A Pennsylvania man is accused of brutally assaulting his wife after he dreamt she was cheating on him.
The man, who allegedly had been drinking that night, awoke from what he claims was a dream about his wife committing infidelity. He reportedly beat and choked his wife and she suffered severe swelling and bruising to her nose, eye, head, and neck. Also during this bout of sleep rage, he reportedly choked his teenage daughter who was attempting to help her mom. Following the incident, the man was charged with attempted homicide.
The Doctors bring in pulmonary and sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta to try and explain this horrifying case. He feels the takeaway message to be learned here is that often alcohol and sleep do not mix and can cause terrible results for some.
“Alcohol will knock you out, it will make you sleep quicker, but on the first half of the night you don’t get what is called REM sleep,” he says, explaining that in the second part of the night you do have more REM sleep. He goes on, “It doesn’t surprise me that he woke up from a vivid dream, but it’s no excuse for what he did.”
Dr. Dasgupta explains that this case differs from a parasomnia (which are abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions and perceptions while someone is not completely awake) because his actions in this incident were a purposeful behavior and during a parasomnia, they are not. He questions if the Pennsylvania man’s sleep excuse could ever be used as a defense for his actions.
The Doctors remind everyone to know your limits when it comes to alcohol and sleep.