Does This Happen When You Sleep?

Sleep is glorious, we all know it. But we rarely talk about how sleep can also be really weird. People sleep walk, they swear their dreams are real, they talk in their sleep. It’s sometimes funny, but also sometimes it can be really unnerving. What causes these and other odd sleep behaviors, and how can we avoid them?

For things like sleepwalking, the answer is unsatisfying. While about 5-10% of the population sleepwalks, we have no idea why it happens. Sleep talking, however, is much easier to explain: it’s a result of too much stress (and oddly, occurs more often in men and in children). Reoccurring dreams is another very common sleep event. One prevailing theory is that we have reoccurring dreams because our subconscious is trying to make us pay attention to one particular aspect of our life, and that we’ll stop having the dream when we give that area more focus. Interesting, right?

Then there’s the scary things that can happen when you sleep. For example, sleep paralysis is extremely scary. When we sleep, our body “freezes” so we don’t sleepwalk; with sleep paralysis, the brain wakes up before the body and the person is left unable to move, and with the terrifying feeling that there is another presence in the room. Yikes! Or what about dreams where we think we’re dying, and we get the sensation of falling before waking up abruptly? We think this occurs because sleeping is similar in some ways to dying (slower breathing and heart rate, low movement). The brain may get scared that you’re sleeping “too well” and will wake you up suddenly, hence the feeling of a “thud”! What are some of the scariest sleep-related incidents you’ve experienced? Comment and let us know!