Treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder may include physical safeguards and medications.
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
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.
July 11, 2014
- 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.