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REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Intro

Seek medical care if unusual behaviors, such as violent thrashing and kicking, occur during sleep.

Self-Care at Home

Because persons with REM sleep behavior disorder have a risk of injuring themselves and their sleep partners, safety of the sleeping environment is very important.

  • Remove potentially dangerous objects from the bedroom.
  • Clear the floor of furniture and objects that could injure the person if he or she fell from bed.
  • Place the mattress on the floor, or place a cushion around the bed.
  • Have the person sleep in a bedroom on the ground floor if possible, especially for people who leave the bed during an episode.
  • The bedmate should sleep in another bed until the symptoms resolve.
  • A bed with padded bedrails can be considered.
Follow-up

Because REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) may occur in association with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson disease  , multiple system atrophy, and dementia  , consult a neurologist to rule out these conditions. RBD symptoms may be the first manifestations of these disorders, so careful follow-up is needed.

Outlook

The outlook of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) depends on the cause. In persons with RBD in whom no cause can be identified, the symptoms can be controlled with medications. In persons with RBD caused by neurological diseases, the outlook depends on the primary disease.

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