REM sleep is the dream state of sleep. During normal REM sleep, your brain sends signals to prevent your muscles from moving. However, for people with REM sleep behavior disorder, those signals are disrupted. A person may act out violent or action-filled dreams by yelling, flailing their arms, punching or kicking, to the point of harming themselves or a sleep partner.
"While much is still unknown about REM sleep behavior disorder, it can be caused by medications or it may be an early sign of another neurologic condition like Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies or multiple system atrophy," said study author Ronald Postuma, MD, MSc, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Identifying lifestyle and personal risk factors linked to this sleep disorder may lead to finding ways to reduce the chances of developing it."
Study - People - Age - Researchers - Participants
The study looked at 30,097 people with an average age of 63. Researchers screened participants for a variety of health conditions and asked about lifestyle, behavior, social, economic and psychological factors.
In addition, every participant was asked, "Have you ever been told, or suspected yourself, that you seem to act out your dreams while asleep?"
Researchers - People - Percent - REM - Sleep
Researchers then identified 958 people, or 3.2 percent, with possible REM sleep behavior disorder, after excluding participants with Parkinson's disease, dementia, Alzheimer's disease or sleep apnea.
Researchers found those with the disorder were over two-and-a-half times as likely to report taking antidepressants to treat depression, with 13 percent of those with the disorder taking them compared...
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