Strange: Interesting Sleep Disorders That You May Not Realize You Have and Could Be Dangerous

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By: Krystle Crossman

While we are sleeping there are a lot of things going on that we may not realize. Some people snore, others toss and turn all night, and some sleep so heavily that nothing will wake them up. Then there are the stranger things that happen in the middle of the night that you may not realize:

1. Sleep Eating – Do you find yourself waking up in the morning feeling very full? Have you been gaining weight but you aren’t sure why? You just may be sleep-eating. Some people get up in the middle of the night and go to the kitchen to grab a snack while they are still asleep. One of the biggest problems with this is that people generally eat things they normally would not eat or may even ingest toxic substances. This could lead to them eating something that can poison them or eating something that they are allergic to.

2. Sleep Walking – Surprisingly this is more common than it may seem. Around 17% of children and 4% of adults have some type of sleep-walking disorder. This doesn’t involve just walking around aimlessly either, there are some dangerous things that people do while they are sleep-walking. Some will get into a car and drive, others will resort to violent behavior, and some people have even tried jumping out of windows. A study in 2012 found that sleep-walking was often caused by anti-depression medications (SSRIs), alcohol abuse, over-the-counter sleeping pills, and sleep apnea.

3. Sexomnia – This is something that sounds like it is right out of a movie or someone’s fantasy but it is something that can happen and can lead to dangerous behavior. While the person is sleeping they will engage in s*xual behavior. Sometimes it is because they are frustrated and not satisfied with their bedroom life. Other times it is during a dream that they are having. If they are in a serious relationship with a partner it may not end up being too much of a problem, but some people engage in this behavior with people whom they do not know (for example if they pass out at a party with others around).

4. Sleep Talking – This is the most common parasomnia disorder (disorders that occur while you are sleeping). Usually gibberish is spoken and unless you have a light-sleeping partner it is not a problem. Some people will even hold conversations with people who are awake while they are still sleeping.

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