8 Weird And Terrifying Things That Can Happen To Your Body When You’re Asleep

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Every day, there’s one specific moment I look forward to when I can climb into bed and fall asleep.

There’s no better feeling than lying down at the end of a long day in your comfortable, cozy bed.

Most of us think of sleep as a pleasant experience, but for some people, it’s actually something to dread. For people with insomnia and other sleep disorders, getting into bed can actually be a stressful experience.

Lots of people have heard of things like sleepwalking and restless leg syndrome, but there are less well-known things that can also happen when you’re asleep, like REM sleep behavior disorder and sleep paralysis.

Do you know anyone who has these scary sleep problems?

Someone in your family might have one and you might not even know it!

Read below to find out more about some of the weirdest things that can happen to your body when you’re asleep.

Thumbnail Photo: YouTube / Ann

#1: You Can Become Paralyzed

asleep paralyzed
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

According to WebMD: “Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds or up to a few minutes. Some people may also feel pressure or a sense of choking.”

Pretty terrifying, right? Find out more about sleep paralysis in this LittleThings article.

#2: You Can Stop Breathing

stop breathing
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

It’s possible to stop breathing when you’re asleep for seconds or minutes at a time. This is called sleep apnea.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.”

Find out even more about sleep apnea in this LittleThings article.

#3: You Can Act Out Your Dreams

act out dreams
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

While some of us wish our dreams would become a reality, we probably don’t want to act out our dreams while we’re sleeping — but that’s exactly what happens in REM sleep behavior disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder is a sleep disorder in which you physically act out vivid, often unpleasant dreams with vocal sounds and sudden, often violent arm and leg movements during REM sleep — sometimes called dream-enacting behavior.”

#4: You Can Have An Orgasm

asleep orgasm
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Yes, you read that correctly: you can actually have an orgasm in your sleep.

Often, if you’re having a romantic or sensual dream, your body will react the same way it would as if it were happening in real life. Because of this, it’s possible to have a full-blown orgasm while you’re sleeping. It might even wake you up from a deep sleep.

#5: You Can Feel Like You're Falling

asleep falling
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Have you ever started drifting off to sleep only to be awoken by a falling sensation?

It’s actually really common to feel like you’re falling when you’re about to doze off.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “These involuntary muscle twitches in the arms, legs, or entire body are called hypnic jerks (or sleep starts), and they’re very common.”

Unlike some of the other sleep issues, hypnic jerks aren’t something you need to worry about.

#6: Your Senses Can Turn Off

asleep senses
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many people think that if something went wrong with their house like a fire, gas leak, or something similar, they would wake up because of the smell.

Unfortunately, a study done at Brown University found that our sense of smell essentially turns off when we sleep.

#7: You Can Sleepwalk

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Sleepwalking might seem like a funny issue, but it’s actually a big deal.

The National Sleep Foundation explains, “Sleepwalking, formally known as somnambulism, is a behavior disorder that originated during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while asleep.”

Sleepwalking can be very dangerous, since sleepwalkers can end up in scary situations. They can fall down stairs, trip over objects, and do other terrifying things.

#8: Your Legs Might Feel Odd

asleep legs
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although it’s less serious than some of the other issues on this list, restless leg syndrome can be really uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explains, “Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them.”

Learn more about restless leg syndrome in this LittleThings article.

Please SHARE this article to raise awareness about sleep disorders!