VIA/Have you ever suddenly jerked awake soon after drifting off to sleep? I mean, why would something wake you up right as you are starting to drift into the most peaceful and restful sleep ever?
This phenomenon is extremely common, but surprisingly, scientists are only just now beginning to understand what causes this. You may think that perhaps something loud happened in the room and that it woke you up, but this is not necessarily the case.
Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore! There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this phenomenon know as the “hypnic jerk.”
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#1 Have you ever had the experience, right after you drift off to sleep, that you are falling from a great height…
#2 and then suddenly jerk awake all frazzled?
#3 Why does this happen?
People have come up with all kinds of different reasons why this might happen, including ones that invoke monsters or demons choking you while you are sleeping. Before we had the ability to study the brain processes that contribute to sleep, there was really no other way to try to explain this odd but consistent phenomena.
#4 Scientists noticed that “hypnic jerk” occurs most commonly when you fall asleep very quickly from major exhaustion.
This offered a useful hint toward figuring what is happening in the brain when this happens.
#5 In the initial stages of sleep, your heart rate and breathing slow down quickly.
But sometimes when someone is extremely exhausted, the brain proceeds through this stage of sleep too quickly and it actually confuses the brain into thinking that you are dying and that systems are failing.
#6 The body quickly responds with a jolt of chemicals that make you slam awake.
This is the working theory of the “hypnic jerk”. Indeed, this is only a theory at the moment and more research will need to be done to confirm this.
#7 Another mystery concerns the visual perception of falling that we experience in our dreams just before we wake up.
One possibility is that the parts of the brain working dream creation may be trying to make sense of the sudden need to wake up, and as a result, a likely dream scenario is created.