1 in 7 Americans suffer from sleep drunkenness

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When it comes to sleep, Americans are suffering. In fact, about 70 million Americans have a chronic sleep problem.

Now, there's a new condition that you may not have heard of: sleep drunkenness. It's more than just waking up groggy.

"Sleep drunkenness is in fact a mental confusion that is occurring when the subject is awakened from the deep phase of sleep," said Dr. Maurice M. Ohayon, a sleep psychiatrist at Stanford School of Medicine.

Ohayon studied more than 19,000 adults and found sleep drunkenness affects about one in seven Americans. Eighty-four percent of people who had the disorder had other sleep problems, a mental health condition or used antidepressants. In severe cases, patients can injure themselves or others.

"The subject can have a violent answer to the people around him," Ohayon said.

People who are sleep-deprived or those who oversleep are most likely to suffer from sleep drunkenness. It can happen after a long snooze or a short nap.

Ohayon says it often takes several minutes or more for symptoms to go away. About one-third of patients with sleep drunkenness have symptoms for more than 15 minutes.

Watch Denise Dador's report in the video above.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.