According to studies, almost everybody has experienced the weird feeling of drifting off while falling asleep, at least once in their lifetime. It might be a sensation of falling down or something hitting you, but it all comes down to the same thing.
For a long time, science wasn’t able to fully explain why this phenomenon happens, but recent studies have pointed out to one particular thing.
The scientists called this phenomenon “hypnic jerk.” Most commonly, it is described as a sensation of falling, where immediately after you wake up in a shock. Of course, many people experience this differently, such as choking, getting hit by something and falling down while sleeping.
Why Our Bodies Jerk While Falling Asleep
If you experience hypnic jerk regularly, then it is a sign that you should start avoiding caffeine or tobacco, as these two ingredients have been shown to stimulate the sensation in many cases. Another cause for the excitement might be that you’re not getting enough sleep or taking certain medications such as Ritalin and Addreal.
The sensation itself is a result of the body feeling exhausted, so our brain thinks that we’re not falling asleep but rather falling down, so it shocks our body to wake it up.
However the main idea behind the “hypnic jerk” is that the brain causes our body to dream of things that would shock us, in order to wake us up quickly.