Have you ever woken up in the morning to the sight of your partner displeased, upset that you gave them a long speech in your sleep? It’s an example of the many weird things we can do when we’re supposed to ignore the world.
- 1 What do you do in your sleep?
- 2 Five of the weirdest things some people do in their rapid sleep.
- 3 1. Talking while sleeping
- 4 2. Sleepwalking
- 5 3. Sleep begins: feeling of falling from a great height
- 6 4. Sex acts while sleeping
- 7 5. Make dreams come true
What do you do in your sleep?
Although it’s not known exactly how many people suffer from parasomnias or sleep disturbances, chances are that you have experienced at least one of these events at some point. Parasomnias are often associated with disturbing actions or behaviors. They are all the stranger because they occur in a person’s sleep when they are completely unconscious. However, while some of the strange things we do while we sleep can be linked to the presence of a sleep disorder, others are actually normal physiological events that are extremely common.
Five of the weirdest things some people do in their rapid sleep.
1. Talking while sleeping
Sleepwalking is a common physiological phenomenon, thought to be more common in children and adolescents, although it is not uncommon in adults. Sleepwalking episodes usually don’t last very long and don’t always feature intelligible speech. Conversations during sleep are usually brief and infrequent. But they can range from a few short, unintelligible sounds during sleep to complete sentences with understandable content or even frequent, long speeches that sound hostile or angry.
A recent study by Dr Isabelle Arnulf of the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, France, looked at what people who talk in their sleep are likely to say and found that in 10% of cases, Sleep talk is rich in swearing and negative content. Scientists say people who talk in their sleep often swear and make angry speeches.
In fact, swear words appear 800 times more often in sleep talk than in daytime talk. Dr. Arnulf notes that this can be explained by the fact that conversations during sleep likely occur in response to a negative dream situation which makes such impulsive and unsupervised speech excusable. These episodes can occur at any stage of sleep. They are “disturbing only to others”, that is, to bed partners.
Sleepwalking is perhaps the most well-known type of parasomnia, having captured people’s imaginations for years and featuring prominently in literature and movies. Sleepwalkers can engage in complex and sometimes dangerous behaviors. This sleep disorder usually occurs during the third stage of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. This is a period of “deep sleep” when brain waves slow down and breathing also becomes deep and slow. People cannot be easily awakened at this stage, which is part of what makes sleepwalking so unsettling. Because the sleepwalker is physically active while coming out of a deep sleep.
But the weirdness doesn’t stop there. Sleepwalkers can simultaneously appear awake and “not there” to anyone who witnesses their actions. Sleepwalking episodes often begin with the individual sitting up in bed. Groping with her bedding. Looking around in confusion before getting out of bed and slowly starting to walk. The eyes are generally open, often wide open, with a confused and “glassy” gaze…”. The person often walks towards sound, light or a particular room. She may exhibit complex behaviors, such as changing clothes, opening doors, or using the bathroom.
Sleepwalking behaviors: eating, driving, texting while sleeping
Another sleepwalking disorder is sleep-eating disorder, in which individuals get out of bed, walk to the fridge, and grab a snack, all without waking up. Eating behavior is usually compulsive. The person may wake up the next morning to find a mountain of incriminating, and shocking, evidence in the form of dirty food wrappers and containers.
There are, however, sleepwalking behaviors that are far more dangerous than overeating. An example is sleep driving, in which a person technically drives a motorized vehicle, while being completely unaware of their actions. Some scientists attribute these episodes to a short circuit caused by certain sleeping pills.
SMS while sleeping?
Although no scientific study has yet been conducted to address this issue, it seems that sleepy texting is not uncommon, especially among teenagers. In recent years, various media have reported cases of teenagers being embarrassed to find out that they had been texting their friends in their sleep. Sleep specialists said it was a novelty in terms of sleep disorders. This behavior is not yet listed in the specialized manuals.
Experts attribute this largely to the fact that many teens have poor sleep hygiene. Having become glued to their smartphones, texting late at night and letting notifications disturb their sleep.
3. Sleep begins: feeling of falling from a great height
Many of you are probably familiar with the phenomenon of falling asleep, or “hypnic jerks”. The onset of sleep is usually accompanied by the sensation of falling from a great height. This causes the body to shake and the sleeper to wake up, literally “with a start”. Sleep departures occur frequently in normal people and at all ages. However, with a prevalence of about 60 to 70% in adults. They are not considered a type of sleep disorder. Typically, muscle contractions last less than a second and occur when a person is about to transition into a sleepy state or during a light sleep phase.
Less common accompanying sensations include “an auditory sound like speech” and the terrifying perception of a “loud bang or flash of light”, also known as exploding head. Although the onset of sleep is normal, scientists suggest that certain factors may increase the likelihood of it. These include: fatigue, emotional stress, sleep deprivation, vigorous exercise, and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine.
4. Sex acts while sleeping
A few people engage in erotic behaviors while they sleep. This can cause problems if they also have a partner in bed. Some of the most controversial unconscious acts performed during sleep are sexual in nature. Particularly when the individual attempts to involve their sleeping partner. These acts are characteristic of a parasomnia known as “sexsomnia”. In which individuals display sexual vocalizations, masturbate, caress, or have intercourse or attempted intercourse while sleeping. All followed by morning amnesia.
Like sleepwalking, sexsomnia occurs during the NREM stages of sleep. Only 95 clinical cases have been documented so far. Most of these cases involve men who are sleeping. In some cases, sexsomnia is just an embarrassing occurrence. But in other, more extreme ones, sleepers may end up sexually assaulting a partner.
But because they remain unconscious for the duration of these acts and cannot remember them the next morning, violent sex acts committed during sleep remain very difficult to prove in court. The authors of a case report note that, the patient with sexsomnia managed to control these nocturnal events by attending psychotherapy sessions aimed at managing stress.
5. Make dreams come true
Finally, the parasomnia known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder is, like sleepwalking, characterized by the performance of quite complex actions during sleep. Some individuals act out their dreams, often reacting to violent or disturbing dream content.
As the name suggests, REM sleep behavior disorder occurs during the REM sleep phase, when most dreams occur. People with this behavioral disorder tend to “act out”. Or to react physically to what is happening in their dreams, which is not always good news.
Dream content becomes more violent with the onset of REM sleep behavior disorder. It implies that the subject is under attack or must defend a position or other people.
Most people with the disorder are over the age of 50, although its incidence and prevalence rates are unclear. These disturbed sleepers may make chaotic movements that correspond to the content of their dreams. But fortunately, they are usually not physically violent, either to themselves or to others.
However, violent behavior is more often present in men than in women with REM sleep disorder. This parasomnia can be caused by the first intake of antidepressants. In addition, stimulants such as alcohol, coffee and chocolate can also be involved.
More than 50% of people with narcolepsy, another sleep disorder, also report symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder.