You come home tired after a long day at work. You go under the covers and you know slumber is going to hit you soon. But did you know the chance of bizarre things happening during your sleep is high when you are completely exhausted? Here’s what we’re talking about.
1. You Can Sleepwalk
Sleepwalking affects 1–15 % of the US population. Some of them walk around the house and some of them can even cook or drive. Medically known as somnambulism, about 80% of people who sleepwalk have family members who do the same. In fact, a person is five times more likely to sleepwalk if their identical twin does it. In most cases, people don’t remember sleepwalking because their brain isn’t really awake. But a few people do recall bits from their sleepwalking bouts because certain parts of their brain are awake. The most common triggers are drinking alcohol before sleep, sleep deprivation, illness, or as a side effect from sleeping pills. If you are sleepwalking and taking sleeping pills, consult with a doctor to change your medication. The biggest help would be to develop a healthy sleeping pattern.
2. You Can Sleep Talk
Sleep talking is usually harmless and it averages about 30 seconds. Sometimes it could be mumbling gibberish or other times it could be monologues.1 It could happen during any stage of your sleep. Some triggers are anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation. If sleep talking develops after 25 years of age, there is a risk it could be related to an underlying medical condition.2
3. You Can Have Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a frightening experience. Your mind is alert but you are unable to move your body or speak. It can happen when you are entering sleep or when you are waking up from sleep.3 And when the body cannot transit to the other state, you enter sleep paralysis. Research suggests the more sleep deprived you are, the higher the risk of sleep paralysis. It can also cause hallucinations. Some people picture creatures or things in the room that are trying to harm them. While you can prevent it by following a healthy sleeping routine, you really have to wait for the moment to pass.
4. You Can Feel Like Your Falling
Remember the night when you were in bed and you were just about to fall asleep but you suddenly jerk awake because you thought you were falling? We’ve all been there. Known as a hypnic jerk, 70% of people have experienced it occasionally. It usually happens when you are just about to fall asleep. Doctors suggest that it happens when you are extremely tired or if you aren’t getting enough quality sleep. One theory is that your body aggressively push itself to sleep, making your brain believe something bad is happening, and it jerks you awake to protect you. Meditation and avoiding caffeine and alcohol few hours before bedtime can help prevent hypnic jerks.
5. You Can Have Sex
It’s true. In a version of sleepwalking, some people, during their sleep, can initiate sex with their partner. And they won’t have any recollection of it the next day. Research suggests that it could be associated with sleep disorders like apnea or sleepwalking or as a result of neurochemical disorder in the brain. Another theory is that you went to bed with the urge to have sex or you were dreaming of it.
6. You Can Have Exploding Head Syndrome
It may say sound a little far out but some people say they feel like a violent explosion has happened in their head during sleep. They believe to have heard a bomb explosion, a gunshot or something harshly loud as they were about to fall asleep or when they were waking up. It could be a result of anxiety, depression, or minor temporal lobe seizures as some scientists claim.4