Does your body jerk violently while falling asleep? If so, you might be interested to learn why.
Scientists have labeled the sudden jolt leading into sleep as the “hypnic jerk.”
The hypnic jerk is described differently by everyone, but commonly people describe it as though they’re falling.
Researchers think that a few external causes, like caffeine and tobacco, might increase the occurrence hypnic jerks. It is recommended that if you’re prone to hypnic jerks, that caffeinated drinks should be avoided before bedtime.
It’s also been seen that medications like Adderall and Ritalin can have similar effects, and sleep deprivation has been seen to trigger the phenomena as well.
The hypnic jerk is most often seen when a person falls asleep rapidly, during, or after they’ve been in an exhaustive state. On rare occasions, when the body is really exhausted the brain will process stages of sleep too quickly, confusing itself into thinking that the body and its major systems are failing.
It responds by jolting you awake with a burst of chemicals, one that the brain might interpret, and then build a dream designed to wake you up, which is the basic premise behind the theory of the ‘hypnic jerk.’
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