- Sleep laughter is known as hypnogelia and is usually a harmless phenomenon.
- Doctors study a woman who has been sleeping laughing for four years
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Random laughing fits while you sleep can be beyond creepy for your partner to hear. In reality, it may be something more serious, doctors warn.
Doctors at New York University’s Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center have been treating an extreme case of the condition in a 32-year-old New York woman who has been laughing in her sleep every night for four years.
Her husband said her “creepy” laughs occur several times a night, usually shortly after she falls asleep.
Doctors at New York University’s Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center have been treating a fairly extreme case: a 32-year-old New York woman who has been laughing in her sleep every night for four years.
Sleep laughter, also known as hypnogelia, is a relatively common and usually harmless phenomenon.
Most documented cases occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, the deepest stage in which vivid dreams occur.
And scientists believe the most likely cause is laughing during a funny dream.
However, repeated bouts of laughter during sleep in the non-REM sleep stage, or in the sleep-wake transition, like those experienced by the woman in the study, have never been described in the scientific literature.
The woman’s nighttime laughter led doctors to evaluate her for a possible seizure disorder.
However, multiple tests, including an MRI of his brain, multiple sleep studies, and an EEG to measure brain activity, yielded no significant findings.
And the woman had no major health problems that doctors thought could be related. Although she had been diagnosed with ADHD in the past, she had no history of seizures or sleep disorders.
During his laughter, his body did not move at all and he had no memory of the events when he woke up.
He laughed with his eyes open or closed, and his sleep was otherwise “uneventful” and without respiratory abnormalities.
Doctors said they were not sure if the patient was suffering from some type of sleep disorder or an epileptic seizure, such as a gelastic seizure, which is a type of seizure that involves laughing and laughing.
Some medications, including antidepressants or antipsychotics, can cause drowsiness and laughter as a side effect, but it is not known if the woman in the study was taking any medications.
Stress and anxiety during waking hours can also manifest in various ways during sleep, including laughter.
In rare cases, laughing during sleep can be a symptom of a neurological disorder.
Unless it disturbs a person’s sleep or causes other problems, laughing during sleep is mostly harmless and does not require treatment.
The woman’s study was published in the journal. sleep medicine and the researchers wrote that it “sparked a discussion about…distinguishing parasomnia from seizures.”
Parasomnia is a type of sleep disorder that involves unusual and unwanted physical events or experiences that disrupt a person’s sleep.