Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder may include physical safeguards and medications.

Physical safeguards

Your doctor may recommend that you make changes in your sleep environment to make it safer, including:

  • Padding the floor near the bed
  • Removing dangerous objects, such as sharp items and weapons
  • Placing barriers on the side of the bed
  • Moving furniture away from the bed
  • Protecting windows

Medications

Examples of treatment options for REM sleep behavior disorder include:

  • Melatonin. Your doctor may prescribe a dietary supplement called melatonin, which may help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Melatonin may be as effective as clonazepam and is usually well-tolerated with few side effects, but it may cause some grogginess in the morning.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin). This prescription medication, often used to treat anxiety, is also the traditional choice for treating REM sleep behavior disorder, appearing to effectively reduce symptoms. Clonazepam may cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness, decreased balance and worsening of sleep apnea.

Doctors continue to study several other medications that may treat REM sleep behavior disorder. Talk with your doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment option for you.

Jul. 11, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.