home
RSS
1 in 7 suffer from sleep 'drunkenness'
August 25th, 2014
05:51 PM ET

1 in 7 suffer from sleep 'drunkenness'

Have you ever answered the phone in the morning to discover it was actually your alarm clock going off, or had a conversation in the middle of the night and woken up the next day with no recollection of it?

A new study suggests you are not alone. Researchers found many of us have had a similar experience in our lifetime.

The study, out Monday in the journal Neurology, says one in every seven people suffer from sleep "drunkenness" disorder, also called confusional arousal.

Confusional arousal is when a person wakes up and remains in a confused state for a certain period of time before either going back to sleep or fully waking up.

These episodes typically happen, according to the National Institutes of Health, when someone is awakened during non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is a deeper sleep period. And they're usually triggered by a forced awakening, like an alarm or phone call.

The study authors had more than 19,000 adults fill out a survey about their sleeping habits. They found 15.2% of the participants experienced one episode of confusional arousal during the past year.

Dr. Maurice Ohayon, lead study author and a sleep expert at Stanford University, was surprised by the substantial percentage. When he looked carefully, he says, he found over half of these participants have "confusional arousal one time or more a week, and that is considerable."

What's even more interesting, says Ohayon, is how long confusional arousal seems to last. While more than one third of the participants who experienced episodes once a week reported they lasted under 5 minutes, 32.3% of people said their episodes lasted between 5 and 15 minutes and 30% of people experienced episodes lasting 15 minutes or more.

If someone is experiencing these episodes, they need to let their doctors know, says Ohayon. An episode can cause violent behavior during sleep, according to the study.

"You can hurt yourself physically, hurt someone (else). You wake up irritable and possibly violent." He compares it to waking up in a hotel room - you don't know where you are or what hour it is, so your reaction or responses to the environment are not adapted.

Ohayon says shift workers, such as doctors or pilots, who nap during work and can be awakened suddenly, should block at least 15 minutes of time for their bodies to truly wake up before, say, taking command of a plane or making life-or-death decisions.

The study found that 84% of those with sleep drunkenness disorder also had another sleep disorder, a mental health disorder or were taking psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants. Less than 1% of the people with sleep drunkenness had no known cause or related condition.

Dr. David Alexander Schulman, director of the sleep lab at Emory University in Atlanta, says having these episodes isn't uncommon. "Fifteen percent sounds shocking," but when you think about it, most of us have had these type experiences.

One of the things that can make confusion arousal worse is sleep deprivation. Schulman says it's well known that American's don't sleep enough. "If you are getting less than 6 hours a night, and you are having confusional arousal, then the first thing you need to do is try getting more sleep," he says.

Schulman was skeptical of the number of participants whose episodes lasted more than 15 minutes. While he says these episodes can be common and often funny, most people don't continue to talk into the phone for 15 minutes when their alarm clock is going off.

"I'd be surprised if the episode lasted more than 15 minutes," he said. "That's one of the struggles with a subjective survey."


soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Kimberlee

    I have been back and fourth with too many doctors to many times. I used to be able to wake up at 4 AM in the morning bright eyed bushy tailed and ready to go and get on with my day . Now I have a one and 1/2 year old daughter , a three-year-old little boy that are getting treatment they don't deserve . Now when my kids wake up in the morning between 6 and 7 AM , when I hear something I start screaming at them . I used to think it was a dream , but now my three-year-old son is telling me that I am waking up screaming at them and then I go back to sleep . Every once in a while I wake up and I do realize that I really was screaming at them . I have been on and off antidepressants and they don't seem to help . I recently stopped taking my Wellbutrin , for month and 1/2 that I was taking at night I was able to wake up just fine early and in a good mood . After that month and 1/2 I started waking up moody and really mean again , so I stopped taking the medicine . I don't want to take medicine if it's not going to help me . Is this sleep drunkenness ?

    December 8, 2016 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dimsoldier

      It is a sleep disorder, yes. It is your anxiety manifesting while you are unconscious. When you have lived with a mental disorder for a length of time you will learn coping mechanisms to suppress these intense negative emotions in the company of others, but you do not have this ability while your brain is in certain states, associated with sleep. You need to see an exceptionally good cognitive behavioral therapist in conjunction with a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, we are experiencing a wave of quackery in the US and elsewhere that has deeply rooted itself in the system like a cancer, so beware.

      February 27, 2017 at 20:15 | Report abuse |
    • Loopygrlk

      Screw that! There is nothing wrong with you, youre just tired out from work and kids and need more sleep! 8 or 9 hours a day. Try going to bed earlier!

      April 12, 2017 at 05:33 | Report abuse |
    • lyfboat1

      Yeah same happened with me.

      October 10, 2017 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
  2. victoriafinancier

    TO GET LOAN @ 2% INTEREST RATE with victoriafinancier@outlook.com

    IF you are looking for a loan amount of little or huge amount between $10, 000USD to $100,000.00USD @ 2% interest rate, you will have to contact Victoria Financier Trust Company ( victoriafinancier@outlook.com ). She help me with funds urgently when i was desperate in need of money to payoff my debt after my husband medical expense and more funds assistance to pay our mortgage and refinance my business. I read about Victoria Lawson on how she have help lots of person and she attend to me urgently when i contacted and explain my situation to her. She has help lots of persons that i refer to her too. Contact her now with VIA EMAIL: victoriafinancier@outlook.com

    March 13, 2017 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joann Bailado

    This is the very best search system in the world

    http://google.com

    April 15, 2017 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Danilo Scoma

    This is the very best search system in the planet

    http://google.com

    April 20, 2017 at 03:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Delaware water gap map

    Confusional arousal I suffer from this. Not all the time but I have I should say .it makes me feel old and confused.now we know I'm not home it's just a natural occurrence

    May 3, 2017 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ??????

