If you are spending a lot of sleepless nights then chances are you have been looking at a lot of reasons why. All of a sudden you realize that there is a whole gambit of possible causes. One you may have come across is REM sleep disorder… your new question of course is what in the world is that? Well the first clue is that REM stands for rapid eye movement.
Here is an intriguing excerpt from an article that will give you some greater insight into this sleep disturber…
“REM Sleep Disorder Ups Risk of Parkinson’s, Memory Loss
The stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements (REM) is associated with deep sleep, muscle relaxation and dreaming. A new study suggests people with sleep disorders that prevent REM sleep have double the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment or Parkinson’s disease.
Mayo Clinic researchers discovered the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment or Parkinson’s disease comes within four years of diagnosis of the sleep disorder.
The muscle relaxation that occurs during REM sleep leaves a person in a state of paralysis; in contrast, people with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) appear to act out their dreams when they are in REM sleep.
Investigators were able to diagnose RBD by using the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire among people who were otherwise neurologically normal.
Investigators found that approximately 34 percent of people diagnosed with probable RBD developed mild cognitive impairment or Parkinson’s disease within four years of entering the study, a rate 2.2 times greater than those with normal rapid eye movement sleep.
“Understanding that certain patients are at greater risk for mild cognitive impairment or Parkinson’s disease will allow for early intervention, which is vital in the case of such disorders that destroy brain cells. Although we are still searching for effective treatments, our best chance of success is to identify and treat these disorders early, before cell death,” said co-author Brad Boeve, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist…continue reading…
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You can see how important having proper sleep during this period of REM is. It’s the time when you are getting your best sleep that makes you feel alert and refreshed, and allows your body to heal itself. If this is the time when you are going through your sleep deprivation then you could be at risk for additional health problems as talked about in the articles. This is just one more piece of proof that you cannot leave a sleep problem unattended to.