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New movie “In My Sleep” a sleepwalking murder mystery

Filed in
  • Movies
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  May 02, 2010
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It’s a classic setup that hails back to Alfred Hitchcock. A man waking up in bed, covered in blood next to a knife. He doesn’t know how he got there, or if he killed anyone.

The protagonist of the new film “In My Sleep” knows he sleepwalks. But was he capable of murder or was it all a setup?

Opening in limited theaters in New York City last weekend, the film so far has inspired a tepid response from critics. In its early goings “In My Sleep” only has a 33 percent score on metacritic.

Since last month when we previewed the film, a real-life case mirroring the plot has drawn national attention.

An otherwise loving husband was arrested when he hit his wife in the face three times. He had REM Behavioral Disorder, a sleep disorder that causes people to act out their dreams, sometimes violently. The husband was charged with assault, and barred from seeing his family.

“In My Sleep” doesn’t reference REM Behavioral Disorder specifically. The doctor in the preview calls the main character’s sleepwalking “parasomnia”, which is actually a broader classification of sleep disorders.

Nightmare disorder, Sleepwalking, Sleep terrors, Confusional arousals, Sleep paralysis, Hallucinations and Sleep-related eating disorder are all parasomnias.

Read our preview for “In My Sleep”

Or learn treatments for REM Behavioral Disorder and other parasomnias.