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

Driving while sleepy and other unusual practices

Most people talk or walk during their sleep in some unspecified time in the future in our lives. However, some people exhibit more odd complex behaviors while asleep, including eating and driving. This kind 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 12 months, the FDA issued a “Black box” warnings for the sleep medications eszopiclone, zaleplon and zolpidem, reported 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 subsequent day, which may impair your ability to drive.

Common Parasomnias and Why They Happen

Traditionally, parasomnias are classified based on 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 referred to as “sleep intoxication”) are classified as arousal disorders, which occur when an individual is less aware, Although he may appear awake together 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. They are sometimes triggered by sleep deprivation (which increases the length of time in deep sleep), stress, or a sleep problem resembling 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, resembling unprepared or pet food, or non-food items resembling cigarettes, cleansing products, or books. Sleep-related eating is related to some sleep medications, and might also be related to other sleep disorders, especially restless legs syndrome.

Who is susceptible 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 resembling Parkinson's disease.
  • Common sleep medications, resembling 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 vital, so what in case you're taking sleeping pills and are anxious?

If you’re using a drugs that now has a warning, and you’re experiencing abnormal sleep behavior, you need to contact your physician and so they can work with you to regulate your medication. When and find out how to adjust. You should proceed to review your dose together with your doctor, and use the dose with the bottom effect. The FDA recently modified the advisable 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 flexibility to remain within the driving lane, after taking the drugs, but people may not know they were impaired.

If you’re concerned about medication uncomfortable side effects, you need to discuss other options for treating your insomnia. I've written before about effective non-drug behavioral options to allow you to get a great night's sleep.