5 Strange Sleep Disorders

by Allison Tsai Editor

Exploding Head Syndrome

Although exploding head syndrome sounds terrifying, it is relatively harmless. This disorder is considered to be a parasomnia, and is characterized by the perception of loud noises, such as door slams, fireworks or gunshots, right as the person is trying to fall asleep or is waking up. Some people hear explosions in one or both ears, and others report seeing bright flashes, like lightning.

Sleep Talking

Sleep talking occurs during sleep without the person being aware of it. Sleep talking can involve complete monologues and complicated dialogues, or gibberish and mumbling. It is typically rare and short-lived, but occurs more often in males and children.

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis occurs when a person is falling asleep or waking up, and involves a person being fully conscious, but unable to move their body. Sometimes people also experience hallucinations and trouble breathing, which can make the experience terrifying. Scientists have found that the phenomenon occurs due to a disconnect between the brain and body during REM sleep.

Sleep Eating

Sleep eating, also called Sleep-Related Eating Disorder, is considered a parasomnia where people get up in the middle of the night to eat, and generally do not remember the episode in the morning. In addition, 65 percent of people with this disorder eat unpalatable things, such as frozen food and buttered cigarettes.

Non-24 Hour Sleep Wake Syndrome

This disorder affects the normal 24-hour synchronization or circadian rhythms, which is informed by the light and darkness of day and night. Because light and dark are environmental cues for sleeping and waking, many people with this syndrome are blind, though some sighted people also have this disorder. It can shift your sleep-wake cycle, which causes poorer quality of sleep.

Allison Tsai
Meet Our Writer
Allison Tsai

Allison wrote for HealthCentral as an editor and producer for Allergy, Asthma, Cold & Flu, COPD, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Skin Care, Skin Cancer, and Sleep Disorders.