Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Study objectives: REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia in which normal muscle atonia of REM sleep is lost. The aim of this study was to confi rm if diagnostic delay exists in RBD and identify any contributing factors. Methods: A database was compiled of 49 patients with RBD seen at a tertiary referral center from 2005 to 2011 by retrospective review of referral letters and polysomnographic (PSG) reports. Patients with comorbid narcolepsy were excluded. A questionnaire was sent to investigate diagnostic delay, management, and comorbidities. Results: Mean diagnostic delay was 8.7 ± 11 (median 4.5, IQR 1.75-11.75) years in 30 questionnaire responders. Common reasons for diagnostic delay included belief that symptoms were not serious enough to consult a doctor (59%), mild or infrequent occurrence of sleep behavior (56%), belief that symptoms may resolve (47%), and lack of knowledge of treatment options (47%). The bed partner was an important infl uence, with the decision to seek medical attention being made jointly by the patient and partner in 47%. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated the existence of signifi cant diagnostic delay in RBD, mainly due to lack of understanding of the disorder and its treatment by patients and members of the medical profession.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Publication Date