No matter how many time this happens to me, it seems like it never gets any better or feels any less unexpected.
You know that moment when slowly you’re starting to drift off into dreamland, but just before you’re bout to slip headfirst into deep sleep, you start to fall, or something hits you in the face, waking you from the dreamworld in a sudden and surprising manner.
I don’t know if you we’re asking yourself what’s the matter with this strange phenomena, but I’ve always wondered why in the world this happens. It appears that think kind of think happens to a lot of people on a regular basis.
Scientists have finally figured it out. They even officially named it: The Hypnic Jerk.
The hypnic jerk is clearly described differently by everyone, but frequently shared experiences say that it somehow feels like ‘falling’. Of course, some descriptions go to the next level of explaining the experience as a demon that is choking you in your sleep.
Researchers believe that some external causes like caffeine and tobacco could increase how often the hypnic jerk happens. To avoid this, you should avoid any caffeinated drinks if, of course, bed time is only few hours away.
Sleep deprivation and medications like Adderal and Ritalin has been seen as a trigger to this phenomena as well.
The hypnic jerk is mostly activated when you fall asleep rapidly, during, or after you’ve been in an exhaustive state of the body. Rarely, when the body is really exhausted, the brain is trying to process stages of sleep too quickly than usual and therefore it confused itself into thinking that the body and it’s major systems are somehow failing.
It results 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.’