Top 5 Bizarre Sleep Disorders

Some pretty bizarre sleep disorders may be to blame for not getting enough sleep every night. Learn about some of the strangest sleep disorders out there.

In the quest for a restful night, we often overlook the myriad of sleep disorders that can drastically affect our lives. From the more commonly known conditions like sleep deprivation, restless legs syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea, to the unusual and lesser-known disorders, sleep problems are a widespread concern across the United States. These disorders can manifest in various forms, ranging from excessive daytime sleepiness and REM sleep behavior disorder to night terrors and sleep-related eating disorders. The impact of these conditions on sleep quality and overall health is profound, affecting not only older adults but people of all ages. Understanding and addressing these sleep issues is crucial, with a myriad of potential underlying causes, including medical conditions, genetic mutations, and lifestyle factors like jet lag or poor sleep hygiene. Healthcare providers and sleep specialists play a vital role in diagnosing and managing these disorders, employing tools like sleep studies and continuous positive airway pressure therapy. As we delve into the world of sleep disorders, we must recognize the importance of enough quality sleep and the various treatment options available to improve sleep quality and safeguard our health.

Why Is Good Sleep So Important?

Sleep helps your brain form new pathways to learn. Sleep also plays a vital role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in repairing your blood vessels and heart. More sleep means less stress during busy times. Lack of good sleep, like what happens when you have a sleeping disorder, can cause serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, weight issues, migraines, weakened immunity, and increased risk for diabetes.

Of course, not getting good sleep can have many causes that are not necessarily rooted in bizarre sleep disorders. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep and don’t feel like getting enough rest during the night, check in with your physician. However, you may be interested in learning about some of the bizarre sleep disorders out there.

Check out the 5 strangest sleep disorders!

5. Fatal Familial Insomnia

There are some very bizarre sleep disorders out there

Twenty-eight families around the world have unfortunately proven that it’s possible to die from lack of sleep. Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is a disease that damages the thalamus, a part of the brain that controls sleep.

People with FFI usually die within six to 32 months of exhibiting their initial symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health. Hallucinations and loss of cognitive and motor skills accompany prolonged insomnia. FFI is passed down through families. The disease has no treatment.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Deteriorating cognitive and mental function
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Inability to sleep
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of coordination, or ataxia
  • Movement and kicking when sleeping
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle twitching and spasms
  • Rapidly progressing dementia
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Unexplained weight loss

4. Sexomania

Do you think you could suffer from one of these sleep disorders?

Potentially one of the more serious disorders, sexomania has had its day in court at several rape trials. Just as some people are compelled to walk or eat while sleeping, others seek sex. Chris Idzikowski, who directs the Edinburgh Sleep Clinic, explained to the BBC that this is instinctive behavior that sexomaniacs do while they are not in a state to make rational or moral decisions

This disorder is found in people with disruptions of both their REM and non-REM sleep. The solution? Separate bedrooms, locked doors, door alarms, or sedatives.

3. Exploding Head Syndrome

The Top 5 Bizarre Sleep Disorders

This disorder isn’t quite as bad as it sounds. Rather than your head actually exploding, you hear an explosion or loud noise inside your head. The afflicted have described the sound as like cymbals crashing, a clap of thunder, a gunshot, or a bomb exploding.

Sometimes a bright flash accompanies the sound. Fatigue and extreme stress could contribute to EHS, according to the American Sleep Association, but the cause is unknown. Sufferers may have isolated incidents, or the trouble can continue for years.

It is also important to know if there is something else that is causing the imagined sound. It may be a result of one of the following:

  • A medical condition
  • A mental health disorder
  • Another sleep disorder
  • Medication use
  • Substance abuse

2. Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Sleep Disorders

If you have Kleine-Levin syndrome, or KLS, you might outsleep even your cat. Also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, this rare disorder causes people to sleep for up to 20 hours per day. Even when they’re awake, they may be too exhausted to get out of bed.

KLS is most common in male teens. A typical episode lasts for several days or weeks. The mother of one U.K. teenage girl who suffered from KLS reported bizarre behavior in the few minutes the girl was awake, including insisting she only spoke French and regressing to toddler behavior. Scientists at Stanford are researching a possible autoimmune connection.

Possible symptoms:

  • Childish behavior
  • Disorientation
  • Excessive sexual drive
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability

If you’ve browsed the internet and tried all of the recommendations you could possibly find on the web but are still not sleeping well, try the following yoga poses before bed for a more restful sleep. They can work wonders.

1. Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Disorders Can Be Scary

Tales of sex-sneaking demons may originate from sleep paralysis. This disorder—rather than succubi or incubi—makes people feel a suffocating pressure on their chests. If you suddenly awaken while in this state, you may feel unable to move, and you’ll struggle to get enough air. You might also hallucinate.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Being consciously awake
  • Being unable to speak during the episode
  • Being unable to move the body when falling asleep or on waking, lasting for seconds or several minutes
  • Feeling pressure on the chest
  • Feeling as if death is approaching
  • Having difficulty breathing
  • Having hallucinations and sensations that cause fear
  • Sweating

Improve Your Sleep With a Good Mattress

Even if you’re not dealing with one of these bizarre sleep disorders, you may struggle to get the rest you need. Don’t forget: You spend half your lifetime in bed. One of the best ways to get great sleep is to have a great mattress. We’ve created a mattress guide that will help you make a smart decision. If you’re still hesitant, just remember that a good night’s sleep is worth every cent spent.

Check out our best mattress reviews to help you find the right mattress for you!


Navigating the complex landscape of sleep disorders can be daunting, but with the right knowledge and support, it’s possible to find effective solutions. Whether you’re dealing with a common condition like restless leg syndrome or one of the weirdest sleep disorders, there are treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help. Consulting healthcare providers, undergoing a thorough medical history review and physical exam, and exploring treatment options like sedative drugs or lifestyle adjustments can make a significant difference. Additionally, simple steps like improving sleep hygiene, selecting the right mattress, and understanding the different causes and risk factors for sleep disorders can enhance sleep quality. Remember, achieving enough sleep is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a critical component of maintaining good health and well-being. As we continue to learn more about sleep disorders, from REM and non-REM parasomnias to the intricacies of the sleep onset process, we move closer to a world where everyone can enjoy the benefits of deep, restorative sleep.