Sleep-Related Rhythmic Movement Disorder Quiz

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Learn more about Sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder?

Sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder (RMD) involves rhythmic, repeated body movements while drowsy or asleep. Loud humming or other sounds are sometimes made along with the body motions. It is common in babies and children. The exact cause is unknown, but is seen in children and adults who are not in perfect health. Rare causes include head injury, stress, and infection of the brain.

Symptoms of sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder

  • Unusual behaviors or actions when sleeping

  • Knocking head back and forth against the bed when sleeping

  • Shaking head left and right when asleep

  • Rocking back-and-forth on all fours when sleeping

  • Legs shake or rock when falling asleep

  • Teeth grinding while sleeping

  • Suck my thumb when sleeping

Questions your doctor may ask to check for sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder

  • Do you have unusual behaviors or actions when sleeping?

  • Do you knock your head back and forth against the bed or pillow when sleeping?

  • Do you shake your head left and right when asleep?

  • When sleeping, do you sometimes rock back-and-forth on all fours?

  • Do your legs shake or rock as you fall asleep?

Treatment for sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder

In most cases, the symptoms fade away as the child becomes older or the health of the person improves. Medications like sedatives may be prescribed to reduce symptoms.

View the symptoms of Sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder

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Medically Reviewed By:

From our team of 50+ doctors

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Developed by doctors.

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Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD

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Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

Bayshore Health Centre, India

Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN)

National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

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