    类风湿关节炎的日常康复注意事项 类风湿关节炎素有“不死的癌症”之说,两年致残率高达50%,已经成为人们自由生活的重大杀手,百傲鲨。人们&

    June 22, 2017 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jacqueline

    My boyfriend wakes up an entirely different person. He is angry and it's horrible. It actually gives me anxiety. Has anyone figured out what to do besides more sleep? He will sleep for 10 hours and still wake up insane. I hate it and I'm desperate for a fix. He is not willing to see a doctor or anything along those lines. HELP!!!

    July 26, 2017 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Max Anderson

    i always love reading your posts. for any information regarding office check https://www.officesetup-com.com

    July 27, 2017 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jessica Peltier

    Amazing website very informative post, also a forum.I love this.trampoline review, Jumpsport Trampoline, Olympus Pro Trampoline
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyJKoQzoW0w&w=640&h=390]

    August 2, 2017 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jessica Peltier

    Amazing website very informative post.
    trampoline review, Jumpsport Trampoline, Olympus Pro Trampoline
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyJKoQzoW0w&w=640&h=390]

    August 2, 2017 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kim

    I recommend the love spell of (dr_mack@yahoo. com) to anyone in need of help. Use his services, and you will have your lover back. This spell caster lives in the USA

    August 17, 2017 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. new balance rc400

    "twitter/9r2T0a0a0w— Manchester City (.ManCity) July 4, 2016Zinchenko has agreed a five-year-deal at The Etihad to seal his move from FC Ulfa in the Russian Premier League."
    new balance rc400 http://nb.frcls.fr/New-Balance-Sneakers-M1300DB-Denim-Bleu-Gris-Blanc-Stocker-New-Balance-Rc400-LS22269.html

    September 1, 2017 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Someone

    I’m 12 and get this all the time, my parents say that I’m funny and talk a lot. I looked in to it and I believe I have sleep drunkenness. I would fall asleep on the couch and wake up in my bed, I ask my mom and she tells me a funny story how I got up into my bed and how I talk

    September 11, 2017 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Bernardutimb

    Sorry, if not for the subject matter. I had a bit of shame. I randomly misplaced my essay and that i urgently must produce a completely new one particular. I'm able to not publish with my own strength, so I wished to apply to the essay creating assistance for dollars. Seen two or three reports about this, but I do not know if you can confidence these companies. Has any one heard of the term-paper.com?

    September 15, 2017 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ROSE CARMODY

    MY HUSBAND IS BACK AFTER TWO YEARS OF BREAKUP...I AM SO HAPPY. YOU CAN CONTACT DR. UGO WONDER WHO HELPED ME ON GENERALSPELLTEMPLE @ GMAIL DOT COM

    September 17, 2017 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Brittany

    Not sure if this is the same thing but I think I've had this for years... When I was younger I would go to bed and think I slept for days or hours but I'd find out things like they would throw a party and wake me up and I would be awake talking laughing responding playing board games eating cake all this for hours go back to bed wake up and only have pictures to show for it... These days it drives my husband crazy cuz I will be sleeping and he will wake me up and he will say that I said things to him and was so mean to him and was wide awake but I don't remember any of it... I said maybe it's just cuz the baby doesn't give me enough sleep but it worries me cuz I could have a whole day and not remember it or have any recollection of that day even existing... Or those hours or minutes and a lot of the time the person I was doesn't even sound like how I'd act or anything so yeah just thought I would share that Kay bye

    September 28, 2017 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. AUTadheddy

    Возможно, для вас трудно приобрести недорогие запчасти? Запчасти закупки начинают становиться проблемой?
    У нас много продуктов, и у нас обязательно будет то, что вам нужно. Наш выбор автозапчастей охватывает широкий спектр продукции для клиентов. Если вам надо приобрести запчасти для иномарок для вашего автомобиля, то приглашаем вас к нам в магазин автозапчастей для иномарок, где можно найти все для таких машин как Ford Aspire. Также у нас есть свой собственный интернет магазин автозапчастей в котором можно купить втулка амортизатора для Opel Vivaro в интернет магазине автозапчастей. Наш магазин автозапчастей выдать займ под беспроцентный. Задавайте вопросы нашим продавцам о наличие запчастей для машин отечественных для Tager. Гарантия и качество от autocomponent63.ru.

    Мы вам позвоним где и как нас найти. Расскажем о том, как доставляем ваши запчасти для машин отечественных для сиденье третьего ряда.

    Авто запчасти – купить автозапчасти

    October 14, 2017 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Stephen Hill

    How To Get Urgent Blank Atm Card
    We provide services for anyone on how to use the blank ATM cards we have created to hack into any ATM machine around the world without being traced. get blank ATM Programmed card and cash money directly in any ATM machine around you. there is no risk of being caught, because the card has been programmed in such a way that it’s not traceable, it also has a technique that makes it impossible for the CCTV to detect you, this blank ATM cards are not for free, they are bought from us and shipped to your location.
    We deal with serious people who want this Card.
    Email : Stephenhillblankatmhacker@gmail.com .

    October 19, 2017 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.