The Null Device

Parasomnias

A long and very interesting article on the class of sleep disorders known as parasomnias; a set of bizarre conditions which range from night terrors to sleepwalking, sleep-eating, sleep-sex and more (one man even almost strangled his wife in his sleep, thinking she was a deer).
She had been eating in her sleep since her late teens, finding clues like chocolate frosting on her pillow or cherry pits and porkchop bones in the sheets. ''I thought I was the only person in the world doing this. I would wake up in the morning wondering, What did you do last night?''
Fifty-three minutes after falling asleep, the teenager gets out of bed and begins crawling on the floor, growling, his hands folded into paws. He seizes a corner of the mattress with his teeth and shakes it. After six and a half minutes, perspiring heavily, he collapses and becomes ''clinically unresponsive.'' When technicians ask him, he reports that he has been dreaming what he always dreams -- he is a large cat following a female zookeeper with a bucket of raw meat. Here's the strangest thing of all: this parasomnia is not technically a sleep disorder. Throughout the episode Cat Boy's EEG reports that his brain is ''awake.''
A man with REM behavior disorder appeared on the monitor fighting phantoms over his bed. A case of a person acting out a dream? ''Either he's acting out a dream, or possibly dreaming out an act. It could be that the brain makes up something to explain the movement created by motor-pattern generators in the brain stem.''

(via Slashdot)

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