Many people show signs of parasomnias, or sleep disorders. And it’s much more common than some might think. However, without a sleep partner, many people don’t even realize they have some of these weird sleep habits.
Here are 5 of the most common parasomnias:
Sleep talking is one of the most well-known of the sleep disorders. Although it can happen at any age, sleep talking is typically most prevalent among children and adolescents.
Talking in one’s sleep doesn’t typically last long, and often doesn’t entail intelligible speech. The talker’s speech may range from making a few small noises, to using phrases or even sentences.
This sleep disorder is very prominent in television shows and in movies. Sleepwalking typically occurs during “deep sleep,” when brainwaves slow down and breathing becomes slow and deep.
It is often difficult to wake the sleepwalker up during this stage of sleep. Their eyes are also often wide open, even though the person is very much asleep. For these reasons, many find the idea of sleepwalking to be quite unsettling.
Sleep starts, or “hypnic jerks,” cause the sleeper to have the sensation of either tripping or falling from a great height. This sensation causes the sleeper’s body to jerk abruptly, waking them “with a start.”
“Sexsomnia” is one of the most controversial parasomnias. This occurs when the sleeper attempts acts of a sexual nature – particularly to an unsuspecting co-sleeper.
Much like with other sleep disorders, the person is sound asleep when performing these sexual acts, and can not remember committing them upon waking up the following morning.
acting out dreams
This parasomnia is also known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. Much like other sleep disorders, it takes place while the sleeper is in the REM stage of sleep, where most dreaming occurs.
Individuals with this disorder tend to physically respond to their dreams by “acting them out.” However, this can be dangerous to both the sleeper and co-sleepers, as they may become violent while dreaming about being attacked, or defending themselves from an attacker.