Sleep is supposed to be relaxing and blissful and a part of our day where we let our bodies, soul and minds time to rejuvenate so that they can repair themselves leaving us full of energy and ready to take on the world. Strange things happen during sleep to some people and it may even sound spooky and creepy. What is supposed to be a time of peace and relaxation becomes a nightmare for these people. Sleep becomes a horror for certain people suffering from such sleep disorders.
From a syndrome that that may keep you screaming in your snoozes to the one that keeps a person sleepy all day and all night, inside you’ll find some of the craziest syndromes of the night.. Things so strange that they can be terrifying and deadly for the sufferer.
Unusual Sleep Disorders
Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)
Many of us want those days when we get to sleep few extra hours of the day. Often it’s because we are tired and need a little extra sleep to make up for the sleep lost in week days due to work,studies,etc. or sometimes it’s just because we want to sleep extra. A few extra hours of sleep is just what is needed sometimes for whatever reason. But what if a person sleeps up to 23 hours a day? Disturbing, isn’t it? And what if he sleeps 23 hour a day daily for 3 weeks in a row? Sleeping this much is downright abnormal and this is what happens to someone suffering from the Kleine-Levin Syndrome.
This syndrome is nicknamed as “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome” the disorder mainly affects young boys or teens around the age of 15. The symptoms prevail for 8 years and greater in women. The episodes of the disorder consist of the sufferers sleeping nearly entire day and for several days to weeks. It is very difficult to wake them up during periods of sleep. When they do wake up, they often show abnormal and unusual behaviours in excess such as- compulsive behaviours, binge eating, confusion, heightened sex drive, apathy, sometimes childlike behaviours and hallucinations.
The Disorder may can last 6 months or even a year where the sufferer may have perfectly normal sleeping patterns and schedules.
Very little is known as to the reasons that cause the disorder even though according to a study there has been some connection by an infection in more than 2/3 of patients in precedent. A mood stabilizer lithium is the only medication that has proven beneficial.
While sleeping your body alters between 2 stages-rapid eye movement REM sleep and non-rapid eye movements during NREM sleep. The brain activity increases substantially during the period of REM sleep similar to the brain activity during times of wakefulness causing you to day dream. Your body enters a state of paralysis in a response to keep the body from reacting to those dreams in REM sleep and this leads to shutting down all voluntary functions and muscles in the body.
The most terrifying part of this condition is that sometimes people wake up during REM sleep while their body is still in a paralyzed condition. During this entire time they are well-aware of their surroundings and what is happening around them but unable to speak or move.
As if being in a paralyzed state not enough, a lot of people who get sleep paralysis have reported having hallucinations as well as very intense feelings of anxiety, fear, shortness of breath and panic. Many patients have also reported feeling someone on top of them pressing them to throw out the wind from their lungs or a presence in the room. Approximately 50% of people experience at least one episode of sleep paralysis in their lifetime it has been estimated but only about 4% of people have had more than 7 episodes.
As terrifying as sleep paralysis is for the sufferer, it is virtually harmless and most people are able to regain movement of their limbs after just a few moments or minutes. However, being able to go back to sleep after such a frightening experience will probably take a lot longer.
REM sleep Behaviour Disorder
The REM sleep behaviour disorder occurs when the body does not become paralyzed during sleep letting sleepers to act according to their dreams. This disorder can prove very fearful and daunting, especially when you are acting out your dreams that are violent in nature. Such acts may include punching, screaming, kicking, yelling thrashing about, even running and jumping out of bed. This sleep behaviour disorder can lead to injury of the patient and whoever is sleeping near him.
Having Sex in sleep
Sleepwalking-getting up out of bed and walking in the middle of the night all around is strange enough in itself–without even realizing it. But showing other behaviours while still asleep can get even weirder.
Patients of sexonomia perform sexual acts during sleep but do not remember them happening. Often the sexual acts are aggressive in nature. These sex acts can include fondling, masturbation, rape and intercourse.
Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS)
Exploding Head Syndrome is a real disorder. It may sound like a condition straight out of Hollywood or a sci fi film, but it’s not like any of the other disorders on this list. The condition is not literally what its name is, as in nobody’s head explodes.
Sufferers of EHS may hear hallucinations. Meaning that as they are begin to fall asleep, or within a short time of sleeping, they start to be awakened by extremely loud noises. Many sufferers reported sounds similar to gun shots, explosions, loud shouts, cymbals crashing together and a door slamming shut. Sometimes even visual hallucinations can be seen apart from sound.
Fatal Familial Insomnia
Have you ever wondered if you can die from a lack of sleep? Well the answer is yes you can.
Fatal familial insomnia is a condition which starts with problems in sleeping one night and slowly & steadily increases till the sufferer is unable to sleep. The sufferers lose the ability to go to sleep which leads to lack of sleep and causes problems. The body begins to function abnormally with an autonomic nervous system resulting in the body having problems controlling heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. The symptoms include- high blood pressure, difficulty walking, hallucinations, sleeplessness, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, weight loss, muscle twitches, dementia and then finally death.
These were some of the terrifying sleep disorders. Go see a doctor as soon as possible if you spot any symptoms.