Update on parasomnias: a review for psychiatric practice

Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2006 Jul;3(7):69-76.


Parasomnias, defined as undesirable behavioral, physiological, or experiential events that accompany sleep, are common in the general population. As a rule, they occur more frequently in children than in adults with the exception of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which is more common in men over 50. No longer considered to be invariably a sign of psychopathology, parasomnias are currently understood as clinical phenomena that arise as brain transitions between REM sleep, non-REM sleep, and wakefulness. This paper presents a clinical approach to diagnosing and treating parasomnias in the general population and in psychiatric patients.

Keywords: NREM; REM; parasomnia; sleep disorder.