REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Disorders

REM disorders, also known as parasomnias, are sleep disorders that can involve recurrent nightmares, night terrors, and sleepwalking, sleep talking, head banging, wetting the bed or teeth grinding. The normal sleep cycle has distinct stages, from light drowsiness to deep sleep. During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the eyes move quickly and vivid dreaming is most common. Each night people go through several cycles of non-REM and REM sleep. The causes for REM disorders is not fully understood, however fatigue, lack of sleep, and anxiety are all associated with most parasomnias. In some cases, parasomnias may be genetic in nature. In adults, REM disorders can also occur:

  • with the regular use of alcohol, sedatives, or other medications
  • as a result of medical conditions, such as partial complex seizures
  • as part of mental disorders


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