Dr. William C. Dement, a professor at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, is considered the father of sleep medicine. In answer to my questions, he spoke about his early interest in sleep studies, the scientists who inspired him and how the study of sleep has evolved over half a century. Here is a transcript of our conversation.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder is a fascinating experiment in nature. Individuals can act out their dreams -- occasionally with potentially violent or injurious consequences. Many patients adopt self-protective measures such as tethering themselves to the bed, using sleeping bags or pillow barricades or sleeping on a mattress in an empty room.