Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS: New Guidance for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine revised the guidelines for REM sleep behavior disorder for the first time since 2010.

Earlier this year the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) released new clinical practice guidelines for the management of adult patients with REM sleep behavior disorder.

The guidelines represent an update from the 2010 guidelines and include recommendations for specific medications including clonazepam and immediate-release melatonin, which should be considered for this patient population.

The guidelines also call for patients to maintain a safe sleeping environment to prevent injuries and the removal of bedside objects that can injury the individual.

Finally, sharp furniture should be moved away or their edges should be padded, while a soft carpet or mat should be placed next to the bed in case of sudden falls.

In addition, patients with severe REM sleep behavior disorder should sleep separately from their partners until they are treated.

In an interview with HCPLive® during the annual SLEEP 2023 meeting in Indianapolis, Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center, Cleveland Clinic, explained why the new guidelines are important and where she’d like to see research go to in the future.

Foldvary-Schaefer said the main need in this field is there is a dearth of data and there should be more randomized controlled trials testing drugs in patients with REM sleep behavior disorder.

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