Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Melatonin and REM sleep behavior disorder

REM sleep behavior disorder is a condition in which a person acts out dreams during his or her sleep...understandingly, it can be dangerous for that person's bed partner!

What is important to know, is that there is a link between this disorder and Parkinson's disease. So anything you can do to discourage the nervous system from progressing in this direction can be crucial.

Researchers recently reported that a variety of medications can be helpful in treating REM sleep disorder, especially clonazepam (Klonopin). Second in line was a natural hormone that is available as an over the counter supplement, melatonin.

While the researchers promoted clonazepam as their first choice, I would have to put my money on melatonin. Not only is it a sleep enhancer, it is a very powerful antioxidant, which means it can not only help with current symptoms, but do that preventive work I mentioned.

One of the biggest problems with the way medicine is practiced, in my opinion, is that we tend to focus on the current problem and what can prescribe, to feel like we've fixed the problem. Rarely do we look deeper to the core issue. And that's why so many people are on so many medications today.

I can guarantee you, people with REM sleep disorder are not having problems because their bodies are deficient in clonazepam! But they could be having trouble with melatonin metabolism. Which is why this option makes so much sense to me.

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rpda said...

Many months ago you were kind enough to offer your help to me about my Dad, who has RBD. I'm happy to report he is being successfully treated with melatonin and doing wonderfully! Thank you for continuing to put forth your knowledge.

Sandy said...

I was glad to come across the information about melatonin and to see that someone with RBD has been helped by it. My husband has the disorder and he does not want to take a drug. I think it's possible that there is a neurotransmitter imbalance too.

hormonewoman said...

Since dopamine-enhancing meds are used to treat this disorder, I would venture to say dopamine is involved. I know fish oil increases the density of dopamine receptors and melatonin is a serotonin-based compound. Definitely neurotransmitters. Thanks for stopping by!