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 (3,682 Responses)
  1. Bobbye Akehurst

    I needed a payday loan, so I went to Cashback Loans.

    June 19, 2021 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jarrod Vest

    Peaceable Tidings Present Basket is a hand delivered reward.

    June 19, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Harriett Hillyard

    Merely have your recent flowers delivered.

    June 19, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Margarita Berry

    It could also make an exquisite birthday gift for her.

    June 19, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Erica Zadow

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through issues with your RSS. I don't know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    June 19, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Teodoro Tufnell

    Secondly, it is cheap to guide flowers on-line.

    June 19, 2021 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Candida Conover

    Outstanding quest there. What happened after? Good luck!

    June 19, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. AskerAvese

    Заработок В Интернете На Зарубежных И Отечественных Буксах
    Продвижение Сайтов В Яндексе И Google
    Цифры Заставляют Задуматься
    Заказать Продвижение Бизнес Сайта В ТОП Поисковых Систем
    Создание И Продвижение Интернет-магазинов

    June 19, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Finley Youl

    This price is relevant for unsecured loans only.

    June 19, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. AskerAvese

    Продвижение Сайта В Нескольких Регионах – Полная Инструкция
    Продвижение Сайтов В Поисковых Системах
    SEO Продвижение Сайтов
    SEO-продвижение Сайтов В ТОП Google: Заказать По Выгодной Цене В Новосибирске
    Лидер Поиска – Интернет-агентство: Комплексный Интернет-маркетинг

    June 19, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Marion Hunley

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through issues with your RSS. I don't know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    June 19, 2021 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Deandre Bobb

    It's amazing to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues regarding this article, while I am also zealous of getting familiarity.

    June 19, 2021 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Shad Herr

    I am genuinely happy to read this webpage posts which consists of tons of valuable facts, thanks for providing these data.

    June 19, 2021 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Shalanda Obryan

    Many individuals ask about 1 Hour Payday Loans.

    June 19, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Neva Whiting

    However, they are still lower than payday loans.

    June 19, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Lorraine Park

    I don't know if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It seems like some of the text within your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This could be a issue with my web browser because I've had this happen before. Appreciate it

    June 19, 2021 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jani Creason

    We provide payday loans for all credit score types.

    June 19, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Fanny Loton

    Usually, brief-time period loans are your greatest bet.

    June 19, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Foster Morrow

    The rule is elevating a furor amongst payday lenders.

    June 19, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kassie Lamington

    My pals flowers were delivered as promised.

    June 19, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Gretta Nobbs

    Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thanks!

    June 19, 2021 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Susanne Lapsley

    Flowers have been as ordered and beautiful.

    June 19, 2021 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Colby Dockery

    Our florists are fluent in the language of flowers.

    June 19, 2021 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jimmie Steiner

    We needed to shock her with birthday flowers.

    June 19, 2021 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Windy Smartt

    Nothing beats an armload of roses on Valentine's Day.

    June 19, 2021 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Harry Poole

    My mother beloved the flowers and association.

    June 19, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Debbra Nilsen

    On-line lenders typically focus on payday loans.

    June 19, 2021 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bernardo Shute

    An example of flower is a rose that blooms.

    June 20, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Annetta Scarborough

    Ship presents to USA by making use of the web.

    June 20, 2021 at 00:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Kendrick Garcia

    I ordered the flowers after hours on Saturday.

    June 20, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Essie Jerome

    He departed this life on March 25, 2020 at eight:fifty one a.m.

    June 20, 2021 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Donna Applegate

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring? I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    June 20, 2021 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Luciana McIlwraith

    Payday loans will not be accessible at our shops.

    June 20, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jasper Atencio

    The flowers actually brightened up the day.

    June 20, 2021 at 02:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. pharmacepticacom

    erectile dysfunction and radiation treatment https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Adelaide Nemeth

    A surprising association of gorgeous yellow sunflowers.

    June 20, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Terence Gorsuch

    Meskipun demikian banyak orang mempertanyakan apakah mereka dapat menyalin game PS3 ke hard drive sehingga game asli dapat disimpan di sebuah tempat yang aman. The release of the communications requested in this FOIA will nudge open a door to the inner sanctum of the High Priests of green-think in the EPA, as well as provide much-needed insight into the EPA's operational allies amongst environmental NGOs and associated non-profit advocacy groups. com agen bola sbobet ibcbet casino 338a tangkas togel online indonesia terpercaya.

    June 20, 2021 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Janelle Mccloskey

    He departed this life on March 25, 2020 at eight:51 a.m.

    June 20, 2021 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Chanel Turk

    Beautiful flowers!What a candy factor to do.

    June 20, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ulysses Mansfield

    Payday lenders don't do exhausting credit checks.

    June 20, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Peggy Toosey

    The recipient was grateful for the gorgeous flowers.

    June 20, 2021 at 05:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Efren Perreault

    They at all times rave concerning the flower arrangements.

    June 20, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Bennett Keel

    Hello there! This post couldn't be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    June 20, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Bob Sain

    The bouquet was sent as a birthday gift.

    June 20, 2021 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. link idn play poker

    This design is wicked! You certainly know how to
    keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos,
    I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!)
    Wonderful job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

    June 20, 2021 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tamela Considen

    He departed this life on March 25, 2020 at eight:51 a.m.

    June 20, 2021 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Clinton Seccombe

    Most of the women love presents with its precise value.

    June 20, 2021 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jeannine Awad

    The December birthday flower has a rich history.

    June 20, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Meridith Scaddan

    Hello to every one, it's truly a good for me to go to see this web site, it contains useful Information.

    June 20, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Roslyn Tressler

    Creighton also serves as a resource for OPPD customers contemplating the use of alternative energy projects on commercial sites. Republican Congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska has a bill with a great deal of support that would place the responsibility for review and permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Seven lease sales that were scheduled to take place after Obama's inauguration have been now canceled entirely: one in the western Gulf, one off the coast of Virginia, and five in Alaskan waters, all with proven reserves.

    June 20, 2021 at 10:00 | 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 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73

Leave a Reply to Ophelia Oakes


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.