Thanks to living in a digital age, it’s now possible to know the hijinks you get up to when you’re supposed to be peacefully sleeping. I had a college roommate who talked in her sleep, and I kept a running transcript of the creepy stuff she’d say on our bulletin board.
Years later, I can’t get enough of the sleepwalking side of TikTok. People rig their homes and apartments with motion-activated cameras and post themselves emptying their refrigerator, rearranging their living rooms, and just acting weird. Losing control of your body while you’re unconscious is nothing short of terrifying. If you’re looking for something new to fuel your anxiety, check out these bizarre sleep disorders.
5 Weirdest Sleep Disorders
As far as freaky things you do in your sleep goes, things could be worse than sleep talking. It’s relatively harmless. There’s a big range in how advanced your nighttime ramblings might get. Some people just say gibberish and snippets of sentences that make little sense. Other people will carry on full conversations without being aware they’re even talking. There’s nothing dangerous about sleep talking. If you’re worried you’re summoning demons or spilling secrets after you fall asleep, there are apps you can use to record what you say.
While also “harmless” to your health, sleep terrors are so disturbing that they inspire insomnia in people. They’re terrifying for people watching someone else have one. People often look and act awake during a night terror, but they’re trapped in something horrifying in their minds. Kids are most often afflicted, but even adults can experience the occasional terror.
Waking up but being unable to move sounds like the stuff of sleep terrors, but it’s another weird sleep disorder people often experience. People who are casting about for a “plausible” explanation for hauntings will cite sleep paralysis. The episodes can last anywhere from just a few seconds up to a few agonizing minutes. It’s usually linked to another sleep disorder, such as narcolepsy. Treating the other underlying cause can resolve the paralysis as well.
This bizarre sleep disorder can affect people at any age. Parents, desperate to keep their kids safe, will lock them into their room rather than discover them perched on the rooftop during a sleepwalking episode. In extreme cases, adults have to sleep in a sleeping bag while wearing oven mitts to prevent themselves from escaping. It’s an urban legend that it’s dangerous to wake a sleepwalker. Always wake the person before they hurt themselves.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
When you think about dreams from a fresh perspective, we all are just experiencing vivid hallucinations in a socially appropriate context. People with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder start dreaming before they’re in REM sleep. Because their bodies haven’t paralyzed themselves for safety, they act out the dream; moving around and yelling. This sleep disorder gets worse with time and requires help from a sleep professional to resolve.