We know we need it. We simply cannot do without it. When we are deprived of it, we tend to get cranky, have problems concentrating, we overeat, make mistakes and muddle up everything. Yes, we are talking about sleep, a refreshing, rejuvenating sleep. But have you ever wondered if everybody gets a peaceful one? What happens at the time we are in a deep slumber? Is sleep momentary death? Do we actually cross the world of the living and enter the other realm while we are tucked away in our bed? There are myths and legends, tales and superstitions attached to it. The realm is mysterious and at times terrifying. Here is a list of six weird things that can happen to you, in your sleep.
This condition is strange and is creepy. It lies somewhere between being awake and falling asleep. One is aware of the situation but is unable to move, one can hear, feel and see things, particularly things that are not there, thus inducing a sense of fear. Numerous myths are attached to this phenomenon which has been experienced by many at least once in their lifetime.
Sleep paralysis is also termed as the 'old hag syndrome' where according to western culture the affected person can feel a paranormal presence, a hag in particular sitting on the person's chest. This makes breathing difficult for the person. Legend has it that those who falls prey to the old hag meets with a tragic death in few days. During sleep paralysis, people have complained sighting supernatural creatures, confronting alien abduction, demonic possession or shadow people. Although science stands on a totally different platform when speaking of sleep paralysis, folklores provide us the thrill. Is it related to genetic changes or abnormal sleep cycles and weakness of the nerves or is it something more?
This condition makes one feel as if they are floating outside their body. Often labelled as 'astral projection', 'soul travel' and 'spirit walking', out-of-body experience or OBE is equivalent to occultism in most cultures. The person in this case sees him/her outside the body. The person can see himself lying as his consciousness is outside his body. Although, considered as a neuropsychological phenomenon, one can try and induce an OBE or astral projection intentionally which however requires practice. Experiences of the same did not go subtle for all as the nether world is a dark and a cursed place to take one's soul through. There have been instances where a person's soul failed to travel back to his body.
Sleepwalking is a phenomenon where a person's consciousness is awake however the body remains asleep. The person can walk round the house and even leave the house. However, after waking up, the person remembers nothing. Also known as 'somnambulism', this phenomenon can be caused due to increased slow wave sleep, sleep disorders, extreme tiredness and defects in the central nervous system.
Back in the west, people diagnosed with somnambulism were labelled as Satan's kin. Of course, one cannot forget Lady Macbeth's portrayal of the same.
Sexsomnia is a condition where a person engages in sexual activities while still being asleep. The mind here is asleep while the body remains awake. It falls under a broad class of sleeping disorders known as 'Parasomnia'. In extreme cases it is considered a form of sexual assault, including rape. Popular television series 'House' portrayed the condition in its first season 'Role Model'.
Exploding head syndrome
This phenomenon is funny and scary. A person apparently can hear a loud explosion in the head at the same time hearing loud gunshots, bomb explosion and seeing lights. the cause and the mechanism is unknown in this case, however, affected sleep patterns and extreme tiredness can be the probable causes.
Although not scary, it can be disturbing. These dreams are mostly associated with one's personal life, or to his near and dear ones. There is no proper explanation behind this yet it revolves in a loop affecting one psychologically and emotionally. Often few turn out to be true, whereas few dreams present themselves as a prior warning to an impending doom!