Our bodies are often very interesting things. They can inform us when something isn’t quite right. One of these signals our body gives out is the occasional twitching. After a long day at work, you’re ready for bed and would like to fall asleep
. However, you have this sudden twitching interruption. You’re likely wondering if there’s something wrong. Fortunately, it’s nothing to panic about.
What is this and why does it happen when trying to sleep?
Scientists call this twitching “hypnic twitch
,” also known as hypnic jerking. Hypnic twitch gives a feeling or falling which may result in your body twitching.
Some scientists believe that the reasoning behind this condition is linked to the consumption of caffeine before bedtime. They can also be attributed to certain medications like Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate).
This can also happen to exhausted individuals who go to bed too quickly. In this scenario, the likely cause is the brain’s inability to keep up with sleep phases.
Hypotheses on hypnic twitch
One hypothesis on hypnic twitch states that this condition occurs because you’re starting to enter the dream phase while not fully asleep. This hypothesis believes that it is a symptom of both phases fighting for dominance.
Another hypothesis, based on evolution, claims that this occurrence takes place as a bodily response. For example, it brings up waking up our ancestors before an involuntary movement could result in falling out of trees.
Theories on hypnic twitch
While your brain may be experiencing some confusion, it can restart and wake you up with a burst of chemicals. This is not something that could be of any detriment
to your health. However, it is still not a very good feeling.
Some scientists hold opinions that may or may not have scientific evidence. For example, some scientists think that twitches could have connections to the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Other opinions state the same for Alzheimer’s, any brain injury impacts or damages to nerves. Although they are not common, this is currently only applicable if the twitches are too serious, perhaps to the level of seizure-level twitches.
However, in the meantime, you should be fine. Perhaps cut out the caffeine and instead drink some water or milk before bed.