We've all experienced problems sleeping: not being able to fall asleep, not being able to stay asleep, nightmares, some of us even walk or talk in our sleep, but these problems seem to come and go in phases. However, some of us just can't seem to ever get over these annoyances, which can last weeks, months, and even years.
The most common sleep disturbance is insomnia, which is described in our books as taking any of the following forms: having trouble falling asleep, waking up too early in the morning, and waking up during the night having trouble returning to sleep.
Other disorders of sleep in our books include narcolepsy (rapid and often unexpected onset of sleep), sleep apnea (blockage of the airway during sleep causing daytime fatigue), night terrors (sudden episodes of screaming, perspiring, and confusion followed by a return to deep sleep), and sleepwalking (walking while fully asleep). However, nearly all of us have already heard of these disorders before. So what about the disorders most of us haven't heard of? My interest in bizzare sleep disturbances will be sure to inform you of strange and rare sleep disorders that, believe it or not, affect people like you and me.
Sleeping Beauty Syndrome (Kleine-Levin Syndrome), although more common in males than females, is a strange sleep disorder in which sufferers sleep for unusual amounts of time. Most people with this disorder sleep for between 13 and 24 hours at a time, however, one 15 year old girl, Louisa Ball (see video below) reported to have slept for 13 days straight. People with this disorder typically have regular sleep patterns most of the time with random onsets of lengthy sleep periods that last from a few days to several weeks.
Exploding Head Syndrome, more common in elderly people but still experienced by those of all ages, is a strange disorder in which sufferers experience a loud sound one to two hours after falling asleep. These sounds are produced from in the brain and are not actually auditory, although people with this disorder seem to believe that the sound was actually something they heard. Most people experience a sense of anxiety or fear after experiencing the sound, yet the syndrome itself is harmless.
More sleep disorders involve sleep-eating, sleep-sex, and even sleep-murder, all of which the sufferer is unable to recollect any or recollects minimal amounts of what occured the prior night.