The Australian Broadcasting Corporation takes a look at why we sometimes wake up feeling very confused.

Professor Lack said while there hadn’t been much research around the phenomenon, the body’s “rollercoaster” sleep cycle was probably to blame for feelings of confusion and disorientation.

“Our sleep is like a rollercoaster going through 90 minutes of sleep cycles, starting in deep sleep and then light sleep … going across the night,” he said.

“That deep sleep stage is the period where the conscious part of the brain — the upper part of the brain — is least activated.

“If you wake up and are quite confused as to what time it is, where you are, or who your friend is that just woke you up, you’re likely to have woken up out of the deeper stages of sleep [which] tend to occur early in the night.

“If you’re a parent and your infant starts to cry or if your bed partner is a very heavy snorer … then that’s the time that you’ll experience that sort of confusion.

“It might take you several seconds to orientate yourself in the world.”

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