From nipping down for a midnight snack to sending some late-night texts, here are some of weirdest night time activities that people have been known to carry out.
As we become more and more glued to our smartphones during the day, it transpires that we’re actually also more likely to send texts while we’re asleep!
According to Dr David Cunnington, a sleep expert from Australia, the phenomenon is a symptom of the daily stress many face in their lives, leaving them feeling like they constantly need to be ‘on call’, even during the middle of the night.
Dr Cunnington said in this Daily Mail article: “Because it’s so easy to receive emails constantly, and get notifications from our smartphones, it becomes more difficult for us to separate out waking and sleeping lives.”.
As you can imagine, these texts can often be fairly nonsensical and more than a little embarrassing for the sender!
In the stages where you’re either just falling asleep (hypnagogic) or just about to wake up (hypnopompic), it’s possible to experience hallucinations of things going on in the bedroom where it can be difficult to distinguish between dream and reality.
Sleep hallucinations are often associated with sleep paralysis, where someone is unable to move as they’re waking up and may feel like a figure is standing over them at the end of the bed.
Eating while asleep may seem odd, but it’s a recognised medical condition! In fact, some people have been known to walk all the way down to the kitchen, grab a bite to eat and head back to bed with absolute no memory of doing so until the morning when they notice tomorrow’s lunch has gone missing!
In serious cases, the condition can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, especially as the food eaten are often high in fat and sugars.
‘Exploding Head Syndrome’
If it sounds scary, that’s probably because it is. Exploding head syndrome occurs when a person is just about to drift off into sleep but are suddenly awoken by a loud noise sounding like a clap of thunder or explosion.
Not very much is known about this strange syndrome, but the sound is indeed within the person’s head, and while it can be a little worrying, thankfully it is harmless.
Act Out Their Dreams
Those who suffer from REM sleep behaviour disorder have been known to actually physically act out whatever’s going on in their dreams, moving their bodies or even going so far as to get out of bed.
While the brain is very active during REM sleep (the period in which we dream), the body’s muscles are essentially paralysed to stop this kind of thing happening.
However, in some people the brain fails to restrict their bodies, leading to this strange phenomenon!
Sexsomnia (also known as sleep sex) is the act of engaging in sexual acts while asleep. Like many of the other strange things on this list, it takes place just before a person is about to fall asleep.
The person involved will usually have no recollection of the previous night’s activities, and they’re more likely to suffer from the condition if they have been affected by other sleep disorders.