10 Crazy Things Your Body Does When You're Asleep

And you thought you were weird awake.

Every night (hopefully), we go to sleep to recharge our bodies for another stab at having a good day tomorrow. During those hours, we're susceptible to a number of odd behaviors typically out of our control. Dreams are an obvious one and people do have the ability to train themselves to gain awareness of their dreams without waking up — also known as lucid dreaming.

There's plenty beyond that, though, and most of it doesn't even have to do with dreaming.


1. Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is probably the funniest odd sleep-related behavior, but it's also the most dangerous. You can trip over something, turn on the stove and burn yourself, even get behind the wheel of a car and drive. Since your body is awake but your brain isn't, you usually won't have any recollection of what you did — that's why many sleepwalkers will wake up in a place and not remember how they got there.

2. Sleep Talking

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about 5 percent of adults talk in their sleep. W. Christopher Winter, M.D., medical director of the sleep center at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Virginia, says it usually happens in the first hour or two of sleep when "your body is entering into deep stages of sleep, but there's still enough muscle tone to produce sounds or movements that may accompany dreams."

3. Sleep Sex

Right. Sounds cool. Apparently, a good chunk of couples have woken up mid-act. Dr. Winter said in his experience, "working with patients, the attitudes, behaviors, and things people may say during sleep sex are often very different from what they'd do and say when fully awake." Hmm.

4. Recurring Dreams

According to Dr. Winter, "recurring dreams may happen with unresolved psychological issues your brain is trying to sort out." So if you keep having a dream where you show up to work totally naked, maybe you're a little too stressed about that upcoming presentation you have to give. Or you need to buy some clothes. Either one.

5. Paralysis

When you've fully drifted off to sleep, your muscles undergo a sort of paralysis. Although that sounds terrifying, it's probably a good thing, because it keeps you from acting out your dreams. This also explains why whenever you're being chased by a tornado in a dream, you can't seem to do the one thing you need to: run.

6. Feeling of Falling

We've probably all been there. Your minding your own business in your dream, having a nice casual walk or something, and then ... you walk off a cliff. It's a weird sensation and usually something that leads to you waking up suddenly.

7. Body Spasms

Often occurring in conjunction with something like the sensation of falling as you enter sleep, sometimes your body will suddenly spasm out of no where. This is what happens when your brain starts dreaming before your body is fully asleep. It's not abnormal, but get ready to apologize to whoever's next to you in bed in the morning. You probably just kicked them.

8. Eye Twitching

Rapid eye movement, better known as REM, is the phase of sleep when your eyes dart around from side to side under your eyelids. It's the deepest state of sleep in which dreams typically occur and as such, is the most disconcerting to wake up from.

9. Weight Loss

You lose water during the night through perspiring and breathing out humid air. This happens during the day, too, but it's negated by whatever you're eating and drinking. This doesn't mean more sleep is an alternative to exercise or simply eating Subway like Jared (too soon?) — the change is relatively minimal.

10. Growing Taller

Much like the weight loss, this one isn't incredibly significant, but your body does "stretch" a little longer in the night because the discs in your spine aren't being squished down by your body weight. Act accordingly.

(H/T: Men's Health, Woman's Day)

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