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While Asleep, Some People Act Out Their Dreams

Unlike what this sign says, you might just be afraid to dream a little bigger if you were acting out in your dreams...while still asleep!  Here's a case of RBD - REM sleep behavior disorder.  It feels like the stuff of an Alfred Hitchcock movie....we're just sayin'.... 

This story is so long that I nodded off somewhere in the middle and had this crazy dream:

 I was sitting in front of the computer in the middle of the night, wearing flannel pants and an abundance of fleece, yet still freezing. In the dream I abandoned a career in New York City and moved way north to live next to a
lake that is home to a popular lake monster named Champy.

Anyway, there I am, kneeling on a yoga chair (why?!), shivering, with a bizarre reflection staring back at me. This guy has clear tape across the bridge of his nose. His facial hair is something of a bad joke from the 1970s, an asymmetrical mustache that would make any child, from any era, run and scream. “It's for prostate cancer," he says, while he beats on the keyboard aimlessly…

What does it all mean?

 I guess I'll have to ask our
dream expert at Bedtime Network, or perhaps the answer lies in this link to a story that says, “While asleep, some people act out their dreams.”

All kidding aside, this story is equal parts sad, horrifying and fascinating. I am willing to bet that after reading the following sample, you will click here to read the entire piece.

“When Patricia Becker noticed a man crouching in the corner while she was in a public restroom, she felt threatened and concerned. In an act of self-defense, she decided to jump on him. That’s when she woke up – alone in her bedroom, bloody and bruised. Becker suffers from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition that causes a person to unconsciously act out their dreams while still asleep. During her dream, she physically jumped out of bed and landed on a bedside table knocking out multiple teeth and sustaining numerous physical injuries. To help patients like Becker, Northwestern Medicine® offers a specialized RBD clinic that integrates clinical care with research and education for medical professionals.

“RBD can be very dangerous to the people who have it, as well as those who share a bed with them,” said Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, a neurologist, movement disorders and sleep medicine specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “A person who has RBD will act out the scenes that they are experiencing in their dreams. Examples could include jumping out the window during a dream about a house fire or physically attacking the person sleeping next to them if they dream about a violent altercation.”

During REM sleep, which is one phase of sleep, a temporary paralysis occurs which keeps a person from getting out of bed while dreaming. For people with RBD, this bodily inhibition does not occur, allowing the person to make vocalizations and physically act out their dreams. The disorder is predominantly observed in males in their 40s or 50s, but can affect anyone. While it is thought to impact less than one percent of the population, experts believe the true incidence of RBD is higher.”

Related links and stories:

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  • Dream Zone - Hunger Games