Sleep Drunkenness: Everything You Need To Know

Sleep Drunkenness

You have woken up from your sleep one day, people are expecting that you’d jump off the bed energetically and then will rush towards the bathroom to get ready for the day but instead of all this you have woken up as a weary old bear, tensed, confused with a rushing of adrenaline.

Welcome to the world of sleep drunkenness. It is a sleeping disorder that describes the feelings of sudden actions and always reflex upon you when you wake up in the morning. People also name it arousal of confusion or Confusional Arousal. 


Every time, wake up weary, doesn’t mean that you have been through sleep drunkenness. Sometimes it is just because you couldn’t have had enough sleep required to the body or might be due to any sort of illness you might be facing. You can only call it sleep drunkenness if you will find out the following symptoms, mentioned in the table, occurring to you at the time you wake up or before or after;

Arousal of ConfusionSoon after you have woken up, you feel confused.
Reflexes Being StartledYou often feel shocked, alarmed, or stunned.
Responses Being BluntBeing unclear and not understandable by others.
Aggressiveness Being PhysicalYou like hitting, killing, beating, or stabbing other people.
Slowness of SpeechThe pitch of your speech alongside the speed gets slowed down.
Amnesia or Low or Poor MemoryYou are unable to remember things. You forget things easily and live in a lost state.
Foggy Brain During the DayYour brain stops working properly, even during the day and you are unable to work.
Difficult to ConcentrateYou find it difficult to maintain your focus on the work you are attempting.

Causes of Sleep Drunkenness

Sleep Drunkenness

It is quite weird to say that the causes of your sleep drunkenness include all the factors that make it uneasy for you to sleep. All these effective factors constitute the causes of sleep drunkenness. So either it is due to any problem of breathing during sleep (sleep apnea) or due to the reason of any normal disability to sleep, you will face sleep drunkenness afterward.

The other reason that might cause a sleeping disorder, sleep drunkenness, is leg restless syndrome. This is a condition where you become habitual in continuously moving your legs due to a sensation of restlessness in your legs. The following diagram shows other factors that can also trigger sleep drunkenness;

Many people believe and say that sleep drunkenness is due to lack of sleep and they can easily recover through this by sleeping more than usual. But this conception is totally wrong. Sleep drunkenness can be caused by both, either sleeping too little or more than required. Various studies have shown that people get sleep drunken by sleeping for 9 hours at night or per night.

Whereas, 20% of such cases have reported where sleep drunkenness has been found in individuals who sleep for less than 6 hours per night. If someone is facing sleep drunkenness, he might sleep deeply for longer periods of time and the confusional arousal arises during the first part of the night when the individuals have slept in deep sleep for longer periods. 

Sleep Drunkenness Risk Factors

Sleep Drunkenness

We cannot have sleep drunkenness all at once by just skipping sleep for one day or night, but it can also be caused due to various nominal reasons and factors that make the condition more risky and alarming. There are many possible contributors to this shocking situation. It is a very common occurrence these days and we can also say that it can never be due to one reason. Many reasons add up to become a cause for it.

The following table will show all those causes:

Preexistence of a Mental DisorderStudies have shown that 30-40% of people with sleep drunkenness have a mental disorder primarily bipolar disease.
Consumption of AntidepressantsAntidepressants slow down the sleeping process, leading to sleep drunkenness.
Not Fulfilling the Basic Sleep on a Daily BasisWhen you sleep lesser than 6 hours per day, you might get sleep drunkenness.
On a daily basis, Getting Extra SleepSleeping more than 9 hours a day can also cause sleep drunkenness.
HypersomniaWhen you sleep excessively during the daytime, it makes it difficult for you to sleep at night.
Parasomnias; A Family HistoryIf your family was or is suffering from sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking, and sleep drunkenness, you might also fall victim.

Treatment and Diagnosis

The diagnosis of sleep drunkenness is a process of multi-steps. You might not remember how you acted upon waking up but this can be told by someone sleeping next to you or someone who has witnessed you while waking up. If this sleep drunkenness is occasional, it’s nothing to get worried about but if it’s recurrent like once a week, then it’s something to consider and it’s better to consult a doctor.

The treatments of sleep drunkenness might include; avoidance of alcohol (mostly right before the time you get to sleep), completing a full night’s sleep mostly between 7-9 hours of sleep (every night), saying no to daytime naps (this might cause an imbalance of sleep at night), consumption of antidepressants as prescribed by the doctors and taking in the sleep medications if are prescribed by the doctors.


Sleep Drunkenness is something not to get worried about if it is occurring on an occasional basis. If you are facing more than this, you are advised to leave the home and visit a doctor. All of these problems can end if one would start to work on sleep and its timings. Completion of 7 hours of sleep at night would make an individual more healthy and strong.

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