Sleep drunkenness might be common

15 percent of people may suffer from confusion, disorientation on awakening

SLEEPY BRAIN  Many people experience sleep drunkenness, where the mind is sluggish and confused soon after waking, a new study suggests.


Sleep drunkenness
SLEEP DRUHNG-kuhn-ness n.

Sometimes the body beats the brain out of bed, leaving a person in a foggy, disoriented state called confusional arousal or sleep drunkenness. If you’ve ever woken up not knowing where you are, had trouble talking or tried to answer the phone when the alarm clock rings, then you might have experienced sleep drunkenness. And you’re not alone.  Plenty of people regularly inhabit this hazy world, a study published August 26 in Neurology suggests.

A survey of over 19,000 adults in the United States found that about 15 percent of individuals had experienced confusional arousal in the previous year, many of them suffering from more than one episode in a week. Such episodes were linked with other sleep problems, antidepressant use and mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or panic disorder. 

Laura Sanders is the neuroscience writer. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Southern California.

More Stories from Science News on Health & Medicine