnosis has been received, a doctor will work with his or her patient to find the best treatment option available. Drug therapy and possible counseling or psychotherapy to determine underlying or emotional causes of the disorder are two of the most common types of treatments. Those who suffer from these types of problems should not feel hopeless, as there are ways to live with and treat REM sleep disorders.