Young Man Waking Up
Home Health Hoaxes No, Calling a Sleeping Person’s Name Will NOT Cause Brain Damage

No, Calling a Sleeping Person’s Name Will NOT Cause Brain Damage

by Brett M. Christensen

According to a would-be warning message that circulates via social media, you should not call out a person’s name while he or she is sleeping. 

Supposedly, calling the sleeping person’s name can cause the person to experience a rush of adrenaline. And, claims the message, this shot of adrenaline can cause fear and panic in the sleeping person and lead to brain damage.

The message, which claims to be from the World Health Organization (WHO),  advises people to gently tap the sleeping person rather than calling his or her name.

But, the claims in the warning message are utter nonsense. Calling a sleeping person’s name will not cause brain damage or any other injury. And, the warning certainly did not come from WHO as claimed. Nor is it supported by any other credible medical entity.
Of course, a person who is suddenly awakened from a deep sleep may feel momentarily startled or disorientated. But, unless the person has an existing medical or psychological condition, this minor fright will not cause any serious or ongoing health problems.

After all, sleeping people all around the world are regularly awakened by people calling them or by loud noises in their vicinity with no ill effect other than perhaps a degree of irritation. Moreover, waking a person by tapping them – gently or otherwise – would be no different than calling their name.

This silly warning message is perhaps a mutated variant of old – and equally spurious – myths about the supposed health dangers of waking a sleepwalker.

Spreading such nonsense will help nobody.

An example of the hoax message:

*Did you Know?*


That calling out a person’s name while they are sleeping can cause brain damage to the person.
Instead of calling their name, tap them gently and if they do not respond wait a bit and tap them later.


*Do not call out a person’s name while they are sleeping*

Because their adrenaline can shot up causing fear and panic which can cause *Brain Damage*


From: World Health Organization Courtesy: LUTH
Please Forward to friends and Family

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,