Odd Behavior During Sleep

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am 31 years old and since I was 16 I have been having these episodes while I am asleep, where I will either get up and do things while asleep, bite people, watch television, have entire conversations, or stay in bed and talk in my sleep all night. The only people that have noticed these episodes are my friends. These episodes of actually getting up and interacting with people in my sleep are not very often. I always talk in my sleep though. I have no memory of the things that I have done, or have said but it has become a great amusement to my friends. I still sleep 7 hours but I still feel a little tired when I get up and have to take a nap sometimes in the afternoon. I am wondering what I can do to stop this, I do not have insurance or a job to go to a sleep clinic.

A. I do not believe it is a good idea to attempt to treat this condition on your own. Sleep disorders are complicated and require the treatment of trained medical professionals. I understand your situation. Not having a job or health insurance may make getting treatment difficult but I have some suggestions that I have given others in similar situations.

You may be eligible for a sleep disorder clinical trial. Throughout the United States, there are ongoing sleep disorder studies, which are looking for eligible participants. Here’s a link to the National Institute of Health Clinical Trial webpage. Type in the word “sleep disorders” and you may find a research study near you.

I would also suggest calling local sleep disorder clinics and asking what help is available for individuals who cannot afford to pay for a sleep test. They may have low-cost or free services or referrals they can give you. Some find it helpful to call the local health department. They may know of good, unadvertised resources. Other resources include the Awake in America’s Sleep Study Relief program. This program was developed to assist individuals without the necessary financial means to receive a sleep study. Here is a link to the application for a free sleep study.

In the meantime, you might want to begin collecting data about your sleep behavior. You can do this in two ways: start a sleep diary and videotape yourself sleeping at night. A sleep diary can be an important way to understand your sleep patterns. Sleepdiary.com is a good place to learn about what type of information is important to record in a sleep diary. Videotaping yourself at night is a concrete way of learning what type of behavior you are engaging in while asleep. Keeping a sleep diary and videotaping yourself at night, would help professionals determine the type of sleep disorder that you may have. Lastly, I would also suggest conducting your own research on sleep disorders. That may include Internet research or reading books about sleep disorders.

I hope that you are able to find assistance for this issue. Please take care. I wish you well.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Nov 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Odd Behavior During Sleep. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/11/15/odd-behavior-during-sleep/

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