Parasomnias are undesirable events that occur during sleep. They include:

  • Sleep walking
  • Sleep terrors (also referred to as night terrors)
  • REM sleep-behavior disorders - A type of psychosis in which a person "acts out" dreams so violently that they may injure the person sleeping with them.

Sleep walking and sleep terrors occur predominantly in children while the REM sleep behavior disorder is more common in adulthood. Most parasomnias in children will eventually resolve themselves. While most parasomnias cause no harm to the person, serious accidents can occasionally occur.

Other behaviors classified as parasomnias include:

  • Sleep start (also referred to as a sleep jerk or hypnic jerk) - The common and normal experience of jerking awake. You may feel the sensation of falling during the lightest stage of sleep, following by a physical jerk back into a wakeful state.
  • Nocturnal head banging
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

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