Sleep Paralysis – All of us are temporarily paralyzed during our dreams. It’s just your body’s way to safeguard from finding yourself crashing to the pavement in your PJs because your brain said you could fly. Really, it’s a good thing. Except for people who suffer from this disorder. Their bodies often have trouble with the transition from being asleep to being fully awake, and so they remain paralyzed even after waking up. The temporary paralysis wears off after a minute or two, but it can still be a terrifying experience, and is often accompanied by hypnopompic hallucinations. (Don’t know what those are? Check out Part 1 of this blog series here!)
REM Behavior Disorder – This disorder is the exact opposite of Sleep Paralysis, when the normal paralysis that keeps the body from acting out its dreams is either weak or totally non-existent. Chances are you know someone who deals with this, at least on a minor scale. The minor symptoms of REM Behavior Disorder are kicking, flailing, screaming, talking, punching, or similar activities during sleep. Since most people are guilty of this to some extent, REM Behavior Disorder is hardly a serious issue unless it is particularly bad and the dreamer engages in activities that put himself or others in danger.
Exploding Head Syndrome – Ok, so whoever named this disorder may have been a fan of the occasional hyperbole. No heads actually explode with this disorder. Instead, the people who suffer from EHS will hear a loud bang or pop in their head right before they fall asleep. This disorder can be incredibly frustrating as it makes it very difficult to fall asleep. EHS is thought to be caused by stress and sleep deprivation, and relaxing activities like exercise and calming music have been shown to improve the symptoms.
Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) – A lot of these disorders deprive people of the sleep they need. But KLS does the exact opposite. People suffering from this disorder sleep 20 or more hours per day, only waking long enough to eat. The symptoms also include personality changes and becoming less and less aware of the world around them. Not much is known about the disorder, and pharmaceutical treatment has a spotty track record at best.
Insomnia – This disorder needs no introduction. Insomnia is a well-known disorder that makes it nearly impossible to get to sleep. Insomnia has plagued many people throughout history, from Heath Ledger to Napoleon Bonaparte, from van Gogh to Kafka. There are a plethora of medical sleep aids available, but they can have nasty side effects. If you suffer from insomnia, you can also try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (we have a whole blog on it, here!)
Thanks for reading up on our pick of the 10 most terrifying sleep disorders. Now go make sure YOU get the best night of your life with a new KISS Mattress!