Most look at the words ‘sleep drunk’ and think one too many drinks the night before. That’s not the case, with the condition known also as confusional arousal. Basically if you have ever answered your phone at night just to realize it was your alarm, you are the one in seven Americans suffering from the condition.

Sleep talking is another example of this – having a conversation with a person and not recalling it the morning after. At least you have a ready made excuse now for your significant other. Sorry, I was confusional aroused when you were talking about new curtains.

Yeah, I know. Another condition. Pretty soon we are going to need pills just for our pills. A new study, published in Neurology, is out looking at the disorder. The confused state happens when someone is forcefully woken up during REM (deep) sleep. Confusion sets in before the person completely wakes up or goes back to sleep.

The study looked at incidents of confusional arousal and found a strong correlation with other mental disorders. Patients that took part in the study had a higher report rate if they had a sleep disorder, took antidepressants or had mental health issues.

Researchers looked at over 19,000 participants and interviewed them on their sleep habits. 15% admitted to having an episode, with 50% of those admitting to more than one episode a week. Stripping out the data further, 84% had one or more of the above disorders.

One area the research didn’t dive into is electronic device usage. You have to wonder in our digital lives if the messing with your phone before bed causes these episodes.

Lead author, Maurice M. Ohayon is already pushing for further studies and possible treatment options.

“These episodes of confused awakening have not gotten much attention, but given that they occur at a high rate in the general population, more research should be done on when they occur and whether they can be treated.”

It looks like the Ambien buffet will be making its grand return.


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