"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Driving while sleepy and other unusual practices

Most people talk or walk during their sleep sooner or later in our lives. However, some people exhibit more odd complex behaviors while asleep, including eating and driving. This form of behavior, called parasomnias, occurs when parts of our brain are asleep and other parts are awake at the identical time. Parasomnias, while generally considered normal in a healthy child, could cause concern once they develop in adults. Earlier this yr, the FDA issued a “Black box” warnings for the sleep medications eszopiclone, zaleplon and zolpidem, there have been reports of sleep behaviors leading to injuries from falls, automobile accidents, and accidental overdoses related to their use. The FDA also notes that All Medications used to advertise sleep decrease alertness and could cause drowsiness the following day, which might impair your ability to drive.

Common Parasomnias and Why They Happen

Traditionally, parasomnias are classified in line with whether or not they occur during rapid eye movement (REM, or dreaming) sleep.

REM sleep behavior disorder: During REM sleep, the body becomes paralyzed. However, with REM behavior disorder, our bodies aren’t any longer paralyzed, and thus individuals with this disorder act out their vivid dreams during sleep. Comedian Mike Berbiglia publicly recounted the dramatic and harrowing story of his experience with REM behavior disorder. Part of his comedy routine.

Non-REM parasomnias: Parasomnias occurring in other stages of sleep are classified as arousal disorders. Night terrors, sleepwalking, and convulsive movements (also often known as “sleep intoxication”) are classified as arousal disorders, which occur when an individual is less aware, Although he may appear awake along with his eyes open. Abnormal sexual intercourse during sleep, and without intention or thought, is a confusing type. Patients normally have little or no memory of the event. Non-REM parasomnias normally occur in deep (slow wave) sleep, in the primary third of the sleep cycle. These are sometimes triggered by sleep deprivation (which increases the length of time in deep sleep), stress, or a sleep problem akin to sleep apnea.

Sleep-related eating disorders: The condition involves episodes of eating while sleeping, when people normally don’t have any memory of what they eat. People often eat strange things during sleep eating, akin to unprepared or pet food, or non-food items akin to cigarettes, cleansing products, or books. Sleep-related eating has been related to some sleep medications, and may be related to other sleep disorders, especially restless legs syndrome.

Who is prone to developing parasomnias?

  • Genetic aspects play a task in sleepwalking. If your parents are sleepwalkers, you’re more liable to this behavior.
  • REM behavior disorder may be very common in patients with certain neurological diseases akin to Parkinson's disease.
  • Common sleep medications, akin to those within the FDA's black box warning, in addition to some antidepressants, antianxiety, and antipsychotic medications, have also been linked to parasomnias, including sleep-related eating disorders.

Black box warnings are essential, so what should you're taking sleeping pills and are fearful?

If you’re using a drugs that now has a warning, and you’re experiencing abnormal sleep behavior, you must contact your physician they usually can work with you to regulate your medication. When and how you can adjust You should proceed to review your dose along with your doctor, and use the dose with the bottom effect. The FDA recently modified the beneficial doses of zolpidem and eszopiclone. Because they can reduce alertness the next morning.. Studies show that folks can have problems with coordination and memory, that are related to the power to remain within the driving lane, after taking the medication, but people may not know they were impaired.

If you’re concerned about medication negative effects, you must discuss other options for treating your insomnia. I've written before about effective non-drug behavioral options to enable you get a very good night's sleep.