You know that thing where you’re just drifting off to sleep and your body twitches (sometimes in a big way). No? well, then…you might be one of the 30-40% of people who don’t experience a phenomenon known as a hypnic jerk—also known as a hypnagogic jerk, or sleep start (all of which would make good band names).
Science doesn’t know exactly what causes it, but they do know that you’re more likely to experience it if your sleep habits aren’t very good. That is, if you are sleep deprived, drive caffeine or do exercise before bed…which makes you wonder why ALL of us don’t experience it!
Apparently, at least according to British sleep scientist James Wilson, it’s simply a matter of your brain and your body falling asleep at different times.
“The complexity of going to sleep and waking up is incredible, and sometimes—particularly when we are sleep deprived—our brain doesn’t shut down normally, which means we get this sort of jerking movement when we’re in a light sleep,” says Wilson.
The brain will often try to make sense of that twitching, which is why it will helpfully have you imagine that you are falling off of something, or into a hole.
You ever do that thing where you have a massive twitch, and you also make that panicked noise, that’s probably what is going on.
That can be embarrassing…especially at work.
Read the full story HERE.