REM and Antidepressants — (The Legal Examiner Affiiate Network)

SSRI Ed note: A reference to SSRI-induced parasomnia in which the chemical that suppresses activity during REM sleep is disrupted.

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The Legal Examiner Affiiate Network

February 19, 2009 – 04:08 PM

The official name for REM is actually called rapid eye movement and it is the rapid movement of the eyes during sleep. R. Robert Auger, a sleep researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has found links between taking serotonin reputake inhibitors (more commonly known as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) and REM behavior disorder.

Do you wake up feeling like you never went to bed at all? REM behavior disorder describes when a person’s body does not become paralyzed during REM sleep, allowing them to act out their dreams. A relatively rare phenomenon affecting roughly 0.5% of the population, REM behavior disorder nearly always surfaced in men over 50 until recently. Now with antidepressants being subscribed for numerous health issues, this sleep disorder is beginning to show up in men, women, and children of all ages.

Scientists are beginning to believe that the chemicals in some antidepressants affect the neurochemicals in the brain that affect atonia. As of the present, the answer to this sleep disturbance can be easily fixed by switching to another antidepressant that does not carry this side effect.