This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation
It turns out that the nighttime can be full of odd behaviors.
You probably have a solid idea of how the hours between bedtime and the alarm going off play out. And, sure, the majority of your shut-eye is spent going through normal sleep cycles. But the wee hours of the morning can also be when some pretty strange actions take place. Weirdest of all: You often have no idea that you’re doing them! Of course, there’s sleep walking and sleep talking, but check out these five more surprising things that you might be doing when you think you’re dreaming peacefully.
Some people end up eating anything from a small snack to a huge feast while asleep. It often takes place in the earlier part of the night and you will likely not have any memory if it happening unless you see evidence (like wrappers or dirty dishes) in the morning. In fact, although the habit is rare, sleep eating could be the cause of your unexplained weight gain. The practice is more common in women than men.
The bed is most often used for two things: sex and sleeping. But sometimes the two things can happen at the exact same time. It’s called sexsomnia and, although it's rare, it might be caused by medications that you're taking for depression or other sleep issues.
Imagine waking up in the morning and feeling full of rage. It’s called confusional arousal disorder and it describes a condition where you wake up feeling very upset, aggressive, and agitated. The anger wears off pretty quickly—in five to 15 minutes—and people who suffer from it often have no idea that they had been ticked off at all.
Acting out Your Dreams:
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder is a condition in which people move their bodies as if their dreams are happening in real life. So, if you dream that your house is on fire, you may run out of your actual home in your pajamas. It has some famous sufferers (comedian Mike Birbiglia even made a movie about his issues with it called Sleepwalk With Me), but can be pretty scary. It most often happens to men over the age of 50.
Snoring isn’t the only ruckus that some sleepers make. Catathrenia, also known as nocturnal groaning, is a rare sleep disorder in which people emit long moans or shrieks in their sleep. The noise can last up to a minute and can be very loud.