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Sleep is something completely natural and essential for human survival. We all wake up, exert, get tired, and then sleep. But imagine what would it be if the sleep, that's so dear to all of us, wasn't as peaceful as we know it. Several people from across the world suffer from various sleeping disorders, and it's not a joke what they go through.
Here are 10 bizarre sleeping disorders that will give you a chill in your bones.
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It's a rare condition where a patient wakes up from their sleep to realize that their body is effectively paralyzed. The episode can last somewhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, and is accompanied by hallucinations, panic attacks, and anxiety. As there is no clear cause for the condition, there is no guaranteed way to prevent it.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can cause people to stop breathing during the night, putting them at a risk of as much as dying in their sleep. Approximately 18 million Americans are affected by this condition. It's of two types; obstructive sleep apnea is where the throat muscles relax, and the breathing passage closes, and central sleep apnea is when the brain stops sending signals to the body to continue breathing.
This disorder prevents the patient's muscles to paralyze during the sleep, this means the sufferers would act out their dreams, speak in their sleep, act, kick, and even walk about as if they were awake.
Exploding head syndrome is when the patient would hear loud imaginary noises when they are about to sleep or wake up. The noises have been explained as similar to bombs exploding, doors smashing etc. They might be accompanied with flashes of light and muscle spasm. These episodes are caused due to a neural trigger, most probably bought on by sleep disruption.
Also known as the sleeping beauty syndrome, it usually affects teenage boys. Sufferers can spend up to 23 hours a day sleeping for several weeks. When awake they tend to have heightened hunger and sexual drives. The syndrome occurs for several years with a break of a few months between the episodes.
3 Million people worldwide suffer from this sleeping disorder that basically disrupts the patient's sleep and waking up cycles. On the mild cases, it can cause disrupted sleep during the night and excessive sleepiness during the day along with reduced concentration and memory problems. More severe cases include patients getting a sleep attack, where they unexpectedly fall asleep, sometimes, mid-task.
Most common among middle-aged women, sleep-related eating disorder generates an uncontrollable urge to binge eat. It must not be confused with conventional midnight snacking as those affected have no control over their habits and have no recollection of even leaving the bed. Though sugary snacks are the prime choice among sufferers, people have been found to eat various foods such as cat food, salt sandwiches, and cigarette butts.
Observed in only 40 families around the world, it's a rare genetic disorder that starts with difficulty in sleeping, panic attacks, and weight loss, followed by physical and mental deterioration. It can be described as a condition where the brain forgets as to how to sleep. Complications from sleep deprivation can lead to comas and if the patient continues to deteriorate, even death.
Patients with this condition engage in sexual activities while completely asleep, with no control and recollection of their actions whatsoever. Most commonly it involves masturbation and fondling, but in some rare cases it can also lead to rape.
This condition can be presented in any patient often with little or no prior medical conditions or symptoms, though post-mortems reveal that majority patients suffered from a heart condition. First noted in the 1970's among the people of the Hmong community of Laos. The deaths among the community generated the mythology of 'dab tsuam', a jealous hag-like woman, who would sit on the people and stop their breathing. It's now thought that Hmong people were so convinced by the mythological story, that the fear triggered a genetic heart defect, causing the deaths.