Sleep Disorders: REM Behavior Disorder & KLS Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Doctor Oz covered sleep nightmare situations where people have peculiar sleeping conditions such as REM Behavior Disorder and KLS ot Kleine-Levin Syndrome.  Dr. Michael Breus, author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep, joined Dr. Oz to explain these sleeping disorders. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders is a list of 81 sleep disorders.  One type of sleep disorder is parasomnias, which causes people to do normal activity in their sleep such as walk, eat and talk.  These people look like they are awake, but are completely unaware of what is going on or what they are doing.  Some parasomias act their dreams in their sleep.  The following three sleep disorders can be dangerous:sleep disorders

REM Behavior Disorder

Normally when a person sleeps, their brain has a few sleep cycles each night.  One part of the sleep cycle is called REM (rapid eye movement) and during this time your brain turns off certain signals so that  you become temporarily paralyzed and cannot move your muscles… otherwise you would begin to act out your dreams.  If  you have REM Behavior Disorder, this portion of your brain does not temporarily paralyze your muscles when you sleep, so you might scream, punch, swear or do other violent actions that put both you and others at risk.  Men over 60 years old are usually the people who develop REM Behavior Disorder.  Some studies have been done and have indicated a possible connection between REM Behvaior Disorder and neurodegenerative diseases, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.  Medications like Clonazepam and melatonin have been helpful in treating REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD).

Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)

Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) makes people go through extremely tired and awake periods.  Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) is a neurological disorder that is quite rare and sometimes called Sleeping Beauty syndrome because you might sleep over 12 hours some days… but in extreme cases you can sleep for days, weeks, months or even years.  And your need for sleep is so strong, that it can strike at any time and you will fall asleep anywhere you happen to be, even outside.  Most people with Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) are teenage boys who get it from a viral or bacterial infection, alcohol use, marijuana use, fever, trauma or sleep deprivation.  People with Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) often get confused and irritated when they are kept from sleeping and crave strange foods, particularly large amounts of foods that are sweet, or full of sugar and syrup.

Sleep Disorder Help:

1.  Find the Right Doctor

There are so many different and unusual sleeping disorders that you really need a doctor to use diagnostic tools to figure out what sleeping disorder you  have.

2.  Get the Right Disanosis

Dr Oz says “Many parasomnias have distinctive polysomnographic features, a measure of physiological changes that occur during sleep – electrical activity of the brain (EEG), eye movements, muscle movements and heart rate.”  You often go to sleep study centers where a sleep technician, psychologist, psychiatrist or neurologist watches you while you sleep.

3.  Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Go to sleep and wake-up at the same time every day, even on weekends.  And make sure to carefully read and learn about any sleep medication you take whether it is over-the-counter sleep medication or prescription drugs.

4.  Seek a Treatment That’s Best For You

You may have to try a variety of sleeping medications or different combinations until you find what works the best for you including antidepressants, stimulants, mood stabilizers, melatonin (a hormone supplement) and anticonvulsants.

5.  Stay Away from Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol makes your sleepy and tired because it is a depressant.  If your parasomnia comes from overuse of alcohol or drugs, you should get treated through rehabilitation or psychotherapy as well.

6.  Keep Your Environment Safe

Make sure you keep yourself and others safe by removing items that can break like tables and lamps, and by putting cushions and pillows around your bed in case you fall out of bed.  For more help, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.


  1. kathy poppke says

    I am a mother of a 19 year old son. At age 16 he started with sever hypersomnulance , irritabilty , school avoidance and other symptoms. He went through a work up with many professionals and they treated him for depression and stimulants and therapy school. Now he just withdrew from college , his first quarter and returned to hypersomnulance. I started doing my own research and came across Kleine Levin Syndrome. It really spoke to a lot of his symptoms . He is scheduled now to do a full work up. I would like to educate the schools, professionals and parents as he has been chided, ridiculed, put down and more. Also as a parent I have been subject to unkind comments and morbid suggestions like to throw ICE on him to get him up . I find my self overwhelmed , confused, angry and helpless. If anyone knows of a support system for both my son and myself while we once again go through and try to identify and unravel his excessive sleeping mystery I would welcome any and all help !!

  2. says

    There are many Facebook support groups….Search Kleine Levin Syndrome. My son 13 .. has it also…He is in a pattern…15 days out 18 days in. It’s a horrible disease!

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