What is Sleep Drunkenness? | PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

What is Sleep Drunkenness?

At one point or another, most people have awakened from a deep sleep so quickly, that they become confused about where they are or what they have been doing. This is normal when you wake up so quickly before your brain can register the information.

However, other people suffer from a condition called sleep drunkenness, which causes the same effects, except continuously. According to a recent study, sleep drunkenness affects about 15 percent of people living in the United States, which is 1 out of every 7 people.

What is Sleep Drunkenness?

Sleep drunkenness, which is often called confusional arousal, is a condition that occurs when someone wakes up and often doesn’t remember much. They have temporary amnesia that becomes very overwhelming, as well as a high level of confusion and disorientation.

Unfortunately, this can become dangerous for people who experience it often, as they are disoriented and therefore not thinking clearly. They might cause injury to themselves or others until they become fully aware of the situation. Most people simply go back to sleep or snap out of it, but many people are at a greater risk.

About the Study

A research team at Stanford Medical School conducted the study on sleep drunkenness and what causes it, as well as how many people suffer from it. The results of the study appeared in the August edition of the Neurology journal.

The study looked at 19,136 people in the United States, chosen randomly. Through the study, they found that 15.2 percent of the people were dealing with sleep drunkenness, though the severity of it was quite different in each individual. According to this, it could mean about 75 million people in the U.S. struggle with the condition.

The Study’s Findings

Not only did the researchers see over 15 percent of the people studied were having these confusional arousal episodes, but 8.6 percent reported having partial amnesia during their episodes of sleep drunkenness. The study participants mentioned that they had no idea what they were doing, where they were, or who they were talking to. Some of them had full conversations, but when they woke up again, they didn’t remember any of it. There were also 14.8 percent of people that got up or walked around while in this state.

There is also an overlap seen in the results with other sleep disorders. Approximately 70 percent of the people who experienced sleep drunkenness also have other sleep disorders, such as circadian rhythm disorder. There is also a link between sleep drunkenness and mood disorders, and those who were taking certain medications that affect their brain, including antidepressants.

In the past, doctors have combined treatment for sleep drunkenness with mood or other sleep disorders, but researchers believes they need a separate treatment protocol, based on these findings.

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