The night brings with it tales of weird and gloomy stories. And some of the creepy horror stories happens during the time you are unconscious in sleep.
Aside from mind-boggling dreams, weird things can happen during sleep. Well yes, there are dangers and spine-tingling events lurking in your neighborhood late at night. But sometimes these queer moments take place during your sleep. Most of them do not have conscious knowledge of what they are doing when they are doing these eerie acts.
Despite having sophisticated equipment, what happens in sleep remains a mystery to scientists. They are still mystified by our body’s way to shut down for several hours to process a lot of mental processes. Among them are storing or consolidating information from short-term to long-term memory, growing and repairing muscles and tissues, and release of growth hormones.
Even more enigmatic are weird and lesser-known sleep disorders that had been the subject of fairy tales and popular culture. At some moments in our lives, we have experienced insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, as well as excessive or extreme sleepiness. But some people suffer strange sleep disorders that we thought some of which we can only see in some science fiction movies.
Weird sleep adventures
Sleep should be the most peaceful moments in a person’s life. But some of them can unleash terror and madness unconsciously while asleep. Here are some eerie and sometimes life-threatening sleep disorders:
Nightmare disorder – This phenomenon is perhaps the most familiar to us. Having a terrifying dream that you zombies run after us or going naked to work is common to us. These moments are very real and immersive such that they wake us up shivering and out of breath as if we were involved in the scenario. Doctors blame stress and lack of sleep for having these horrors in sleep.
Exploding head syndrome – Have you heard loud noises like explosions during sleep? Some people have heard sharp, loud noises like crashing cymbals and exploding bombs near or even inside your skull. While these sounds are deafening and startling, they do not inflict pain or danger. Doctors are yet to find out if they are associated with serious illnesses.
Sleepy hallucinations – People with this condition have episodes of strange and very realistic dreams just when their heads touch the pillow. They see visions of seeing people or queer things in their rooms such as crawling bugs or other animals. People experiencing this disorder are often suffering from narcolepsy. So while seeing these phantasmal episodes are not to worry about, sleepers experiencing these hallucinations need to consult their doctors about their narcolepsy.
Sleepwalking – This is another popular disorder. About 15 percent of adults at some time in their lives, walk around the house sometimes even outside in their sleep. Their night amble poses dangers as they do not have conscious effort in doing so. About 19 percent of sleepwalkers get injured from their scary escapades. Science has yet to discover the reason why people sleepwalk.
Night terrors –Children and some adults who are having night terrors scream and frantically run around the house as if muggers or ghosts chase them, but return to sleep afterward as if nothing happened. Many of them do not even remember experiencing this unsettling event when they wake up. They often experience this episode early at night before they reach REM sleep. Experts say fever, sleep irregularities, and stress trigger the terrors.
Sleep paralysis – Some sleepers wake up in the middle of the night waking up as if someone is choking and crushing you down. This disorder causes temporary paralysis in their muscles. They wanted to move but could not do so. Many of them also reported having hallucinations while being paralyzed as if they some “ghost pressing down” on them.
Night eating disorder – Eating is great, but doing it while sleeping is weird. People with this disorder binge without being able to recall doing so when they awaken. Some even chop ingredients and turn on the stove to prepare their meal in their sleep.
REM behavior disorder – While sleep paralysis bars you from moving, REM behavior disorder prompts people suffering from it to be hyperactive. They do stunts like punching, kicking, thrashing, and yelling. When they wake up, they usually remember the dream but not the acts (and the damage) they have done.
Sleep sex – This disorder (otherwise called sexsomnia) is perhaps the most controversial as people having this make sexual advances to themselves (loud moaning or masturbation) or others (sexual assault or rape) without being aware of them. Experts say sleep sex is likely to be caused by sleep deprivation and stress. Other activities like taking in alcohol, drugs and physical contact with a partner in bed are also said to play a role.
Many mysteries take place in sleep. If you or your partner or any family member experience these, especially the ones that may hurt themselves and others, a consultation with sleep experts is highly recommended.