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Thread: Active Sleeper

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    Active Sleeper

    Just curious...

    My spouse doesn't sleep walk but he is very active when he sleeps/dreams. Last night he elbowed me in the nose, it was quite painful but it was obvious that it was part of a his dream/nightmare so I'm not angry with him - just a little nervous. He has done things like this in the past but last night was the worst. Is there any way to help stop this?

    thanks,

    jm

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    Re: Active Sleeper

    Hi Mary!

    Hope all is well with you besides getting punched out in the middle of your sleep.

    My brother's wife has been having problems sleeping in the same bed as my brother because he has restless leg syndrome and I was wondering if it may be part of the same problem that your husband is experiencing. But, I found something that may be more closely related to his extreme movements.

    REM sleep behavior disorder. This disorder is characterized by vigorous movements occurring during REM sleep as the dreamer acts out his or her dream. The patient and those sharing the bed can be injured. Effective drug treatments, often using the benzodiazepine clonazepam, are available.

    REM Sleep Disorder Overview More details at this link.


    Normal sleep has 2 distinct states: non?rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (see Sleep: Understanding the Basics for details of various stages of sleep). NREM sleep is divided into 4 stages. During REM sleep, rapid eye movements occur, breathing becomes irregular, blood pressure rises, and there is loss of muscle tone (paralysis). However, the brain is highly active, and the electrical activity recorded in the brain by EEG during REM sleep is similar to that recorded during wakefulness. REM sleep is usually associated with dreaming. REM sleep accounts for 20-25% of the sleep period.
    In a person with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the person to "act out" his or her dreams. RBD is characterized by the acting out of dreams that are vivid, intense, and violent. Dream-enacting behaviors include talking, yelling, punching, kicking, sitting, jumping from bed, arm flailing, and grabbing. An acute form may occur during withdrawal from alcohol or sedative-hypnotic drugs.

    RBD is usually seen in middle-aged to elderly people (more often in men).

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    Re: Active Sleeper

    Thanks HeartArt, that was interesting.

    Fortunately, he isn't active every night and it seems to come and go. It used to be quite bad when we first started sleeping together and then it disappeared. I'm just hoping the previous night's episode was a blip.

    He is only in his early thirties so I hope it doesn't get worse. If so, I would seriously consider twin beds.

    Thanks again,

    jm

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