Have you ever woken up from a pretty good night's sleep to a wholly confusing and bizarre situation? Maybe you're chewing the pillow, or your feet are where your head should be, or you're already halfway across the room about to punch your door. You have no idea how you got there or why you're doing what you're doing because last you checked, you were blissfully asleep. But now you're awake, and you're confused as all-get-out.
Today, in honor of all weird and cool things related to sleep, we're here to share eight truly weird ways to wake up, and we don't mean caffeine and calisthenics.
If you've ever been confused about why your wake-up is so crazy different from how you fell asleep, this article is for you.
We'll start with one of the mostly tame but still peculiar wake-up phenomena: waking up completely blanketless. You went to sleep with your sheet and blanket tucked up to your chin just like always, but when you woke up, every scrap of cloth on the bed has been kicked, tossed, or folded away. Maybe you even threw a few pillows across the room for good measure or just pushed them over the side like dropping sandbags from an air balloon.
We usually do this when we're hot at night, but not always. Sometimes, you can lay the blame on a bed-spinning, blanket-stealing partner. Occasionally it's tossing and turning from active dreams. But sometimes, it just happens, and you wake up shivering for no good reason.
2. Sleep Paralysis
Have you ever woken up but felt unable to move or speak or even breathe correctly? This is called sleep paralysis, and it's often accompanied by waking nightmares of ghosts or shadows or demons. Often sitting on your chest or standing at the end of your bed. Rest assured, you're not haunted. Sleep paralysis happens to a lot of people — it's a surprisingly common sleep disorder.
Sleep paralysis happens when your eyes open, and your brain becomes aware before you officially exit REM sleep. REM shuts your body down, so you relax and sleep deeply. So basically, you're still dreaming, but your body hasn't given you back the controls yet. It is a pretty scary experience, as not being able to move triggers the waking nightmares. It's okay. Just give it a few minutes, and your body will finish waking up.
3. On the Floor
Whether you dream of falling or just woke up on the floor with zero memory of how you got there, it's always weird when you go to bed on an excellent soft mattress and wake up face-down, chewing carpet. Maybe you slid gracefully off the bed on a wave of covers and woke up, still clutching your pillow. Perhaps you dreamt of fighting ninjas all night long, and physical leaps left you rolled and tumbled onto the floor.
Maybe there really were ninjas, and you really did fight them, and you didn't quite manage to make it back into bed before REM paralysis took you over. It's hard to say, but it's probably nothing to worry about. If you fall out of bed too often, consider installing those rails they put on bunk-beds for little kids.
4. Halfway Across the Room and Kickin'
Have you ever woken up on your feet and ready to fight? Maybe you're already punching a hollow-core door, or perhaps you're standing in the kitchen in your jammies holding a glass of water. This means that your body acts stuff out while you're asleep and is a common sleep disorder known as somnambulance. In other words, you're sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking happens in about one to 15% of the population at some time in their life. It's much more common in children, but if you've ever done it, you're more likely to do it again. Some people are vividly dreaming, some go about normal life and can hold conversations that they have zero memory of after officially waking up.
5. Upside Down in Bed
Tossing and turning is normal. Waking up without covers or all the covers (if you're the covers-thief) is pretty reasonable. Even falling out of bed happens from time to time. But sometimes, you wake up confused because you are entirely upside-down in bed. Your feet are resting gently on the pillows (or thrust under them), and your head is down at the foot of the bed. And It. Is. Freaky.
This typically combines with seriously rumpling your covers and is most common with people who curl up when they sleep. The most likely explanation is that you curl up, then toss and turn, then curl up, then toss a little, then curl again until the curling action has scooched you all the way around. Or you're possessed, but it's probably the curling answer.
6. Still Dreaming
Anyone who's ever tried the Dymaxion sleep schedule or anything like it may have experienced this extraordinary kind of sleep-walking. You wake up. Your eyes are open, and you're technically interacting with the world around you. But you are cold, and you are still dreaming. Colors are vivid, everything is funnier (or more angry-making) than it should be, and you feel sort of like you're floating through life except that it's so darn cold.
This is the wonderful joy of forcing your body awake when it's still asleep, right down to the remarkably lowered body temperature. Like sleep paralysis, but you're not paralyzed. It's fun. Really. If you're a Dymaxion superhuman. If you find yourself in this state, we suggest you either go back to bed or crawl into a nice warm shower.
7. Soaking Wet
You went to bed feeling healthy, but you wake up soaked to the skin. Your pajamas are soaked. Your sheets are soaked. Your partner has instinctively scooched away from you, unaware that they, too, are soaked. No, your friends haven't snuck in and pulled the bucket of water prank, that's just a cold night sweat.
Night sweats happen for all sorts of reasons. Maybe it's just sweltering, and your body is making its complaint known. Perhaps you're coming down with a cold, or you have some other medical condition for this widespread symptom. It can relate to hormones, so all the usual phases (pregnancy, menstruation, menopause) can apply. Or maybe your body just decided you should wake up clammy today. It's cool. It happens to everyone.
8. Next to a Very Confused Partner
Finally, the one we've all experienced at least once for whatever reason: waking up next to someone who is already fully awake and utterly bewildered. Maybe you just had an awesome conversation with them in your sleep. Perhaps you just kicked the ever-living bejeezus out of them with your mighty dream-ninja fighting skills. Or you just screamed your fool head off, then rolled over to snuggle.
When your sleep is weird, it can get even stranger for anyone with the privilege of sharing a bed with you. The only thing weirder is waking up in one of these ways to your partner happily snoring along as if you weren't acting like a crazy sleep zombie moments before.
For more great sleep insights, jokes, and ideas for getting back to sleep after discovering weird ways to wake up in the morning, contact us today!