Are you guilty of having strange habits while sleeping? Well, here’s a list of “strange things we do while sleeping” for you to be familiarized with these habits.
1. SLEEP APNEA
You might have experienced a night when you’re gasping for breath, waking up, and falling back asleep immediately. What a nightmare, right? You actually might not even notice it, but the next day you feel like crap.
This particular condition, called obstructive sleep apnea, occurs in people with a narrowed airway, either since birth or after gaining weight around their neck.
If you have sleep apnea, the narrow airway tends to close, stopping you from breathing for around 10 seconds. That’s the time when your body’s built-in survival mechanism kicks in. Your brain basically says: “Oh my god, I have to save you,” and wakes you up. You could feel your blood pressure rises, your heart is pounding, and your body temperature increases. It’ll open the airways, making you gasp and take in the air. After a couple of minutes, you fall back asleep immediately, and the process starts again. The results? You wake up feeling like you never really slept.
Bruxism, clenching, or grinding teeth while you sleep as if you’re a dog with rabies ready to attack.
Bruxism is another weird thing that can occur in all sleep stages, but it’s particularly disruptive in the REM state, which is when dreaming occurs. The usual pain responses are gone in that state, and people grind with a force that can reach people in the next room. If it’s not treated well, bruxing can crack, loosen, or break teeth. Imagine you are sleeping, and in the next room, you hear these horrible cracking sounds. It kinda sounds like a terror movie, though!
You may have noticed that some people grind their teeth at night while others don’t? Researchers aren’t sure. They used to think misaligned teeth were the cause, but that has been proven wrong. However, many people with this condition tend to struggle to deal with chronic stress.
3. HYPNIC JERKS
Have you ever felt like falling while sleeping and involuntarily twitch? Well, the name of it is hypnic jerks, and many people experience them occasionally.
No one knows why they occur, but one theory suggests that they happen due to a “natural downshifting of the nervous system.”
But what happens in your brain when these twitches occur? The hypnic jerks happen when one part of the brain tries to sleep more quickly than other parts of the brain. These jolting ups are sometimes accompanied by dreams of tripping, falling, and even leaning back in your home or office chair. You could also feel any sensation that seems like you’re losing your balance, and you jerk awake.
4. SLEEP PARALYSIS
Imagine waking up in a glass box with no possibility of going out and no space for moving. That’s almost how people with sleep paralysis feel, with their own bodies being the box.
Added to this are frightening hallucinations and a feeling that there is someone else in the room. In antiquity, this state was associated with the mischiefs of evil spirits.
Why does this happen? Normally, when we fall asleep, we are paralyzed so that we don’t sleepwalk and such. With sleep paralysis, our muscles “turn off” when the brain is awake. So, be grateful if this never happened to you. It sounds terrifying.
5. FALSE AWAKENING
Have you experienced having a dream that you thought you already woke up, but later you found out that it didn’t happen?
Maybe you got out of your bed, began your usual morning activity, and took your delicious imaginary meal, and got to work until you found out yourself back in your bed? If you find this familiar to you, you might have experienced what’s known as a false awakening.
Something similar to the movie Inception. A person sees a dream, then wakes up, but strange things continue to happen to them. It turns out they were just dreaming that they woke up. Many people believe, especially esotericists, that if you have this kind of dream, it indicates you have a predisposition to spiritual practices.
But if we are realistic, these strange things we do while sleeping could be just our imagination. To this day, official science can’t explain it at all.
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