why do people rock in their sleep

Most RMD symptoms are relatively passive and do not cause any pain. Many patients are often unaware that an episode is occurring or has occurred. The rhythmic movements may produce some bodily injury via falls or muscle strains, but this is not reported in all patients. In unique cases, RMD sufferers hum or moan while asleep during an episode. Some patients describe the repetitive movements as relaxing and are only occasionally awakened by an RMD episode. Often, it is the sufferers partner or parent who first notes the symptoms. Additionally, it is often the partner or parent who led patients to seek medical attention. Symptoms of rhythmic movement disorder vary, but most sufferers share common large muscle movement patterns. Many sufferers show consistent symptoms including:
body rocking, where the whole body is moved while on the hands and knees. , where the head is forcibly moved in a back and forth direction. head rolling, where the head is moved laterally while in a supine position. body rolling, where the whole body is moved laterally while in a supine position. leg rolling, where one or both legs are moved laterally. leg banging, where one or both legs are moved in a back and forth direction. The majority of sufferers have symptoms that involve the head, and the most common symptom is head banging. Usually, the head strikes a pillow or mattress near the frontal-parietal region. There is little cause for alarm at the movements as injury or brain damage as a result of the movements is rare. Some infants with diagnosed have been observed to have unique RMD episodes affecting the tongue and other facial muscles, which is an uncommonly affected area.

Episodes usually last less than fifteen minutes and produce movements that vary from 0. 5 to 2PHz. Muscle movements during REM sleep are often twitches and occur simultaneously with normal sleep. The position of the body during sleep may determine which motor symptom is displayed. For example, Anderson et al. reported that one individual showed entire body rolling movements while sleeping on his side while displaying head rolling movements when sleeping supine. Because of the abnormal writhing movements, often patients sleep patterns are disrupted. This may be due to RMDs comorbidity with sleep apnea, which has been observed in some patients. Many find that their sleep is not refreshing and are tired or stressed the following day, despite getting a full nights rest. However, other patients report that their sleep patterns are infrequently interrupted due to RMD episodes and do not report being excessively sleepy during the next day as scored on the. Thus, as can be seen, the effects and severity of RMD vary from person to person. Rhythmic movement disorder is observed using the standard procedure for, which includes video recording, during sleep, and. These aforementioned brain monitoring devices eliminate the possibility of epilepsy as a cause. Other sleep related disorders like sleep apnea are ruled out by examining the patients respiratory effort, air flow, and oxygen saturation.

RMD patients often show no abnormal activity that is directly the result of the disorder in an MRI scan. RMD episodes are strongly associated with stage 2 NREM sleep and, specifically,. Additionally, there is a close association with that contain a mixture of K complexes and arousals, regardless of the NREM stage in which the RMD occurred. The occurrence of these two sequences of brain waves suggests that the disorder is linked to an unstable vigilance level throughout NREM sleep. It has been interestingly noted that there is a complete absence of any EEG signs during or immediately after an intense rhythmic movement. After the episode, normal EEG patterns return. Functional MRI scans have shown that the and may be involved in the loss of motor control seen during an RMD episode, which is similar to other movement disorders. Episodes of RMD are short, lasting between 3 and 130 seconds. Rare cases of constant RMD can last for hours. The majority of RMD episodes usually occur just before or during sleep. Some cases have been reported on rhythmic movements during wakeful activities like driving. When occurring in sleep, RMD episodes are more likely to onset during non-REM, stage 2 sleep. Roughly 46% of sleep-RMD episodes occur only in non-REM sleep; 30% in non-REM and REM; and only 24% strictly in REM sleep. Most patients are unresponsive during an episode and are unlikely to remember the movements occurring upon awakening. In some patients who also experience sleep apnea, episodes of apnea can be followed immediately by RMD-like symptoms, suggesting that the apnea episodes may trigger an RMD episode.

Similarly, current studies suggest that external stimuli are not the cause of RMD episodes. Lately my boyfriend has noticed that in the middle of the night I sit up and rock back and forth shaking my head from left to right. I have no memory of this activity and I am asleep while this is happening. He has tried to wake me up while in progress, and I just mumble. Why does this occur? And is there anything I can do to stop it from happening? Hey Nikki, This sounds a lot like a condition known as Rhythmic Movement Disorder (or RMD). RMD is a lot like it sounds--it consists of repetitive rhythmic movements of large body areas during (and sometimes just before) sleep. What you have described sounds like a common symptom of RMD known as body rocking, where the patient will sit up during light sleep (usually in stages 1 and 2 of NREM sleep) and rock his or her entire body back and forth, often with no recollection of it in the morning, as you describe. Rhythmic Movement Disorder is a, a type of sleep disorder that typically involves excess physical movements during sleep ( and are other examples of parasomnias). Often the movements associated with RMD are passive and not the cause of much concern beyond any disturbances of sleep or bed partner worry that may come along with it. But sometimes the movements can consist of violent thrashings of the head that can cause some serious pain and even lasting damage.

That obviously doesn't sound like what you are describing, but just something to be aware of in the larger picture of the condition. Another notable thing for me to mention about Rhythmic Movement Disorder is that it is typically found in infants and young children, where it can often be left untreated, as long as it's not causing physical harm, as the children almost always outgrow it. It is found in adulthood on a much rarer basis, and as such it would be a great idea to go see a sleep specialist about it. There you'll likely be able to have a to make it clear exactly what it is you're experiencing and make sure that it is not a sign of a separate problem as well. The direct causes of RMD are not really known yet, and it's a bit tricky since the condition can occur in individuals with otherwise perfect health, children or adults. Some have suggested it is perhaps related a bit to stress when it occurs in adolescents or adults (kind of like a tic movement during sleep), but that doesn't really explain why it occurs in infants too, so you can see where things can get a bit tricky here. While I can point you towards this information about RMD and offer that what you describe certainly sounds like it, I would really suggest seeing a sleep specialist about it to verify that and make sure everything is okay. My best wishes to you! If you have any follow-up questions or comments, please don't hesitate to post them using the "Post Comments" link below! Warmly,

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