What Makes People So Disoriented When They Wake?

What Makes People So Disoriented When They Wake?

Sleep drunkenness (also called confusional arousal) is a common condition where people wake up in a totally confused state. Episodes can occur after a night's sleep, or even post-nap, and can range in extremity. The person affected usually doesn't remember activities done in this state, and there is still debate as to whether or not sleep drunkenness is its own condition or a symptom of other sleep problems.

Sleep Drunkenness, Explained

It affects one in seven people and episodes typically last 15 minutes.

02:48

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Sleep drunkenness (severe sleep inertia) is when you wake up suddenly in a confused state. (0:22)

  • 2

    Episodes of sleep drunkenness typically last for 15 minutes after you wake up. (0:35)

  • 3

    Caffeine may reduce or prevent the effects of sleep drunkenness, if you drink a caffeinated beverage as soon as you wake up. (1:51)

Why Do We Jump In Our Sleep?

These twitches are called "hypnic jerks."

02:46

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    A hypnic jerk is the scientific term for when you jump in your sleep. (0:14)

  • 2

    The most common theory is that two systems in your brain are fighting each other for control. (0:33)

  • 3

    Some scientists think that the ancient primate brain associated relaxation with falling out of a tree. Hypnic jerks were a way of waking the primate up to keep from falling. (1:31)

Talking In Your Sleep

Scientists can't fully explain it.

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Not everyone needs 8 hours.

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