National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 6: Parasomnias

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD) is characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements that occur during sleep, and can include individuals banging their head and rocking their bodies. These movements can cause severe injury to the sleeper and result in Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and other negative health outcomes. Use of benzodiazepines, clonazepam, or tricyclic antidepressants may reduce RMD symptoms, as may the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices.1 

The International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) lists RMD as a Sleep-Related Movement Disorders (SRMD).2

References

  1. Mahowald MW, “Other Parasomnias,” in Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W (ed.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (5th Edition), St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pages 1198-1105.
  2. American Academy of Sleep Medicine, International Classification of Sleep Disorders (Third Edition), Darien, IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014.