Extreme Sleep: Parasomnia

Parasomnia: Most of us take sleep for granted, but there's a world of bizarre slumbers out there that only parasomniacs understand. Enter the world of sleep walking, eating, paralysis, violence and snoregasms. Join Robert and Julie to learn more about extreme sleep.

Most of us take a good night's sleep for granted, but there's a whole world of bizarre sleep out there that only parasomniacs who scoff at your occasional complaints about "work dreams" and nightmares. Yes, we're talking about the world of sleep walking, sleep eating, sleep paralysis, sleep violence, sexsomnia and snoregasms.

Real Events Inspired 'Nightmare on Elm Street'

The idea of Freddy Krueger, the villain who kills you in your dreams, freaked me out when I was younger. Which is to say it also enthralled me. The adult me, however, finds the science of sleep and paranormal experiences quite fascinating, so I was far more intrigued than terrified when I read that "A Nightmare on Elm Street" creator Wes Craven was inspired by actual news stories about nightmare-related deaths.

C.H.U.D. Slumber: Subterranean Sleep Cycles

We've all watched enough sci-fi and horror films to know how life underground goes. Your skin and hair turn pale, you go blind and before long you're probably prowling around naked for the great taste of human flesh. Ah, but what is sleep like for these strange creatures of the underdark? As reported today in Current Biology, the Mexican Blind Cave Fish (Astyanax mexicanus) offers some excellent insight into the question.

Blow Your Mind: Animal Junkies and Dream Inception

Look, wallabies are munching down Tasmanian opium crops and lemurs are giving themselves a millipede rubdown. And if that's not weird enough for you, just think about the fact that your sleeping brain does far more than make you show up late for college exams naked. This is how we aim to please you on the latest two episodes of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Earth's Magnetic Field Of Weird Dreams

You've probably noticed by now that sometimes your dreams are very day-to-day and other times they're far more bizarre. One night you might dream you're at work or that you forgot to drop a college course and the next you're hanging out with the squid emperors of Xakatu 7 and chatting about the finer points of all-cowboy jazz quartets. What determines the weirdness of our dreams? One psychologist believes the planet's magnetic field may play a crucial role.