Since the dawn of time, people have always fallen for a deep fascination when it comes to sleep. In Greek mythology, the Greeks recognize Hypnos as the personification of sleep. Hypnos is a well-known entity in ancient Greece because of his incredibly strong powers. Hypnos’s abilities are so strong that it even put Zeus to sleep twice.
Sleep is the unconscious part of a human being’s life that wraps itself in mystery. Sigmund Freud, considered as the Father of Modern Psychology, likens the unconscious to an iceberg, with its tip showing and all the other parts submerged in deep waters.
Although sleep is a thing that most people take for granted, it’s also a phase in an individual’s life to get rest and recuperate from every day’s tiring work and routines. Sleep is responsible for letting the body repair and better itself in the future.
It is a well-known fact that some people will fear something they don’t understand. Such is the reason why some individuals are afraid of sleeping. Slumber brings the entirety of the human being into a state of unconsciousness. When a person is unconscious, it leaves them vulnerable to a lot of dangerous elements.
An example of this is when heavy equipment workers fall asleep on their job and cause accidents that can hurt a lot of people. People think that a lack of sleep is a dreadful thing to happen to them. In reality, some disorders come with sleep can cause a lot of weird and unreal effects on the human body. Here are some of the examples of these diseases.
Although this condition can happen when a person is awake, bruxism produces a terrifying sound that can and will scare most people. Bruxism is the unconscious grinding of the teeth. It is done by clenching and grinding the teeth which make a crushing or numbing sound. Persistent Bruxism can eventually lead to damaged teeth, migraines, and jawbone disorders.
Arguably the most popular sleeping disorder, sleepwalking has been the favorite topic of literature and the arts. Sleepwalking is basically, sleeping while walking. In the past, it’s very existence is debated because of how rare and unique it happens to people. Nowadays, more people are experiencing it and are subject to a lot of physical harm.
Sleepwalking can unconsciously lead an individual to dangerous situations such as busy roads, dangerous heights, and other serious harmful areas. Sleepwalking is also known as Somnambulism. Although rare, certain cases of people committing serious crimes such as murder and assault, citing sleepwalking as a valid defense.
Another mysterious sleeping disorder is Narcolepsy. It is a condition in where people fall asleep suddenly, even in the unsafest conditions. For example, an individual who has the condition can suddenly fall asleep while chopping onions.
Due to the severe harm that narcolepsy brings to its victims, a lot of special precautions should take place. For instance, those who suffer from the illness require them to be with another person at all times. Narcolepsy is such a dangerous condition that most people don’t get a chance to get any treatment at all because of the fatal accidents that happen to them.
Sleeping Beauty Syndrome
As the name suggests, people who have this condition have abnormally extended hours of sleep. Sleeping beauty syndrome or more scientifically known as Kleine-Levin Syndrome can make people fall asleep for as long as a week. These people are hard to wake up, and when they do, their appetites grow exponentially, and their behaviors completely change.
When asked about sleeping for a long time, most people with Sleeping Beauty Syndrome do not remember the time that he or she has slept.
Similar to sleepwalking but with a more lustful twist. Sexomnia or sleep sex is a condition where a person unconsciously has sex with another while asleep. Those who suffer from this extreme condition don’t remember what they did during the act.
Believe it or not, Sexomnia is a valid defense for overturning cases of rape. In Sweden, a case against a man accused of rape resulted in dismissal because he was clinically proven to have Sexomnia. In between 1996 to 2011, there was a total of 18 reported cases of sexsomnia in the United Kingdom.
Exploding Head Syndrome
Although the name of this condition is made to sound Hollywood-esque and made up, Exploding Head Syndrome is a real disorder that some people experience. This condition is characterized by a sudden occurrence of auditory hallucinations right before sleeping.
The noises that people hear are similar to those of a loud gunshot, cymbals crashing, or a door slamming shut. In rare times, some people experience these hallucinations with bright flashes of light. While the condition isn’t life-threatening, Exploding Head Syndrome can cause insomnia.
Fatal Familial Insomnia or FFI
Dying from a lack of sleep is a real thing. In fact, this condition is called FFI or Fatal Familial Insomnia. This condition begins when the person starts to lose sleep for a couple of nights which then gradually increase in duration for as long as a week or month.
The lack of sleep creates a lot of abnormalities within the body. A lot of functions begin to break down, such as providing immunity to certain viruses and bacteria, hallucinations, failure to control blood pressure, weight loss or weight gain, dementia, diaphoresis (excessive sweating), etc.
There is no cure for this disease. Although some of the symptoms mentioned above are highly treatable, FFI is an aggressive condition which, if left untreated, could progress into a coma and inevitably, death.
Sleep is a part of life which people have a hard time understanding. Little is known when it comes to sleeping patterns and anything sleep related. Part of that uncertainty, a lot of individuals, seldom know about certain diseases that affect sleep.
The diseases mentioned above such as Narcolepsy and Sleeping Beauty Syndrome are rare and exceptional examples of sleeping disorder that will surely freak out most people.
Sofia Larosa is a writer and a blogger who works for Beds Online. She loves to read fictional books and travel along with her friends. In her free time, Sofia enjoys spending time with her pet cat, Odie.