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Fact or fiction: those things that go on in the night

Fact or fiction: You shouldn't wake a sleepwalker.
Sleep mythologists once sternly warned to never wake a sleepwalker – and that rousing one could even startle them to death! It's true that it can be quite difficult to wake a sleepwalker, since the behaviour typically happens during deep sleep. And an awakened sleepwalker would be disoriented and likely not remember the incident. But there's no danger in waking them. In fact, you may ultimately protect them from any potential harm they might find if left to amble around the house or out the front door. The best thing to do, though, is to take a sleepwalker by the elbow and carefully lead them back to bed, allowing them to remain asleep if possible.

Fact or fiction: As long as night-time tooth-grinding doesn't keep you awake, it's no big deal.
Sleep bruxism is the grinding and clenching of teeth during sleep. If you're a "bruxer," you might not even know about your gnashing habit, but your bed-mate may hear it and your dentist may see the signs of wear and tear on your teeth. Severe and untreated tooth-grinding can lead to sleep disruptions, damaged teeth, headaches, and pain in the jaw, face, and ears.

Fact or fiction: That sudden jerking motion you feel as you're dozing off means you're dreaming about falling.
At that early point in your sleep cycle, you're probably not dreaming yet. That unexpected jolt, which can feel like falling off the bed or stepping off of a tall curb, is more likely a hypnic jerk, or "sleep start." About 60% to 70% of us experience them occasionally, and they are a very common part of the falling-asleep process. Some sleep experts theorize that these jumps might be a normal part of the transition into sleep or perhaps an evolutionary memory of sleeping in trees. Too much stress, caffeine, anxiety, alcohol, or exercise right before bed may increase the number and intensity of sleep starts. Don't worry about these jolts, unless they're keeping you from getting enough sleep or if you're regularly experiencing muscle jerking sensations at other times of the day.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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