Sleep is a natural process that the body and brain need to rest and recuperate. While sleeping, the heart rate slows and we are not conscious of what happens around us. However, we have all experienced some mysterious sensations and experiences during our sleep.
Read on to see how many of these mysterious nocturnal experiences you can relate to.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- #11 Eureka!
- #10 Out-of-body experience
- #9 Falling Dream
- #8 Recurring dreams
- #7 Sleep apnea
- #6 Exploding head syndrome
- #5 Sleepwalking
- #4 Dream within a dream
- #3 Sleep talking
- #2 Hypnagogic hallucinations
- #1 Sleep paralysis
When we can’t find a solution to a problem and think about it constantly, we may find a solution in our dreams. That’s the brain’s way of giving us a clue.
Russian chemist – Dmitri Mendeleev—was obsessed with creating a periodic table of elements and then saw it in a dream. A similar incident happened to chemist August Kekulé who wanted a formula for benzene and dreamed it.
Our subconscious has many answers which take time to reach the conscious level. So, when we are asleep, the subconscious level is more active and that’s why we get the answer in our dreams.
#10 Out-of-body experience
This is a neuropsychological state where the person is half-asleep and half-awake. They can see themselves from a place outside their own body, which reinforces the belief that the human has a spirit.
This is a mystery science can’t explain. It’s not clear why it happens. But there are some people who are endowed with the power to enter this state at their own will to expand their cognitive capabilities.
#9 Falling Dream
In this state, we feel like we are falling from somewhere up high. This feeling could be preceded by a dream where we see ourselves flying or stumbling and falling.
When we are dreaming that we’re flying or falling, our brain sends us signals to check if we’re alive. That’s because sleeping is like dying when the heartbeat and breathing slow down and the muscles are relaxed. That’s when the brain perceives this as real death and wakes us up with a sudden jolt.
#8 Recurring dreams
We dream the same dream over and over again.
This happens to make us realize that there’s something important in our daily life that we aren’t paying attention to. Until it gets resolved, we are likely to keep having the same dream.
#7 Sleep apnea
While you’re sleeping, you may suddenly stop breathing. When this happens, the quality of sleep falls, the brain is deprived of oxygen, and you can’t go back to sleep. With sleep apnea, the person may have heart problems due to arterial pressure fluctuations. That’s why it’s important to wake a person who’s snoring.
The pharynx muscles relax and block the air passages, leading to a stop in breathing. The risk of sleep apnea increases with old age, obesity, and smoking. Risks can be reduced by playing an Australian wind instrument called didgeridoo.
#6 Exploding head syndrome
EHS or exploding head syndrome can occur when falling asleep or waking up. The person hears imaginary explosions or loud noises like cymbals crashing. Not harmful by itself, it can cause temporary distress to the person.
Sometimes associated with jet lag or insomnia, EHS is a result of a sudden surge of neural activities in the brain which are responsible for sound processing.
The consciousness is asleep but the muscles are awake. So, a person who is sleepwalking may do normal things while still sleeping, including going out of the house. Some have been known to even walk on a window or building ledges. Usually, they don’t remember anything in the morning. People with this tendency should not sleep alone.
Another mystery that science can’t explain—somnambulism or sleepwalking occurs in about 4.6-10.3% of the population and is more common in children.
#4 Dream within a dream
Made famous by the movie Inception, people experience a dream and then wake up to find they are still experiencing something unusual.
Science can’t explain why a person dreams within a dream. This phenomenon is sometimes associated with spiritual practices.
#3 Sleep talking
Somniloquy or sleep talking occurs when a person who is sound asleep starts talking in his sleep.
More than women, men and children are affected by this condition which is believed to be brought on by stress. The person’s mind tries to resist what he or she does not agree with in reality.
#2 Hypnagogic hallucinations
Hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations are visual, tactile, auditory, or other sensory events. These are usually brief and take place at the transition from wakefulness to sleep (hypnagogic) or from sleep to wakefulness (hypnopompic). The person may hear sounds that are not there and see visual hallucinations that may be disturbing.
Children are more susceptible to this condition and this could be a reason they don’t want to go to sleep easily. If you’re drunk or stressed or have a strong imagination, you may experience such hallucinations.
#1 Sleep paralysis
The person wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t move. They might feel a pressure on the chest and even have hallucinations.
When we fall asleep, we are paralyzed for our own safety so that we don’t sleepwalk. However, while the muscles are not awake, the brain is. It’s more likely to happen when we sleep on our back.
What do you think of these nocturnal mysteries? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.