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worriedsleeper7 05-21-2011 11:26 AM

Worried about REM disorder
My girlfriend recently made me aware that I often make movements in my sleep, usually my legs, arms, or head. She doesn't remember me doing this until this year. She says she can tell that I'm dreaming when I move. The movements are fairly subtle and last a couple of seconds only. Since then, I've been trying to catch myself making these movements. And I've been able to wake up immediately upon doing something. She never wakes up with my movements because they are mild or subtle, and even if I tap against her, it is too light of a hit for her to wake up. She has noticed them because she wakes up before I do, and sometimes she sees me moving when she is getting dressed or wakes up to go the bathroom.

After researching online, I'm worried that I have REM sleep disorder. I worry because I have read that REM disorder commonly precedes Parkinson's Disease, and my father may have Parkinson's (in midst of diagnosis). I have noticed that the movements relate somewhat to my dreams. Once I felt I was going to catch something I felt my arm flail out. Another time I was running in my dream and I stretched my leg out. These movements are common; maybe every night or every few nights. I wake up easily now and immediately put the dream and my movement together. As I mentioned, the movements are mild; sometimes I don't know if they relate to a dream or not. I may move my leg or arm across my body, or I nod my head a few inches for a couple of seconds. My girlfriend says that after I make a movement, I usually go back to being still for 10 minutes or more. So, there is no pattern of continuous movements. Also, the dreams are not violent in nature. As far as I know, I'm in great health; I'm 33 years old.

Could this be the beginning of REM sleep disorder? How normal is it to make mild movements in parallel with a dream? Should I get a sleep study?

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