Is There A Name For This Sleep Disorder (is it even a sleep disorder)?

I seem to have a bit of a problem with the way I sleep at night. It seems that I occasionally give off a startled yell and wake up.

You might be tempted to say that this is a standard case of night terrors, but I don’t believe it to be. The only time this happens to me is if someone wakes me up in the middle of the night or from a nap. If no one wakes me up, I sleep just fine. With night terrors (to my understanding), it happens whether or not someone interferes with the sleeper.

A typical example would be if I go to sleep earlier than my wife. When she opens the bedroom door, I’ll “jump up” and give a startled yell. She’ll say something along the lines of “It’s okay, relax, I live here,” and I’ll go back to sleep. The same thing happens if one of the kids knocks on my door to wake me up from a nap. But if allowed to sleep without interruption, I won’t have these “episodes.”

I tried some basic Googling of the subject, but couldn’t find anything on it. Any help/advice/suggestions/information would be appreciated. It is understood that the advice you are giving is not medical advice, you are not my doctor, yada, yada, yada.


Zev Steinhardt

According to my girlfriend I yell, (and say plenty of things) but I never wake up because of it. I don’t think it is a sleep disorder, but just that for some reason instead of you sleeping through your own sounds, you wake up from them.

Night terrors are also characterized by being fearful and probably in most cases sweating, shaking etc. when you wake up. People wake up scared from nightmares. Night terrors are just on another level entirely.

I have to be careful waking my wife. Just gently shaking her by the shoulder causes her leap up like a startled deer. Other than that, she sleeps pretty well. She’s never had any major emotional trauma other than the kind we all usually receive.*

*For instance, she didn’t serve as a LRRP in 'Nam, or was ever abducted by Al Qaeda.

ETA: Although she was a single mother of three boys for about 10 years. *That *could explain it.

I do the same thing. When disturbed from sleep if I’m sleeping alone, I get a fight or flight response sonetimes. Doesn’t happen when I sleep with someone else. I just tell people not to startle me when sleeping.

I do it occasionally, and I think I’ve seen almost everybody I’ve ever lived with do it at least once. It’s pretty disconcerting when you know it’s a person who sleeps with a gun.

Not sure, but it sounds like it could be related to the hypnic jerk.

I startle if someone wakes me up, otherwise, I wake up fine on my own.