Snooze News: 5 Scary Things That Can Happen While You’re Asleep

Snooze News: 5 Scary Things That Can Happen While You’re Asleep

No one would characterize sleep as a frightening activity (we hope!). And yet we realize there’s some downright scary stuff that can happen while we’re in dreamland. In search of novel ways to make Halloween scary-fun, here’s a rundown of freaky things that could go down while you’re asleep tonight (bwahahaha!).

1. You might have nightmares

Contrary to popular belief, nightmares are not something you outgrow. As many as one half of adults still experience nightmares on occasion, reports  show. Triggers include late-night eating, which boosts metabolism and brain activity, sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, anxiety, and depression.

To reduce your risk of a fright fest in bed, practice good sleep hygiene: For starters, keep your bedroom dark, cool, and peaceful, and avoid heavy foods, alcohol, and nicotine before bedtime.

2. You may have sleep paralysis

Few things are more terrifying than an episode of sleep paralysis: the inability to move while you’re dreaming, often combined with other-worldly visions or encounters. Some people report seeing ghosts, dead people, bugs, and more. As long as snakes aren’t involved, we’re good.

3. You might see ghosts

Before you roll your eyes in disbelief ????, paranormal activity isn’t as ridiculous as you think: One in five adults report seeing or feeling the presence of a ghost. To no surprise, these encounters often occur when people are sleeping (we have sleep paralysis to thank for that). We say, any spirits disturbing our sleep cycle should be the scared ones.

4. You may sleepwalk

Who should be more frightened: The sleepwalker or the person witnessing it? Mild cases may include wandering around your bedroom. In the most severe cases, some sleepwalkers have committed crimes and gone to trial!

In those instances, there’s a “sleepwalking defense,” a legal argument where a criminal defendant may not be held accountable for actions taken during a sleep-like state. Suddenly, our sleep-eating habit doesn’t seem so bad.

5. You might not feel pain while sleepwalking

One study showed that 79 percent of sleepwalkers who experience an injury while sleepwalking felt no pain during their episode and remained asleep, despite hurting themselves. One individual in the study even broke his leg when he “sleep-climbed” the roof of his house. Experts believe this is due to lack of pain perception, which usually requires consciousness. Gives a new meaning to the phrase, “The Walking Dead.”

–Alex Stein