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What causes vivid bodily movements and sudden waking up during sleep?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 2882 Questions
Hi. I’m a generally healthy 52 year old male. I’ve been having a sleep issue recently that has become more severe in the past week. About 2 morning months ago, I had a dream I was being attacked and I woke up because I had actually punched my dresser and hurt my hand. Last week, I dreamed I was grabbing for a rope and tumbled out of bed and hurt my side. Since then, almost every night I’ve been waking up due to movement during dreams. Last night, I was trying to push away a time bomb in my dream and I knocked over a nightstand and scraped my elbow. I googled this and think it may be RBD. I’m in the process of making appointments to see doctors. My question concerns things I’ve read that this sort of sleep abnormality can be a sign of either current or impending degenerative neurological disease specifically Parkinson’s or dementia. This has me very concerned. Can you provide your opinion about this?
Fri, 4 May 2018 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please get a sleep study done.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using HealthcareMagic.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

Making vivid movements and waking from sleeping is one of the indications that the underlying disorder may be the REM behavior disorder ( RBD ), but a sleep study is necessary to confirm or exclude the diagnosis.

The main feature in the sleep study is the presence of the REM sleep without muscular atonia.

Also, epileptiform activity should not be present during this phase evaluated by sleep EEG.

If the diagnosis will be confirmed by the sleep study, it is true that this condition may herald the development of other neurodegenerative disorders such Parkinson's, Levy body dementia, etc. in the future, but this may happen only in about 30 % of cases with RBD according to studies.

So, basically what you read is potentially true.

Get a sleep study done and follow up with your Neurologist.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care.

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