Sleep Behavior Disorder

Also known as: REM sleep behavior disorder, RBD.

What is sleep behavior disorder?

Sleep behavior disorder is a condition that occurs during REM sleep. It’s characterized by acting out vivid dreams with shouting and violent arm and leg movements. In some cases it can pose a danger to the person with the sleep behavior disorder.

What causes sleep behavior disorder?

People with sleep behavior disorder have nerve pathways in the brain that don’t work like they normally should. This causes people to move and act out dreams when they normally would have restricted movement during sleep.

What are the symptoms of sleep behavior disorder?

Symptoms of sleep behavior disorder include rapid, violent movements such as kicking, punching or flailing the arms, talking, laughing or shouting. The person can often remember the dream when they awaken.

What are sleep behavior disorder care options?

Medication can sometimes help with the violent symptoms of sleep behavior disorder. In other cases, padding and other safeguards in and around the bed can help protect the person who has sleep behavior disorder.


Reviewed by: Mercedes Bello, MD

This page was last updated on: January 28, 2021 04:49 PM

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