This is the 2007 version. Click here for the 2017 chapter 03 table of contents.

Curious Phenomena of Sleep

A variety of strange and interesting events occur during sleep. Many seem to involve partial awakening. The brain is full of specialized subsystems or modules that can act semi-independently. Sometimes, as with sleepwalking or sleeptalking, skilled behavior can be produced while a person remains deeply asleep. At other times, as with events that occur in the transition to awakening (notably sleep paralysis and hypnopompic hallucinations) one part of the brain stays asleep and produces dream-like activity while the rest of the brain wakes up.

How might many curious phenomena of sleep be explained?

First we will review sleep phenomena that are odd or peculiar but not really abnormal. They occur in most people at least once or twice in their lives, sometimes more often. These phenomena are not due to any known brain abnormality or disease.


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