Welcome to Night REMming.
As the name implies, Night REMming is a dream journal. I have vivid and often detailed dreams. I’ve decided to document some of them, but I also walk while asleep, and I will record those events, too.
Most sleepwalkers walk during Non-rapid eye movement sleep, or NREM, but when I participated in a sleep study, they found that I move during REM sleep, the stage of sleep in which we dream. When you walk during REM sleep, it is called REM behavior disorder (RBD). RBD happens when you act out your dreams while sleeping, dreams that are often filled with physical activity or even violence.
To prevent this from happening, two brain chemical systems are supposed to work together to paralyze skeletal muscles during REM sleep. It protects us from executing our dreams and causing injury to ourselves or others. My experience with RBD started with a rogue hand or arm swinging around or slamming into the nightstand or headboard, or punching the air, or legs kicking the covers off, but my events have progressed in the past couple of years. It is no longer just a hand or leg swiping at thin air.
Now I sometimes leave the bed: walking, running, banging into furniture, knocking over lamps, spilling water. Once I made it to the door of our bedroom. When my husband tried to wake me, I started jumping and spinning and screaming. I’ve thrown myself out of the bed a few times. As my husband describes these events, “Linda Blair is in the house.” But the truth is, RBD is a medical problem. It is not a psychiatric disorder. When I wake, I’m lucid fairly quickly. I’m usually more disoriented by what I’ve done than the dream, but it only last a short time.
My intention is to record my dreams and sleepwalking events here. As I learn more about RBD, I will record that here, too.
Let’s do some Night REMming.