People who have REM sleep behavior disorder act out vivid, action-packed dreams as they sleep. Who is likely to have RBD?
It is most common in men over the age of 50. But a new study from London confirms that it can occur in other people as well.
The study reviewed a sleep center’s case files from the previous seven years. Ninety-one people had been diagnosed with RBD during that time: 62 men and 29 women.
The average age of people with RBD was 52 years; 39 of the people were under the age of 50 years.
In people with RBD over the age of 50, the ratio of men to women was 3:1. The male to female ratio dropped to 1.4:1 in people under 50 years of age.
RBD occurred together with narcolepsy in about 38 percent of people in the younger age group. In the older age group, about 29 percent of people also had a “synucleinopathy.” These are neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
A person with RBD may punch, kick, jump or get out of bed and run - all while he or she is still asleep. Cuts, bruises or broken bones may occur to the dreamer or to a bedpartner.
Contact an AASM-accredited sleep center if you or someone you know acts out dreams during sleep.