Sleep should take a lot of our time. For an average person who sleeps about eight hours, that’s spending about one-third of his lifetime sleeping! But have you ever wondered why we twitch before falling asleep?
There are many myths as to why we twitch before falling asleep. Some people think that some spirits are tickling us, while others think that we twitch because we’ve been too tired for the day.
Most people twitch just a few minutes before going into a deep sleep. In fact about 60-70% of people twitch or even jerk just before they go into dreamland. They can be as simple as hand and leg movements or as intense as the feeling of falling. Sometimes the twitching or jerking can be really intense that we get awaken by these movements. So, what does it really mean when we twitch?
Right before we go into a deep sleep, we go into a hypnogogic state, that is the transition from consciousness to unconsciousness. It may sound like a simple phenomenon, but there are actually many things that are happening in our bodies right before we enter into a deep sleep. Scientists refer to this as myoclonus, and these twitches are called the hypnagogic jerks. There are two parts in our brain that struggle as we go to sleep: the reticular activating system (RAS) which handles awakeness in the transition and the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) which controls us when we sleep. Scientists explain that these twitches are just a symptom of misfiring nerves as the RAS and VLPO fight it out.
Watch the video here to learn more about hypnagogic jerking:
Now you know what really happens when you twitch before falling asleep!
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