The night: When sleep breaks and consciousness leaks

 作者:梅洒砗     |      日期:2019-03-01 08:16:01
By Ann Finkbeiner Video: Sleep disorder makes people act out their dreams Read more: “The night: The nocturnal journey of body and mind“ THE camera is trained on a man in the grip of an agitated sleep. He has thrown off the covers. Now he hoists himself into a kneeling position. His mouth slack with sleep, he starts punching desperately and repeatedly. Suddenly he flings his arms over his head, gripping what seems to be an invisible sword. He plunges it into the bed, over and over, his fists making deep impressions in the mattress next to him, where another sleeper might be. Like many sleep-clinic recordings, this one is “really creepy”, says John Peever, a neurologist who studies sleep disorders at the University of Toronto in Canada. And bizarre, too: this man’s brain is asleep, and yet his body moves with vigour and violence. People come to these clinics to seek help. Perhaps they have eaten things asleep that they’d never go near during the day – some ice maybe, or dog food, or dishwashing detergent. They might have had sex without knowing it. They might have dreamed of trying to save a child or partner, only to wake and find they’re hurting them instead. These are parasomnias, sleep disorders that blur the supposedly set lines between wakefulness and sleeping. As we start to unravel the mechanisms that might be at work, we are finding that the boundaries between states of consciousness are more porous than we expected. We exist in essentially three states: awake, in deep sleep, and in dreaming sleep. Awake,