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寝相の悪い男性
寝相の悪い男性

あなたは大丈夫?!レム睡眠行動障害の症状と原因と治療方法

寝相の悪い男性

レム睡眠行動障害は、障害を患った方だけでなく、共に過ごすパートナーにとっても危険性のある睡眠障害です。

なぜなら、レム睡眠行動障害にかかると、見ている夢の内容と同じ行動を、現実世界でもとってしまうからです。

過去には、この睡眠障害によってパートナーの女性の命を奪ってしまったという事件もありました。そのため、レム睡眠行動障害が疑われたら、できるだけ早くに治療を始めることが大切になります。

本記事では、レム睡眠行動障害の症状と治療方法についてご紹介していきます。あなた自身やパートナーが、この睡眠障害かもしれないと疑われている方は、是非本記事を参考にして頂き、レム睡眠行動障害についての理解を深めていって下さい。

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レム睡眠行動障害を理解する

レム睡眠行動障害を理解するに際しては、「症状・原因・治療法の3つのポイント」を理解することが大切です。

症状を理解することで、レム睡眠行動障害を患った場合に、いち早く気付くことができるようになります。そして、原因を理解しておくことで、症状を悪化させないように対策をうつことができます。

その上で、治療法を理解しておくことができれば、実際にあなた自身やあなたのパートナーにレム睡眠行動障害が疑われた場合にも、落ち着いて対処することができるようになります。

では、早速それぞれの項目について詳しく見ていきましょう。

レム睡眠行動障害の症状

レム睡眠行動障害とは、「睡眠時随伴症に分類される、レム睡眠の時に体が動く睡眠障害のこと」です。

  • レム睡眠:浅い睡眠のこと。脳の状態は起床している時に近く、覚醒している。反対の深い睡眠をノンレム睡眠という。

レム睡眠の時は通常、脳は覚醒していますが、体を支えている骨格筋は弛緩状態で力の入らない状態になっています。そのため、夢を見ていても、現実の世界で行動することはありません。

しかし、何らかの要因によって、骨格筋の緊張が保たれた場合、夢を見ている内容を現実で行動してしまう症状が出てしまいます。具体的な症状には、次の例があります。

  • 殴る、蹴るなどの暴力的行動
  • はっきりとした寝言
  • 歩行などのはっきりとした行動

レム睡眠行動障害の場合、その行動や寝言が「見ている夢と一致している」という特徴があります。また、起こせばすぐに目を覚ますため、疑われた際には、夢の内容を聞いて記録をとっておくと良いでしょう。

また、特にレム睡眠行動障害には男性が多く、一般人口の0.8%にあたる人達がかかっているというデータもあります。

レム睡眠行動障害の原因

レム睡眠行動障害の原因は、何らかの要因によって「レム睡眠時にも体の骨格筋の力が入っていること」にあります。

その要因には、原因の分からない「特発性」のものと、薬や他の疾患によって引き起こされる「二次性」のものがあります。

レム睡眠行動障害の二次性の要因となるものには、次のものがあると考えられています。

  • 基礎疾患:パーキンソン病、オリーブ橋小脳萎縮症、レヴィー小体型認知症病など
  • 頭部への炎症性疾患:頭部外傷や脳炎、髄膜炎など
  • 脳幹部の脳腫瘍
  • 抗うつ薬など

また、アルコールの過剰摂取や睡眠不足、強いストレスや過去のトラウマ体験などによっても、レム睡眠行動障害が引き起こされやすくなります。

特に、症状が疑われた際には、質の高い睡眠をとるように心がけ、症状がおさまるまでは禁酒するようにしましょう。

質の高い睡眠をとる方法は、睡眠の質を劇的に改善するための誰でも実行できる4つのステップの記事にて詳しく紹介しておりますので、具体的な方法について知りたい方は是非参考にして下さい。

レム睡眠行動障害の治療法

レム睡眠行動障害の治療に関しては、「睡眠障害の治療を行うことのできる病院で専門的な治療を受けること」が大切です。

診断に関しては、通常の診察と「 終夜睡眠ポリグラフ検査」という検査によって、あなたがレム睡眠行動障害を患っているかを検査します。

  • 終夜睡眠ポリグラフ検査とは、施設内に宿泊し、睡眠時の脳波、呼吸、筋電図などを測定する検査です。この検査により、レム睡眠時の筋肉の活動を調べ、力が入っている状態であればレム睡眠行動障害と診断されます。

また、通常の診察に関しては、あなたやパートナーが寝言や異常行動をとっている状態を、ビデオなどで撮っていると、医師が症状を具体的に把握することができるため、可能であれば撮影しておくと良いでしょう。

レム睡眠行動障害と診断された場合、「クロナゼパム」という薬を投与してもらえます。9割程度の人が、この処方薬によって、症状を解消することができます。

しかし、クロナゼパムには、睡眠時の無呼吸を促進してしまう副作用があります。そのため、睡眠時無呼吸症候群を持っている人は、その症状を考慮に入れながら治療を行うことが必要になります。クロナゼパムではなく、自然な眠りを促す「メラトニン」が処方されるケースもあります。

薬の投与後は、経過観察を行うことが大切です。医師と相談しながら定期的に状態を確認し、完全にレム睡眠行動障害を治療できるようにしましょう。

また、睡眠障害の治療を行える病院の探し方については、睡眠障害や不眠症が疑われる場合の専門の病院の探し方の記事にて詳しく紹介しておりますので、是非参考にしてみて下さい。

睡眠の科学―なぜ眠るのかなぜ目覚めるのか (ブルーバックス)
櫻井 武
講談社
売り上げランキング: 11,939

まとめ:レム睡眠行動障害の症状、原因、治療法を理解する

ここまでで、レム睡眠行動障害の症状と治療法についてご紹介してきました。最後にもう一度、レム睡眠行動障害を理解する上でのポイントについて確認しましょう。

  • レム睡眠行動障害の症状を理解する
  • レム睡眠行動障害の原因を理解する
  • レム睡眠行動障害の治療法を理解する

上記のポイントについて理解しておくことで、あなたやパートナーに症状が疑われた場合でも、迅速に、かつ落ち着いて対処することができるようになります。現在、あなたやあなたのパートナーにレム睡眠行動障害が疑われている方は、是非本記事をご活用頂きながら、適切な治療を行えるようにして下さい。

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