Millions of people are affected by sleep disorders worldwide. There are many types of sleep disorders in the world some of which are dangerous, deadly, scary and creepy. Few sleep syndromes are very common like insomnia whereas Fatal Familial Insomnia is very rare. The sleep disorders are directly linked to brain and neurological problems whereas few are related to genetic issues.
Most of us have dreamed and got nightmares from the childhood. Nightmares are a very common thing in everybody’s sleep and are not very serious, but nightmares can become scary to turn into a creepy sleep disorder Most of the sleep disorders are caused because of sleep deprivation, stress, improper sleep patterns, and due to overuse of stimulants.
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We have created the list of top 10 most creepy sleep disorders in the world one shouldn’t fall prey to.
10. REM Behavior Disorder – A Sleep Disorder
Some of the disorders listed here belong to this family of sleep disorders known as REM Behavior Disorder (REMBD). This disorder is caused in episodes and each episode could last from few seconds to an hour. As time goes, the disorder can become worse and serious. REM Behavior Disorder is directly linked as a neurological condition. Breathing is irregular, brain becomes highly active, and the blood pressure rises during an episode of REM Behavior Disorder.
This disorder affects men more often than women. This disorder occurs more among the elderly middle-aged men. The good news is, this sleep disorder can be treated.
9. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious and dangerous sleep disorder that is a common sleep disorder around the world. The patients suffering from OSA may sometimes die due to short of breath. Apnea literally means transient cessation of respiration. There are different types of sleep apnea, the most common one is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) where the patient’s breathing stops and resumes frequently leading to snoring. Sleep apnea occurs when the upper throat muscles blocks and opens the air passage way. Sometimes such sessions leads to getting up from sleep with sudden jerks to the body due to lack of oxygen.
OSA not only affects sound sleep but also is a life threatening sleep disorder. USA has more than 12 million people affected with OSA. Sleep Apnea is caused due to unhealthy lifestyles such as sleep deprivation, improper sleeping patterns, stress, smoking, obesity and blood pressure. The disorder is serious and during the early stages of this disorder it can be treated by following healthy diet, sleep and exercises. Other treatments may include inserting devices to keep the airway open and there are surgical methods to remove the throat blockages.
8. Sleep Violence
Sleep violence is related to sleep walking on a violent note. Sleep violence is an aggressive behavior while sleep-walking such as acting out their dreams and committing sleep crimes such as kicking or hitting other people or themselves. Sleep violence is a scary and serious sleep disorder that is accompanied by other disorders such as sleep walking, sleep terrors and REM Behavior Disorder.
Patients experiencing this behavioral sleep disorder tend to eat and drink more sometimes during their sleep. The worst part about this disorder is the disorder can lead to killing or strangling your own partner or kin. Sleep deprivation, stress and erratic sleep cycles are some of the common reasons behind sleep violence. The good news is, sleep violence has drugs and treatments that can efficiently treat the disorder.
7. Sleep Walking
Sleep walking is also known as “somnambulism”. Sleep walking is a sleeping disorder that makes the patient get up and walk while asleep. Some patients tend to perform other activities as well while asleep. The scary part about sleep walking is, the patients may injure or die when walking without their sense of external world. Sleep walking occurs when the person’s sleep shifts from deep sleep to lighter sleep or awake-state. The patient can’t respond while sleep walking and do not remember anything after the event. Some people even talk while sleep walking that doesn’t make much sense.
Sleep walking is not just scary to the person suffering but to others as well. While sleep walking the patients tends to keep their eyes wide open. Several things that can lead to sleep walking, some of them include sleep deprivation, erratic sleep schedules, stress and alcoholic influence.
6. Night terrors
Night terrors or sleep terrors is a sleep disorder that leaves you scared while asleep or suddenly waking up from sleep due to a dreadful nightmare that’s very real. Generally, night terrors occur to children but can affect adults as well. Sleep terrors occur during the pre-stage of REM sleep known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
Sometimes the sleep terrors are so intense that you wake up screaming out and even crying. Medical science hasn’t able to find the mystery behind sleep terrors. Night terrors are little different from a nightmare, which is actually a bad dream that leaves you frightened and scared. Night terror on the other hand occurs less frequently and leaves you highly terrified. Sleep terrors have links with sleep walking. Sleep terrors have connections with gene history of your parents or ancestors. If your parents or ancestors have had sleep terrors then you have big chances of getting them. Since this sleep disorder is directly linked to the central nervous system and brain, the exact mystery behind night terrors are not known.
5. Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is one of the scariest conditions one can ever get. The patient suffering from sleep paralysis tends to go into a vegetative state upon waking up from sleep. The condition prevails when brain and sleep are not in sync. The patients sometimes are terrified to go to sleep as they find themselves paralyzed and not able to move when they wake up. Sleep paralysis is sometimes accompanied by terrifying hallucinations and mental distress. Sleep paralysis could last from a few seconds to an hour. The patients in a prolonged sleep paralytic state tend to suffer from sleep terrors as well where the patient hallucinate an intruder in the room and sometimes a sensation of chest or neck strangulation.
Narcolepsy is one the reasons for sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is closely related with REM Atonia and occurs during REM sleep. Other than narcolepsy, sleep paralysis is caused due to lack of sleep, stress, physical fatigue, insomnia, sleep deprivation, erratic sleep schedules, and overuse of stimulants.
Narcolepsy is not to be confused with insomnia. Narcolepsy is a condition relating to excessive daytime sleeping, that is triggered by emotions such as sudden noise, terror, fear, laugh and cry. Narcolepsy is similar to KLS, but different in terms of its abnormal REM sleep and the patient is in a paralytic condition meaning he is able to sense his surroundings during his sleep but not able to move the body. The five classic symptoms of this disorder are cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, and excessive daytime sleepiness, that is commonly referred to as “tetrad of narcolepsy”.
The patients suffering from the disorder tend to completely collapse during any sudden extreme emotions. Even though this disorder looks not very serious, but can be scary. Narcolepsy is also related to a genetic condition that doesn’t have a complete cure but the patients suffering can be helped to a great extent. There are drugs available to target specific symptoms of the disorder helping the patients to cope with other symptoms.
3. Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)
KLS is an excessive sleep disorder that is affecting very few people in the world. KLS is a very rare and complex disorder related to the nervous system that occurs in episodes. This disorder is known as a “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome” as the patients sleep for more than 15 to 20 hours during a single episode. Other symptoms include distinctive mood changes, and hyperphagia. The episodes are recurrent in nature, where a single episode can last for a week and not more than a month. The recurrent episodes last for more than a decade. Patients generally get 20 episodes for over a decade.
Though, this disorder occurs one in a million and can be serious and scary. This disorder is linked to certain genetic lines that occurs commonly among adolescent males and a very few females. There are no known cures for this sleep disorder. Some patients have shown signs of depressions and anxiety as symptoms. Though, considered rare KLS is one of the creepiest sleep disorders in the world.
2. Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome
Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome also known as Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) or “bed death” is death of adults or adolescents during sleep. The scary part is even healthy men may die during their sleep without any explanations. This disorder is directly related to cardiac failures and irregular activities of the heart during sleep.
SUNDS is one of the scariest and deadliest sleep disorders in the world that is affecting more and more people from the south Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, China and Philippines. This disorder is considered to have a genetic link from this race of humans. The only possible way of preventing the disorder is by implantation of a defibrillator.
1. Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI)
Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), is a rare sleep disorder and the most dangerous sleep disorders of all. FFI falls under a rare genetic disorder which is an autosomal dominant inherited disease of the brain. The worst part is, this disorder doesn’t have any known cure. The symptoms of the disease include insomnia, hallucinations, confusion state, and delirium. The scary part is, the patient on an average would survive for only 18 months. Sleeping pills are known to have shown no effects on patients suffering from the disease. The patients do not get sleep for 5 days continuously and some never sleep. Finally, the patients die of sleep deprivation.
The disease hits the brain and the nervous system by impairing and malfunction of the system. Once affected, the patient tends to lose his intelligence and memory slowly. They also show signs of behavioral changes and insomnia that can finally lead to death. The first recorded death of this frightening disease was a man from Italy who died in 1765. This disease is caused due to the mutation of the protein PrPC. It can also be caused spontaneously in patients with a non-inherited mutation variant called sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI). Only about 100 are affected by this rare disease in the world.