To diagnose your condition, your doctor will review your medical history and your symptoms. Your evaluation may include tests such as:
- Physical and neurological exam. Your doctor will conduct a physical and neurological exam and evaluate you for REM sleep behavior disorder and other sleep disorders. REM sleep behavior disorder may have symptoms similar to other sleep disorders, or it may coexist with other sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.
- Nocturnal sleep study (polysomnogram). Doctors may evaluate your condition during an overnight study in a sleep laboratory. During this test, sensors monitor your heart, lung and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen levels while you sleep. You also will be videotaped to document your behavior during REM sleep cycles.
To diagnose REM sleep movement behavior disorder, sleep medicine physicians typically use the symptom criteria in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders — Third Edition (ICSD-3).
For a diagnosis of REM sleep behavior disorder, criteria include the following:
July 11, 2014
- You have repeated times of arousal during sleep where you talk, make noises or perform complex motor behaviors, such as punching, kicking or running movements that often parallel the content of your dreams
- You recall dreams associated with these movements or sounds
- If you awaken during the episode, you are alert and not confused or disoriented
- A sleep study shows you have increased muscle activity during REM sleep
- Your sleep disturbance is not caused by another sleep disturbance, a mental disorder, medication or substance abuse
- Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- Sleep-wake disorders. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- Riggin, EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2014.
- Brain basics: Understanding sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Best practice guide for the treatment of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2010;6:85.
- Parasomnias. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. http://www.sleepeducation.com/sleep-disorders/parasomnias/overview-and-facts. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- In-lab sleep study. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. http://www.sleepeducation.com/disease-management/in-lab-sleep-study/overview. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- Lloyd R, et al. Characteristics of REM sleep behavior disorder in childhood. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2012;8:127.
- Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. In: Sateia M. International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014. http://www.aasmnet.org/EBooks/ICSD3. May 19, 2014.
- St Louis EK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 13, 2014.
- Olson EJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 10, 2014.
- Silber MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 16, 2014.
- Morgenthaler TM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 18, 2014.
- McCarter SJ, et al. REM sleep behavior disorder and REM sleep without atonia as an early manifestation of degenerative neurological disease. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2012;12:182.
- Schenck CH, et al. Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder: Devising controlled active treatment studies for symptomatic and neuroprotective therapy — A consensus statement from the International Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder Study Group. Sleep Medicine. 2013;14:795.
- McCarter SJ, et al. Treatment outcomes in REM sleep behavior disorder. Sleep Medicine. 2013;14:237.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.