Do you feel more comfortable on one side of the bed than the other? Does your partner keep you from sleeping thanks to their sleepwalking, talking and eating, or do you get that ‘falling feeling’ just as you’re about to drop off? Although a lot of us experience odd feelings and sensations when we’re falling asleep, most people don’t know why these things are happening, or what they mean.
So, to help get to the bottom of some of these nocturnal routines, we decided to take a closer look at some of the weirdest sleeping habits around.
Sleepwalking is one of the most common sleeping disorders, and it generally happens during the deepest phases of the sleep cycle - more often than not, sleepwalkers have little or no recollection of their night-time escapades.
Sleepwalking is thought to affect between 1% - 15% of the UK population, with children much more likely to suffer from the condition than adults. Common triggers for sleepwalking include alcohol, sleep deprivation, fever and certain medications. Despite common misconceptions, waking a sleepwalker isn’t dangerous. In fact, your loved one could come to more harm if you simply let them wander, so don’t be afraid to give them a gentle wake up call.
Sleep talking can be problematic for a number of reasons. For a start, it can disturb your partner when they’re trying to get their shuteye, and secondly, you have no control over what you say so can easily get yourself into trouble inadvertently. Like sleepwalking, sleep talking is often triggered by alcohol, medication and extreme tiredness, but making a few changes to your lifestyle could help to solve the issue.
Sleep eaters can wake up to five times a night for high calorie snacks or even full meals. As sleep eaters have little control over what they put in their mouths, this condition can be fairly dangerous. Sleep eaters have been known to cut themselves during food prep, and to have put weird combinations on their plate before sitting down for a meal. If sleep eating is a problem in your house, placing locks on the fridge and cupboards could help to curb the problem.
Although there is some scientific evidence that sleeping naked can give you a better night’s rest, this one really comes down to personal preference. Some people believe that sleeping naked helps you regulate your body temperature more effectively, however, selecting the right duvet, and the right mattress, should do the job just as well.
Around 70% of people will experience that ‘falling feeling’ at some point when they’re dropping off, and often this feeling is caused by involuntary muscle twitches. When the body senses a twitch, it can interpret it as falling, and trigger your body to wake up. Some people also believe that it’s caused by the brain beginning to dream before the body has fully switched off, while others think it’s a natural side effect of our bodies slowly relaxing for the night.
While some people simply sleep on the side of the bed that’s most convenient for them, others are driven by much more practical reasons when it comes to sorting the sleeping arrangements. For example, acid reflux can be aggravated by sleeping on the right side of the body, and pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their left side to optimise blood flow to their baby.
Sea otters get their shuteye floating on their backs in the open water while wrapped in seaweed. Designed to help keep them safe from both land predators and the sea currents, this innovative sleep habit is the perfect choice for their watery environment.
If you have weird sleep habits - or sleep next to someone who does - we’d love to hear all about it. Get in touch today to tell us more.