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Bryan Center for Sleep Medicine

2300 S. 16th St.
Lincoln NE 68502


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REM Behavior Disorder

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is the stage of sleep in which you dream. During REM, all body muscles, except for those used in breathing and circulation, are paralyzed. 

If you weren't paralyzed you would act out your dreams. In REM Behavior Disorder, that paralyzation is absent, or incomplete, allowing dreams to be "acted out." 

The dreams may be violent and life-threatening to the person and can result in an injury to themselves or a bed partner. The person will often recall these vivid dreams.


REM is characterized by the dreamer acting out his or her dreams. These dreams often involve:

  • Kicking
  • Screaming
  • Punching
  • Grabbing
  • Even jumping out of bed

When awoken, a person can usually recall the dream they were having which will match the actions they were performing, but they will not be aware that they were moving.

Sleep deprivation, alcohol, certain medications and other sleep disorders can all increase REM and should be avoided if possible.


If you or your loved one have symptoms of REM, we recommend conducting a formal sleep test such as polysomnography performed at our sleep center.

Treatment Options

REM is a medically treatable condition. Medications are prescribed for REM are based on symptoms.

In addition to medication, it's important to make adjustments to you or your loved ones bedroom or sleep environment by removing potentially dangerous objects and placing your mattress in a safe place or surround with cushions to protect against injuries. 

During treatment you are advised to maintain a normal sleep schedule.

Trouble Sleeping?

Schedule a sleep consultation today!

Or call Bryan Center for Sleep Medicine at 402-481-9646.


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