Do You Have Sleep Drunkenness?

We all know when we've had a little too much to drink.  Maybe you feel slightly high, or very happy.  Some people cry.  But there's a new way to be drunk, and, believe it or not, it happens when you're asleep and you suddenly wake up. 

It's called sleep drunkenness and is characterized by confusion, or inappropriate behavior during or after arousal from sleep.  Most people experience no symptoms.

It affects 15% of the general American population -- that's one in seven people -- with half the people studied saying it happened more than once.  Almost 90% had a sleep disorder or a mental health disorder or were taking psychotropic drugs, according to biosciencetechnology.com.  

“The high prevalence is surprising,” said Dr. Stuart Quan, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who wasn’t involved in a different study, newsweek.com reports.

This state of “confusional arousal” usually occurs when you wake up somebody suddenly, and they don’t know what’s going on, or where they are, Newsweek says. "The condition can cause real problems, especially if it happens frequently; more than half of those who reported experiencing sleep drunkenness said it happened at least once per week."

This is troublesome “because a person in this state doesn’t have his cognitive abilities,” Ohayon told Newsweek.

In the study of sleep habits reported by biosciencetechnology -- of the 19,000 participants aged 18 or older -- those with mental health disorders such as bipolar illness, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety were more likely to experience the state.

The extreme confusion lasts for less than five minutes in 37 percent of people. But in one-third of people, it lasts five to 15 minutes, according to Newsweek.

So, do you have it? You'd probably know, if you do.  Your family and friends certainly would!



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