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 (1,786 Responses)
  1. Rob Mcdowell

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    May 6, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tesha Ornelas

    Its like you learn my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you simply can do with some % to power the message house a bit, however instead of that, that is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I'll definitely be back.

    May 6, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Michaelaltem

    Regardless, its because they realised there was no money to be produced from the booming Pakistani casino industry. There is absolutely no casino at Pakistan yet. Its perfectly legal to have property in casinos but to not run over four cards at a time at a live casino also also to only have two land cards in a hand in an internet poker game. However, how could locate a casino if there wasn't any Pakistani cities with sufficient people to support one? That is where I come in. How do you locate a casino in a country with no single casino on its own doorstep?
    The government of Pakistan has banned all online casinos in the nation. Why is this so? Is it because they don't enjoy their guests spending cash on casinos? Can it be because the government is concerned about organised crime running rampant in the nation and the danger that online gambling can bring?

    https://shootercasino.com/ – shootercasino
    I've been working in the slot and casino business in the UK for the previous 10 decades and I have played many online and offline casino games. My job as a consultant has given me some insight to how to use the Betting Exchange to generate income and I can tell you that its quite easy to make money working with the exchange. It is possible to use your credit card to deposit into a"blind" or non-player accounts and play against the casino's live gamers, who will have placed their bets before you entering the room. Playing on a live casino having actual individuals also affords you the chance to use a top roller bonus and the chance to win big jackpots which you would not be able to reach in your home country. Although casinos use different language to call what is essentially the identical thing, I will use exactly the same terms to describe what you are doing if playing with an online casino.

    May 6, 2021 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Heriberto Swaney

    whoah this blog is wonderful i like reading your posts. Stay up the great work! You realize, lots of individuals are hunting round for this info, you could help them greatly.

    May 6, 2021 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Barrett Pascal

    I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

    May 6, 2021 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Thad Goodsell

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

    May 6, 2021 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sherryl Gonzales

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

    May 6, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Kermit Meudell

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

    May 6, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Marinabew

    музыка таджикский 2020


    May 6, 2021 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Brigitte Trejo

    I feel that is one of the such a lot significant info for me. And i'm happy reading your article. But want to observation on few basic things, The web site taste is great, the articles is really great : D. Just right activity, cheers

    May 6, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LebnEncox

    peoples drug store best drugstore bb cream canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg

    May 6, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Emerson Lindstrom

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in truth was once a entertainment account it. Look advanced to more delivered agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

    May 7, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. BbshMile

    free viagra sample pack by mail http://loxviagra.com/ viagra triangle

    May 7, 2021 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dusty Girdlestone

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web site is in fact fastidious.

    May 7, 2021 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. dapoxetine

    priligy 90 mg priligy 60 mg

    May 7, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Brigida Kight

    Hi there, I read your new stuff regularly. Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing what you're doing!

    May 7, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Angelia Nimmo

    If some one desires expert view about blogging afterward i suggest him/her to pay a quick visit this website, Keep up the good job.

    May 7, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Dessie Seal

    obviously like your website however you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the truth then again I will surely come back again.

    May 7, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Bonnie Cissell

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get anything done.

    May 7, 2021 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Bernadine Milne

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    May 7, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Leave a Reply to injection suppository


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.

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.