Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do You Have These Weird Sleep Disorders?

This article is a collection of three of the most bizarre sleeping disorders ever found. Intrigued? I hope you are, as I am. : )

1. Bruxism (gnashing of teeth)

Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw. Growing up, my sister used to have this. We're sleeping on the same bed so often I wake up and tell her to stop the bad habit. But she still does so unconsciously. My relatives tell us maybe it's hereditary, because my maternal grandfather also had this.

Bruxism is mild enough to be considered an actual health problem, though some of our friends say one probable cause is stress. It can occur on either long sleep or short naps, considered as one of the most common sleep disorders recorded.

2. Sexsomnia (sleep sex)

Sexsomnia is informally known as "banditing," a form of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) parasomnia that causes people to engage in sexual acts such as masturbation, fondling, sexual intercourse and sexual assault while asleep. In medical terms, it is diagnosed as NREM Arousal Parasomnia, as a distinct variant of sleepwalking. Often unpleasant consequences associated with sleep sex are criminal defenses and rape cases. Other negative effects include feelings of shame and embarrassment.

Causes of this? Well, according to statistics, people who have encounters in sleepwalking and/or sleep-talking are more likely to exhibit sexsomnia episodes. In some cases, it has also been noted that sexsomnia could be caused by sleep-related epilepsy which results in sexual arousal, thrusting and orgasms. When this is the cause, the patient actually remembers the event and is not confused upon awakening. Scary, huh. Anyone sharing bed with a person having this will have much trouble, I guess.

3. Pavor Nocturnus (night terrors)

This is most commonly called "bangungot" in the Philippines. Though not proven, people believe that night terrors occur when a person slept when overly full after a meal. But in medical studies, this terror results because of lack of oxygen to the brain. It is a parasomnia disorder characterized by a temporary inability to regain full consciousness.

Sometimes, the person can't really move and is believed to be haunted by some demon who eats up the soul and takes the body. In due course, the sleeping victim wakes up abruptly gasping, moaning or screaming. When asked what the plot of the "nightmare" is, people rarely can recall the story of the terror. This usually occurs during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.