Sleep drunkenness can also be termed as confusional arousal as stated in the said article. From the term itself, confusional arousal causes confusion or disorientation during the sleep or after an arousal (Lichstein, np). This state of confusion lasts until the person goes back to sleep or when there is arousal. But if the arousal was forced, like the sound of an alarm clock, it could lead to a manifestation of violent behavior, even during sleep, and can also lead to amnesia of the things that happened during that time.
According to the lead author of the published journal, Dr. Maurice Ohayon, out of the 19,000 participants in the study, more than half of these participants have experienced sleep drunkenness once in a week or even more. Also, the authors found out that 15.2% of the 19,000 participants experienced this disorder last year and this percentage was considered by Dr. Ohayon as substantial. This percentage also was considered by Dr. David Alexander Schulman as something common since a lot of individuals have experienced such arousals.
The participants who experienced arousals once a week classify their episodes by the amount of time the episodes of drunkenness lasted. The statistics are 33.3%, or more than one third of the participants, reported that the episodes lasted less than 5 minutes, 30% said their episodes lasted 5 to 15 minutes and lastly 30% reported that their episodes lasted more than 15 minutes. And since these arousals can lead to violent behaviors, Dr. Ohayon suggests that if a person is suffering from confusional arousal, a visit to a doctor is recommended.
Although Schulman agrees with the number of individuals suffering from sleep drunkenness, he is quite skeptical that there are episodes that last for more than 15 minutes.
Dr. Ohayon also stated that if an individual usually takes naps at work and there is a great possibility of sudden or forced arousal, he or she needs to let their bodies adjust for 15 minutes to assure that they are truly awake before making any life-threatening decisions.
According to Schulman, confusional arousals may be more dangerous if an individual is suffering from sleep deprivation. And Schulman also recommended that for those individuals suffering from confusion arousal and take less than 6 hours of sleep every night, the first move to make is to get sufficient amount of sleep.
“1 in 7 suffer from sleep ‘drunkenness’.” CNN Health. N.p., 25 Aug. 2014. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.
Lichstein, K. “Confusional Arousals.” Stanford Sleep Epidemio Journal (2011)