Featured Sunday, 15 March , 2020Short Link:
Most nights, if you're lucky, sleep is a completely unremarkable event. But every so often you may experience bizarre behaviors that can leave you feeling completely confused--and perhaps slightly freaked out.
Ariana News Agency-
We asked sleep docs to decode some of the craziest things that can occur from the moment you close your eyes–and most of them are totally normal. Typically when you dream, your body is paralyzed, but sometimes you can start dreaming before your body is on “off” mode.
With hypnagogic jerks, you might act out a dream like falling off a cliff, falling from the sky, or tripping, says W. Christopher Winter, M.D., Men’s Health sleep advisor and medical director of the sleep center at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Virginia.
Why the falling? Researchers aren’t sure.
“It’s more likely to happen when you’re overtired, sleep-deprived, or stressed,” Dr. Winter says. “And your brain enters into sleep cycles more aggressively, but your body hasn’t caught up.”
Essentially, it’s the opposite of what happens with hypnagogic jerks, where your brain wakes up before the paralysis that accompanies deep sleep goes away, Dr. Winter says. “You may feel like you can’t breathe. Many people describe it as an elephant sitting on their chest. That’s because all of the muscles that control your breathing except for the diaphragm are still paralyzed.”
“With sleepwalking, you’re coming out of sleep just enough for your body to move, but not enough for your brain to be awake,” says Dr. Winter. That’s why you probably have no recollection of your late-night jaunts.
The prescription sleep-aid Ambien has been linked to some of the more bizarre sleepwalking incidents including cooking, binge eating, and driving while zonked out. That’s because even if you wake up during the night, the drug keeps your brain sedated so you’re still in an unconscious state, Dr. Winter says.
If you experience unusual or dangerous nighttime antics and pop the sleeping pill, talk to your doctor about switching prescriptions.
“It often happens within the first hour or two of sleep when your body is entering into deep stages of sleep, but there’s still enough muscle tone to produce sounds or movements that may accompany dreams,” says Dr. Winter.