Scenario 1: It’s overtime and I’m taking the faceoff in a playoff hockey game in front of a full crowd. I win the draw and there is nobody in front of me as I rush to the net, but I push the puck too far in front of me. I need to beat the goalie to the puck.
Scenario 2: I’m running through the dark streets as fast as I can. There is someone bad chasing me and I just can’t lose him. As he is about to catch me, I turn around and swing wildly at him.
Scenario 3: Now I’m in the NFL. Eli Manning is the quarterback. I do a cross route in the endzone. Eli throws me the pass but it’s a bit high, so I throw my arms up to catch it.
Scenario 4: I’m in a house with friends and family. Nobody will listen to what I have to say. I’m beyond frustrated so I stand up, shake my fists and scream in anger.
Now if this was all in real life, I’d say I’d lead a pretty exciting life. But alas, these are the type of dreams I’ve been constantly having lately. They almost always involve either sports, danger or strong emotions.
“Ummm…why is Gluten Dude telling us about his dreams??”
Because I’ve been diagnosed with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) and am wondering if anybody else with celiac disease deals with this or any other type of sleep disorders. Back in 2012, I wrote a post titled Celiac and the Link to Other Diseases, where I laid out my sordid health history to see if there was a common thread between what I’ve gone thru and what other celiacs had gone through. There was. So I’m thinking maybe there is a common link here as well.
So what is RBD?
I’ll let the National Sleep Foundation explain it:
During this state, the electrical activity of the brain, as recorded by an electroencephalogram, looks similar to the electrical activity that occurs during waking. Although neurons in the brain during REM sleep are functioning much as they do during waking, REM sleep is also characterized by temporary muscle paralysis.
So for most people, dreaming is purely a “mental” activity: dreams occur in the mind while the body is at rest. But people who suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) act out their dreams. They physically move limbs or even get up and engage in activities associated with waking. Some engage in sleep talking, shouting, screaming, hittting or punching. Some even fly out of bed while sleeping!
RBD is usually noticed when it causes danger to the sleeping person, their bed partner, or others they encounter. Sometimes ill effects such as injury to self or bed partner sustained while asleep trigger a diagnosis of RBD.
Yeah…good time. Want even more fun news? A 2014 study showed that bbout half of people who have RBD will develop Parkinson’s disease or a related neurological disorder within a decade of being diagnosed with RBD. And eventually, nearly everyone with RBD will ultimately develop a one. Yay me!!
At first, I thought it was pretty annoying, somewhat humorous and a little odd but nothing to be concerned about. But when it started happening on a regular basis, I said “Hmmm…maybe I should look into this a bit?” It was RBD to a tee. I went to a sleep disorder specialist, who was amazing and spent over an hour with me, but didn’t offer much hope.
Is there a cure? No. Is there a treatment? High doses of melatonin are supposed to work. Been on it for about 2 months now. Hit or miss it seems.
And how does Mrs. Dude feel about all of this? Long-term? Obviously concerned. Short-term? A bit hesitant to sleep next to me.
So my fellow celiacs, any of you deal with RBD or other kinds of sleep disorders? Do tell.
As for the scenarios above:
- Scenario 1: As I sprawled out to beat the goalie to the puck, I actually jumped out of my bed onto the floor and ran into the wall.
- Scenario 2: As I went to grab the guy who was chasing me, I actually grabbed Mrs. Dude and scared the ever living hell out of her.
- Scenario 3: As I threw my hands up to catch the ball (c’mon ELI!), I actually slammed them into our headboard.
- Scenario 4: As I tried to get anybody to listen to me, I actually sat up in bed screaming and cursing.
ANYBODY WANNA SLEEP OVER TONIGHT??