A rare sleep disorder in which people violently kick, punch or thrash in their sleep may be more common in smokers and people heavily exposed to pesticides, new research suggests.
The sleep-kicking disorder is actually called "REM sleep behavior disorder." According to WebMD,
people typically lose muscle tone (paralysis) during the rapid eye
movement (REM) stage of sleep - but that doesn't occur in people with
the disorder, causing them movements (sometimes violent) that can
seriously harm the individual or their sleep partner. It is estimated to
affect only 0.5 percent of adults.
"Until now, we didn't know
much about the risk factors for this disorder, except that it was more
common in men and in older people," study author Dr. Ronald B. Postuma, a
sleep researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University
Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal, said in a press release.
"Because it is a rare disorder, it was difficult to gather information
about enough patients for a full study. For this study, we worked with
13 institutions in 10 countries to get a full picture of the disorder."