Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Sleep Drunkenness Is Related To Disorders And Mental Illnesses --Study

A recent research shows that confusional arousal, more known as sleep drunkenness, links to various sleep disorders, use of antidepressants and mental health conditions such as panic and bipolar disorders. The study was published in the scientific journal Neurology last Aug. 26.

Dr. Maurice Ohayon, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, surveyed 19,136 noninstitutionalized adults in the U.S. to determine if there is a link between sleep drunkenness and mental health disorders.

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Ohayon and his team of researchers found that 15 percent of their respondents have experienced sleep drunkenness during the past year. The survey showed many among the respondents have suffered more than one episode in a week.

The research also found that out of the more than 19,000 respondents, 8.6 percent of the respondents admitted they could not remember their sleep drunkenness completely or partially, while 14.8 percent said they had experienced nocturnal wandering episodes.

What was even more alarming, the research found, was the high number of people who suffered from sleep drunkenness.

The research reported that 84 percent of the people interviewed had problems sleeping, had mental disorders or had taken psychotropic drugs -- drugs that contain a form of chemical substance that mixes with the brain and affects how it functions.

Sleep drunkenness causes a person to be disoriented state upon waking up. Sometimes, people wake up they are not even sure if where they are although they are in their own bed. They exhibit difficulty talking during their waking moments and sometimes would mistakenly answer their phone when their alarm clock sets off.

The study found that of the more than 19,000 respondents, 37 percent had mental health problems. The commonly reported mental health illnesses include depression, bipolarity, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress and anxiety.

Ohayon gave examples of the negative impact of sleep drunkenness to those who suffer from it. He said at one point, there was a man who was on board a ship who woke up, became severely confused and fell off the ship's deck. The said man died.

Another was an extreme case in which a person struck another while in bed, but the assailant could not clearly remember what just occurred.

Aside from the mental disorders mentioned, there are other instances when people could suffer from sleep drunkenness. Those suffering from a jet lag may experience sleep drunkenness and so would people who either had less or extended amounts of sleep.

As for the latter examples, the researchers found that 20 percent of those sampled had either only slept for six hours every night, while another 15 percent slept for nine hours each night.

Unfortunately, finding a cure for sleep drunkenness remains medically elusive.

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