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10 Spooky Sleep Disorders

Nightmare Disorder

People with nightmare disorder often wake with frightening memories of terrifying dreams. They often dread sleep.


Up to 15 percent of adults, and a higher percentage of children, sometimes walk while still asleep. No one knows what causes this, but stress and disturbed sleep may be part of it.

Night terrors

Unlike normal nightmares, night terrors happen during non-REM sleep. The sufferer often yells or screams, and cannot be awakened or comforted.

Sleepy Hallucinations

Hypnagogic hallucinations occur while you are falling asleep; hypnopompic hallucinations occur while you are waking up. People have reported hearing voices and seeing people in their rooms.

Exploding head syndrome

This disorder causes the sensation of a loud noise. To the person hearing them, it seems to originate either from inside the skull itself, or right next to it.

Sleep paralysis

During dreams, the voluntary muscles of your body usually become immobile. Sometimes, though, this paralysis persists even after you wake up.

REM behavior disorder

Sometimes, your brain doesn't properly signal your body to stay still during dreams. When that happens, people act out their dreams -- they might yell or even get out of bed and run around.

Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder

People with sleep-related eating disorder eat during the night, and then wake the next morning with little to no memory of doing so.


Even stranger than sleep-eating is sleep-sex. Sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol, drugs and physical contact with a bed partner can influence this behavior.


The inability to fall asleep can be dangerous. Lack of sleep has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Tired drivers also cause more than 100,000 car crashes and 1,500 deaths each year.

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