According to The National Sleep Foundation, 10% of the population is affected by parasomnias – which are abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep.
Parasomnias occur during REM sleep and deeper Stage 3 sleep, and have been linked to sleep deprivation, stress, and medical conditions/medications.
If you’ve experienced this and are thinking “oh no, what’s wrong with me?”, don’t worry – most of the time these things are normal. Here are some of the crazy things we do in our sleep:
Sleep eating occurs during Stage 3 sleep – people on restricted diets are more likely to sleep eat
, and it’s usually high calorie foods.
Brb… I’m Sleeping
We fall asleep cuddling our smartphones
, so it’s no surprise sending text messages while sleeping is a thing. This non-REM parasomnia is harmless, unless you said something you shouldn’t have … oops!
Am I Dreaming?
A common dream is that you’re being attacked/chased, so you might wake up choking whomever you’re sleeping next to. This is where acting out our dreams can get dangerous!
Late Night Joy Rides
Sleeping pills like Ambien contribute to non-REM parasomnias, because it will keep you asleep even when your body knows it should be awake – making sleep-driving a very real thing.
Night terrors, unlike nightmares, occur during Stage 3 sleep causing those who experience them to have no memory of screaming in their sleep
when they wake up.
This is a very common parasomnia that occurs during Stage 3 sleep, meaning it’s not associated with dreaming. This results in difficulty waking a sleepwalker, causing them to become agitated – but better that than hurting themselves, right?
While most of these parasomnias are harmless, things can go very south very fast – so sleep safely!