Getting enough sleep is important to keep your mind and body healthy. A good night’s sleep can help you do away with numerous health issues like depression, anxiety, etc. But has the thought of nightmares prevented you from falling asleep? Sleep disorders, paralysis, hypnic jerks, etc. are a few of the most common and scary sleep facts that can occur while you are asleep. Most of these syndromes go unnoticed, and few individuals may not even remember their occurrence in the first place. This article lists the most common scary facts about sleep that you may or may not be aware of. The occurrence of such sleep issues should not leave you worried; you must remember that such unusual sleep patterns are absolutely normal.
10 Common Scary Sleep Facts
Sleep paralysis is a sign that the body is not moving through the various stages of sleep, according to studies conducted by sleep researchers. Sleep paralysis is nothing more than the feeling of being motionless. Most often, people find themselves unable to move or speak, and a few others have also complained of feeling choked while asleep. You might wonder what causes sleep paralysis. Although there isn’t a clear cause, many medical professionals have connected it to narcolepsy, panic and anxiety disorders, insomnia, and poor sleep habits. Sometimes a family history of paralysis during sleep can also be the reason what causes sleep paralysis.
Sleepwalking is one of the strangest yet scary facts about sleep. Though it is an involuntary movement, it can put the sleepwalker as well as the other family members at risk. A person with a sleepwalking disorder may also harm themselves, drive while asleep, or engage in sleep-eating in addition to sleepwalking. Sleep deprivation, stress and sleep schedule disruptions are the most commonly known reasons behind sleepwalking. In certain cases, this scary sleep fact is linked to family history. If a family member has the habit of sleepwalking, their offspring is likely to suffer from the same condition.
This is the most common scary sleep fact of all. Almost everyone out there has experienced a nightmare. When sleep paralysis and hallucinations combine, the person experiencing it could be left feeling terrified and unable to sleep for a long time. Whatever happens during the nightmare could feel so real-like that you could be left scared and sleep-deprived for many nights to follow. Nightmares are one of the scary facts about sleep that has no explanation.
Another scary fact about sleep is the sensation of falling off a cliff while asleep. But luckily, you wake up just before you hit the ground. This sensation is referred to as a “hypnic jerk.” One of the strangest things about sleep is that you don’t have a valid explanation for most of the phenomena that occur while we are asleep. Hypnic jerks usually occur during the non-REM stages when our body muscles are slowly transcending into the relaxed stage.
Acting out One’s Dream
This is one of the strangest and scary sleep facts. When an individual suffers from sleep apnea and REM disorders, their body might involuntarily act out while asleep. Most often, they act out their dreams, sometimes injuring themselves or their sleep partners. People suffering from REM disorders are known to run the risk of suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia as they get older.
Inception-Like Dream Control
One of the most debated things about sleep is the ability to control one’s dreams. This might be a scary sleep fact for some, while it can leave a few others strongly wanting to control their dreams. Studies have revealed that many individuals claim to have good control over their dreams. From being able to fight off danger and start scenes from where they left off to stopping dreams, many people claim to be able to identify and control their dream states pretty well.
Exploding Head Syndrome
A loud noise wakes you up—it might have sounded like a gunshot inside your head or a heavy object dropped in the room opposite yours. The exploding head syndrome is one of the most unsettling scary sleep facts. Though there’s no pain associated, the sound can leave you awake for quite a long time. Most people forget about it completely, while some are left talking about it even the next day.
Floppiness of muscles in the throat leads to vibration of the muscles that causes the sound commonly referred to as snore. There are herbal medications to resolve these things about sleep that cause disturbance to others; but unless the medical condition is solved, it can leave your sleeping partner suffering from sleep deprivation for quite a few nights. So even though it may not be a scary sleep fact for you, it can be the most disturbing thing for your partner.
Restless Legs Syndrome
This is another scary sleep fact that you need to look out for. An uncomfortable sensation in your legs can leave you with the urge to move your legs while asleep. Doctors have associated one of these scary facts about sleep with an inadequate amount of neurotransmitter dopamine. Lack of iron in the diet can be the major reason behind inadequate amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
This has become the most problematic thing about sleep these days. Most people have the habit of checking their phones for messages every 5 minutes. This becomes addictive to such an extent that some people find themselves texting while asleep. So, if you have some unexplained WhatsApp messages, your newly discovered texting syndrome is to blame. It might not seem like a scary sleep fact, but just imagine insulting your boss and not being aware of it!
A few things about sleep cannot be explained—like talking in a different tongue while asleep, waking up with an aching head but not being able to remember what caused it in the first place, etc. There are numerous scary sleep facts that have no particular explanation at all. You just need to stay informed so that the next time you experience them, you can rest assured that it is not an abnormal condition. If these sleep issues are persistent and causing hindrances to your daily life activities, then it is advisable that you visit a doctor for medical recommendations.