That's Life: Sleep Disorders - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, January 20, 2003

That's Life: Sleep Disorders

The bedroom is the most important room in the house. Why? Because we all spend about a third of everyday here, so it's important that we use it right. The most common sleep abnormality is insomnia, but there's another one: parasomnia. Do you know what that is? Let me tell you about it.

Parasomnia actually has been in history for many, many years. In the Odyssey for example, Odysseus' crew member, Elpenor the youngest, had this problem. It has to do with Rapid Eye Movement social behavior abnormalities, such as sleep walking or violent behavior. Researchers at UCLA and the Mayo Clinic have now looked at it, and it has to do with abnormal brain function in the pons, which is the mid brain. Evidently, what happens is that during REM sleep, when the eyes are rapidly moving, there's abnormal stimulation of muscles. People can have violent behavior, or they can sleep walk and they can actually commit crimes. That's called REM Behavior Disorder and it occurs while you're sleeping. It's an early stage of Parkinsonism, so it needs to be recognized and treated, and it can. The medication Seroquel and Klonopin work very well.

So do it right, and one more thing. The antidepressant such as Prozac can make this condition worse, and actually create it - so if you have parasomnia, consider, perhaps a drug like that is causing it.

I'm Dr David Vastola, and That's Life.

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