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07 Aug 2007

Parasomnia (related to REM)
i was woken up this morning by my mom screaming as if someone was trying to kill her. after running to their room and trying to figure out what was going on, we realised that my dad was sleeping, and in his sleep he was hitting her - he was dreaming that someone is attacking her and he is actually hitting this guy, trying to stop him... my parents are both early 60's. this was the most awful morning of my life. i'm still in shock, i don't know how to handle it.
i've read about it this morning, i know it could be parasomnia - some people have a sleeping disorder that's related to REM sleep, which causes them to act out dreams, and not sleep relaxed, like the rest of us. my dad also suffers from sleep apnea - that could be linked to it aswell.

what i need to know is, can this be treated? which doctor should he consult? do you get a profession such as a "sleep specialist" ? my mother is terrified, which i can totally understand.... it's not his fault, but he really hurt her..... physically and emotionally!

can this be treated? is there a cure? what is the next step?
thank you.

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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Yes, it could be related to conditions like sleep-walking. Such problems are more common when someone is using sleeping meds of all types, so I hope he isn't doing so. There are a few people round the country with a paticular interest in sleep, but I don't know of any current listing of them. At times Wits and I think another center had a Sleep Lab, properly equipped to study such problems ( with sleep EEGs, etc ) but I'm not sure whether any are still running, as they ran with sponsorship / funding from companies like a mattress manufacturer, and may not have had enough to run indefinitely. I'd think seeing a good general local psychiatrist would be the best bet, for an initial assessment, and then a discussion of further investigation and treatment options. The condition may well be helpable and improvable. In the meantime, is there an option for them to get separate beds ?
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