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Acting Out Your Dreams?


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#1 LauraL

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:17 PM

Has anyone had experiences with sleepwalking or acting out your dreams? Does anyone know if this is common in narcolepsy or IH? I know that sleepwalking is referred to as "REM Behavior Disorder," but I know that there are sometimes overlaps with different sleep disorders, so I wanted to ask.

During one of my schedule naps at work, I was dreaming, and in my dream I was reaching up to grab something on a shelf. And apparently I also reached my hand up in real life, because I woke myself up when it hit the arm of the couch I was napping on. Admittedly, it was a small thing, but nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I didn't even sleepwalk as a child, as far as I know. I'm just wondering if this could be another N symptom--if anyone else out there has this experience, too?

About me: I was diagnosed in April, take 250mg Nuvigil, and nap twice a day for 30 minutes. I have HH, but no SP or cataplexy.

Thoughts appreciated.

#2 Asleeper

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:55 PM

Yes, I will sometimes reach for something in my dream and my hand will move slightly. The movement will usually wake me up then. If I go to sleep after skiing, I'll dream I am still skiing and my legs will twitch like I'm controlling the skis. If I fall then, I try to catch myself and wake up.

#3 thereisnodanaonlyzool

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:57 PM

I don't know if this qualifies as sleepwalking. Sometimes I want to sleep and feel tired and can't sleep so I take an Ambien. Then, If the Ambien does not work right away I will feel the urge to get up and do something almost like a compulsion. I have cleaned, scrubbed floors, rearranged furniture, color coordinated dishes, clothes, etc. My theory is that I'm not quite awake and I'm having a dream about completing a task and acting it out. Luckily it's not a harmful side effect!

#4 munky

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:08 AM

I was diagnosed with REM behavior Disorder many, many years before I was diagnosed with narcolepsy. My insurance at the time wouldn't cover a sleep study, but based on my history, the sleep specialist I saw made the diagnosis.

From what I've read since then, RBD may involve things like sleepwalking, sleep-eating, even sleep-driving, but not necessarily. I've only ever walked in my sleep once. I do, however, act out my "violent" dreams, which is characteristic of RBD. I'm not sure why it doesn't also involve pleasant dreams, but for example, whenever I have a dream that starts out with me being chased by someone or something, as soon as I realize that's what's going on, I don't keep running--I turn and fight. I would wake up in the mornings with bloody knuckles, bruised knees and elbows, broken toes, and once a huge bruise on my forehead where I had apparently tried to headbutt whatever it was. And for another example, once, as a child, when my family was visiting someone, my eldest sister, my mother and I all shared a big sofa bed, with me in the middle. When I woke up in the morning, I was on the floor. My mother moved me there after I punched and kicked her, and bit the crap out of my sister several times--she still had the bite marks when I woke up! I ended up moving my bed out where I can't reach the wall, because I hated the side effects of the clonazepam the sleep doctor prescribed (feeling muzzy-headed in the morning, SP, etc.)

The simplest description I've found of RBD is actually from WebMD:

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.

From recent websearches, I've found evidence of a few studies about the possible connection betwen RBD and narcolepsy. A google search for "rem behavior disorder and narcolepsy" will give you quite a list, but from a brief survey of random studies, it looks like everyone is saying that there may be a connection, but that more detailed studies need to be done.