BEWARE! 7 Weird Things That Your Body is Doing Even You're Asleep

Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up. It may include abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions or dreams.

Although the behaviors may be complex and appear purposeful to others, you remain asleep during the event and often have no memory that it occurred. If you have a parasomnia, you may find it hard to sleep through the night.

Some parasomnias are relatively common, especially in children. Others such as exploding head syndrome are quite rare.

Many parasomnias have relatively mild or harmless symptoms. In some cases a parasomnia can be bothersome enough to require medical attention.

1. Roam the House / Sleep Walking

Sleepwalking involves getting up from bed and walking around when you are still asleep. You may wake up in another room or outside your home and not remember how you got there. It involves a series of other complex actions that are often crude, strange or in the wrong place. This can include things like moving furniture around, urinating or even running. Your eyes are usually open and have a confused glassy look to them during a sleepwalking episode. Being woken up will not harm a sleepwalker, though they may be confused or angry. Trying to restrain a sleepwalker may result in aggressive behavior such as kicking or biting.

2. Night Terrors / Talk or Scream

You sit up in your bed and pierce the night with a blood-curling scream. With the look of intense fear with year eyes wide open and heart racing, you may even kick, thrash and shout things that other people cannot understand. This is a typical night terror (or sleep terror) episode. Most often, you will not have any memory of what happened. At times, you may recall brief segments of a terrifying dream. Night terrors usually happen in the first half of the night. Night terrors are often alarming to bed partners or parents.

3. Send Text Messages

Sending text messages while sleeping may seem strange, but it not surprising considering the number of people who snooze right next to their phones. One survey from Villanova University found that out of 300 students, 25 to 35% had sent text messages while they were asleep. This non-REM parasomnia is harmless—but it could be embarrassing.

4. Drive

A few non-REM parasomnias can be dangerous, and they usually happen when sleepwalkers leave their house. Depending on the severity of RLS—which is a movement disorder associated with a creepy-crawly sensation in your legs that makes it hard to sleep—it can be treated with exercise and diet, iron pills, or medications.

5. Sleep Related Eating Disorder

This parasomnia is defined by repeated episodes where you rapidly binge eat and drink after you wake up in the night. These episodes are out of control and tend to occur when you are only partially awake. You may only have a slight memory or no memory of the binge. This may occur nightly. The food is often highly caloric and consumed in strange combinations. People with sleep related eating disorder might accidentally injure themselves by eating toxic substances, burning themselves or causing fires.

6. Have Arousal

Sexsomnia, or "sleep sex" is another example of a non-REM parasomnia, and it includes intercourse, masturbation, and groping. According to research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sexsomnia was reported by almost 8% of patients at a sleep disorders clinic, and is nearly three times more prevalent in men than in women.

7. Act Out Their Dreams

This is where sleep behaviors can get dangerous. Normally during REM sleep—the stage of sleep when we do the most active dreaming—our muscles are paralyzed, which is thought to protect us from acting out our dreams. But in some cases, there's a failure of paralysis, so people do act out their dreams—and that's called REM behavior disorder. According to The National Sleep Foundation, these types of episodes usually occur in men over the age of 50, but can happen to anyone, especially people taking sleeping pills or antidepressants.