Why do we experience a feeling of falling (hypnic jerk) before falling asleep?

Why do we experience a feeling of falling (hypnic jerk) before falling asleep?

Although hypnic jerk is generally considered a normal and natural phenomenon, in some cases it can also turn into a hectic and frightening experience.

Perhaps one of the best moments of the day is when you enter your bed after a tired day. You make all your preparations before going to sleep, set up your watch and expect to fall asleep in your bed all day long. But sometimes, you can start with a sudden feeling of falling. This is just like the feeling after the step that you take out of the stairs and think that there is another step at the top. So why might this be due?

If you have experienced this feeling of falling many times during your life, there is actually no situation that will require you to worry. Because this feeling of falling, which you experience before falling asleep and sometimes accompanied by visual hallucination, is caused by an event known as ‘hypnic jerk’ and scientists generally consider this situation as ‘normal’.

Although hypnic jerk is usually seen in leg muscles, it can generally be defined as involuntary sudden twitching or contraction of the muscles. Although we can define it, it is not easy to understand exactly what caused this situation. According to scientists who consider this situation from an evolutionary perspective, hypnic jerk may serve at least two important but interrelated functions. Firstly, being suddenly awake allows us to control our environment for the last time, enabling us to understand whether we are safe around us. When we consider this situation from an evolutionary point of view, it may be quite important to perceive threats that may come from an unsafe environment before falling asleep. Probably our ancestors paid great attention to environmental safety so as not to feed the hunters before sleeping in their caves.

The other evolutionary function allows the stability of the body position to be checked before sleeping. Although this does not mean much for our current modern life, it is very important for our ancestors who sleep on trees and on uneven grounds. In other words, thanks to this jerk, it can be understood how reliable the sleeping place is and how strong the recumbent place is before it goes into a state of unconsciousness in sleep. According to the proposition of another main theory, hypnic jerking may only be caused by our active psychological system. This may happen during the transition from active and strong motor control, relaxation and ultimately to paralysis. Essentially, hypnic jerk can be a signal of the transition between the reticular activation system of the brain and the ventrolateral preoptic core. In a nutshell, we may be encountering this situation while our body gradually releases control by playing with its own settings.

Can things go bad?

Although hypnic jerk is generally considered a normal and natural phenomenon, in some cases it can also turn into a hectic and frightening experience. In extraordinary situations, such as excessive frequency, speed, and intensity of jerking, it may be difficult for a person to fall asleep. The persistence of this situation for a long time may turn into a sleep-onset insomnia form. In other words, the proposition that is frequently voiced among the people and that “if you feel that you have fallen to the ground after the feeling of falling, you die” is not very scientific.

Factors that increase the chance of experiencing hypnic jerk

Since hypnic jerk is associated with motor activity, anything that can activate your motor system at night increases your chances of experiencing hypnic jerk. In other words, you are more likely to experience hypnic jerking due to caffeine (or other stimulants), late tiring exercises, high levels of stress and anxiety experienced late. Other factors that can lead to this condition can be listed as excessive fatigue and weakness, lack of sleep or variable sleep patterns.

There is also a feeding wing of the hypnic jerk situation. According to the propositions, magnesium, calcium and / or iron deficiency increases the likelihood of experiencing spontaneous hypnic jerk. However, it is also among scientists’ suggestions that hypnic jerking may result from sensory stimulation. Being dark, quiet, and as comfortable as possible can help reduce the frequency and intensity of hypnic jerking. In fact, there is not much research done on this subject. Because in general, hypnic jerk is considered a very normal condition. For this reason, it becomes very difficult to make a specific “treatment” recommendation. However, it is known that the number of hypnic jerks we experience naturally decreases as we age.

Zoloft and insomnia relationship

Zoloft (Sertraline) is used in the treatment of diseases such as obsessive compulsive disorder, major depression, social phobia, body dysmorphic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It has also been used in premature ejaculation and vascular headaches, but evidence of its effect is not sufficient.

Does NyQuil work for insomnia?

NyQuil is not a cure for insomnia. If you can’t sleep without NyQuil, you can become addicted to NyQuil.

Fatal familial insomnia and its verges

A genetic disorder. It is manifested by various symptoms that occur due to damage to the thalamus. It occurs when the protein associated with the brain tissue called Prion changes.

As the name suggests, it is deadly and consists of 4 stages. The first stage is progressive insomnia, which is associated with psychiatric conditions such as panic attacks and various phobias for about four months. The second stage lasts about 5 months; hallucination, panic, agitation and sweating are seen. The third stage lasts about three months, with complete sleeplessness and weight loss. At this stage, the individual begins to look older and may not be able to control his urine. The fourth stage is the uninterrupted insomnia that goes crazy; it takes up to six months and ends in sudden death.

Source: bilimfili.com