Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why do I twitch when I fall asleep?

Source Website: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151023-why-does-it-feel-like-im-falling-as-i-fall-asleep?ocid=AsiaOne
By William Park, Ask us Anything series, 23 October 2015 (email question from Reena Patel)


Sudden, jerky body movements sensation of falling in sleep
PHOTO: Sudden, jerky body movements sensation of falling in sleep
Ever had that jerking sensation when you start to doze off? A BBC Future reader asked us why it happened to her – so here's the science...
Posted by William Park, Ask us Anything series, 23 October 2015 (email question from Reena Patel)http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ot19vyeH3hM/Vjg4OGN0luI/AAAAAAAAiHo/4Xl016INtuI/s1600/p03601l6-1.jpg
http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/976_549/images/live/p0/36/01/p03601l6.jpg
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151023-why-does-it-feel-like-im-falling-as-i-fall-asleep?ocid=AsiaOne



You may have experienced sudden, jerky body movements as you drift into sleep. The sensation is common, and if paired with a dream, can feel like you’ve suddenly moved or fallen.

When it seems like it’s part of a dream, say falling through the air, this is called dream incorporation, and reveals our mind’s amazing capacity to improvise, wrote Tom Stafford in his BBC Future Neurohacks column on the phenomenon in 2012.

The experience is known as a ‘hypnic jerk’ and it sheds light onto the conflict in our brains as we shut down for sleep.



An area of the brain called the reticular activating system controls our basic functions, like breathing, and tells us whether we feel alert.
PHOTO: An area of the brain called the reticular activating system controls our basic functions, like breathing, and tells us whether we feel alert. In contrast, the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, located near the optic nerve, dictates tiredness. As we descend into sleep, the reticular activating system releases control of our body and the venterolateral preoptic nucleus takes over. The process is like a slow fade of a dimmer switch, but it isn't always smooth. Random bursts of our remaining wakeful energy occasionally surface in the form of jerky movements called hypnic jerk.
Photo: Reuters
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-c6LayYMGQSU/Vjg4MbbGNzI/AAAAAAAAiHQ/mECHGyH9gmo/s1600/20150930_sleep_reuters.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w848/public/original_images/Sep2015/20150930_sleep_reuters.jpg?itok=WHD5o74J
http://news.asiaone.com/news/science-and-tech/why-do-i-twitch-when-i-fall-asleep



What causes a hypnic jerk?

In sleep our bodies are paralysed, and we become oblivious to events in the outside world. But our muscle control isn’t flicked off like a switch.

An area of the brain called the reticular activating system controls our basic functions, like breathing, and tells us whether we feel alert. In contrast, the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, located near the optic nerve, dictates tiredness. As we descend into sleep, the reticular activating system releases control of our body and the venterolateral preoptic nucleus takes over. The process is like a slow fade of a dimmer switch, but it isn’t always smooth.



We incorporate physical sensations into dreams
PHOTO: We incorporate physical sensations into dreams (Credit: Getty Images)
Posted by William Park, Ask us Anything series, 23 October 2015 (email question from Reena Patel)
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sAdLEzwpM_4/Vjg4O1g_eNI/AAAAAAAAiH4/FsiPULDnSBc/s1600/p03601mx.jpg
http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/976_549/images/live/p0/36/01/p03601mx.jpg
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151023-why-does-it-feel-like-im-falling-as-i-fall-asleep?ocid=AsiaOne



Random bursts of our remaining wakeful energy occasionally surface in the form of jerky movements, for reasons that aren’t fully clear. Unlike rapid eye movements, these have nothing to do with our dreaming brains, but are the last vestiges (indication) of our day.

Is it dangerous?
A strange and very unpleasant phenomenon called ‘exploding head syndrome’ follows a similar pattern of behaviour – our wakeful and sleeping minds attempting to wrest control from each other – and results in the sensation of seeing flashing lights and hearing loud bangs. In some extreme cases the phenomenon has led to severe insomnia and even claims of alien abduction. When written about the phenomenon recently, readers shared their strange 'exploding head' experiences on Facebook.



Random bursts of our remaining wakeful energy occasionally surface in the form of jerky movements, for reasons that aren’t fully clear.
PHOTO: Random bursts of our remaining wakeful energy occasionally surface in the form of jerky movements, for reasons that aren’t fully clear. Unlike rapid eye movements, these have nothing to do with our dreaming brains, but are the last vestiges (indication) of our day.
Posted by hippiehonest on 26 January 2014
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ttDyOqUI6LA/Vjg4NmfL7tI/AAAAAAAAiHw/aVlz27uA0ew/s1600/falling-1.jpg
https://cat9554.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/falling.jpg
https://cat9554.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/personal-experience-part-2-astral-projection/



But in general, the feeling is nothing to worry about; it’s just a funny coincidence of falling asleep. “There is a pleasing symmetry between the two kinds of movements we make when asleep,” Stafford writes. “Rapid eye movements are the traces of dreams that can be seen in the waking world. Hypnic jerks seem to be the traces of waking life that intrude on the dream world.

By William Park, Ask us Anything series, 23 October 2015 (email question from Reena Patel)
If you have a question you’d like to have an answer, get in touch with the social media team at
sari.zeidler@bbc.com or william.park@bbc.com.



This dream could come true, and it feels so good, falling into you.

PHOTO: Dream...
Rapid eye movements are the traces of dreams that can be seen in the waking world. Hypnic jerks seem to be the traces of waking life that intrude on the dream world.
Posted by Alexey Kashpersky
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http://raph.com/3dartists/artgallery/imagePage?iid=6628



The movement feeling is nothing to worry about; it’s just a funny coincidence of falling asleep.

PHOTO: The movement feeling is nothing to worry about; it’s just a funny coincidence of falling asleep.
Posted by Eliane CK (3D Artist), Fadas (homage to the artist Alexey Kashpersky by CGTalk Carrara 8.2)
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jedAdGSOw_Q/Vjg4NfNtP0I/AAAAAAAAiHg/5w1AeAtfBxg/s1600/fairysgrande.jpg
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http://www.3dartistonline.com/image/8074/fadas



There is a pleasing symmetry between the two kinds of movements we make when asleep . . .
PHOTO: There is a pleasing symmetry between the two kinds of movements we make when asleep . . . , for reasons that aren’t fully clear.
Art by Alexey Kashpersky, Rise
Posted by Alexey Kashpersky (RIDDICK) on ARQUTE, Model Rachelle

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-se4PNFtU05Y/Vjg4MlaeexI/AAAAAAAAiHY/rSxF7ST1Wpg/s1600/2c86715af5984cc35366f3a1e7620eee.jpg
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