I love sleep, but it’s admittedly a very odd thing we all have to do.
It can also be rather scary from time to time.
Of course most of us have had a nightmare, but only a few of us will have woken up in the middle of the night, unable to move.
I mean just imagine it. You’ve gone to bed, then a few hours later your eyes are suddenly open and you can’t move. But you can still feel, hear, and see everything around you!
Your mind is awake but you can’t move, you panic and suddenly realise your awake in a nightmare.
It sounds like something straight out of a Stephen King novel, but it’s actually a common problem.
Some people call it ‘waking up dead’, but it’s real name is sleep paralysis. (You can find out more here.)
But this common problem is simply a cause of your REM sleep pattern, which can be affected by a number of things.
But it also helps to explain one area of sleeping we’ve all experienced at least once or twice in our lives.
Jerking in our sleep.
It’s a weird way to wake up, but we’ve all been there!
You can imagine how strange and even scary it is to suddenly wake up, your body jerking randomly while you were asleep.
It sucks, especially if your having a really awesome dream about sky diving!
But why did your body suddenly wake you up? Has this ever happened to you before?
Apparently this is a common thing that happens to a lot of people.
And finally scientists have figured out what this means.
Researchers have created theories about this odd activity, even labelling it as the ‘hypnic jerk.’
Sometimes the ‘hypnic jerk’ can feel like your falling from a great height.
There are quite a few people everywhere that have come up their own ideas about why this jerk occurs.
One strange but common thought is that a demon is choking you while you sleep. Others say our soul was ascending to heaven, but then it fell. Resulting in us jerking and waking up from our slumber.
Personally, this jerk always happens whenever I dream about falling.
One theory suggests that the hypnic jerk is a visual perception of falling that people experience in their dreams just before they wake up.
There is a possibility that the parts of the brain that works on dream creation might be trying to make sense of the sudden urge to wake up, and this results in a dream scenario being created.
At the moment this is only a theory right, and more research needs to be done to confirm this. But it makes a lot of sense to me!
Scientists reveal that this sudden jerk that occurs in our sleep could be affected by certain things, things like caffeine, tobacco, too much alcohol consumption.
It’s typically recommended that you don’t drink coffee within hours before bed as you could increase your chances of jerking during your sleep!
Stimulant medications such as Adderall or Ritalin could also have a similar effect to your sleep.
Sleep deprivation is also a major trigger as the condition is brought on when your body relaxes but a part of your brain remains stimulated.
The jerk usually happens when someone falls asleep too quickly from major exhaustion.
During the first phase of your sleep your heart rate and breathing slows down quickly.
Sometimes when someone is really exhausted, the brain proceeds through this stage of sleep too quickly and it can have some negative effects to your brain, which even confuses it.
This triggers your brain into thinking you are dying and that systems are failing. Your body then quickly responds with a jolt of chemicals that make you jerk awake.
This is the working and current theory behind the ‘hypnic jerk.’
What do you think about this theory? Does it make sense to you and do you regularly experience this jerk when your asleep?
Let me know in the COMMENTS, as always, I love hearing what you have to say!
Feel free to SHARE this with your friends and family on Facebook!