Have you ever experienced that feeling of suddenly falling from the sky while you are asleep? If so, how many times have you asked yourself why this happens to your body? Well, we are here to explain to you why!
Some people say it is because of your soul going out of your body and then when it travels and comes back, it falls back to your body, hence resulting in this feeling of a jerk and increased heart beat as well.
But, according to scientists, this isn’t the exact reason. Like everything, this weird sensation has logic behind it. They say, “This isn’t the dream of falling which happens when people are in deep sleep and a regular dream takes a nasty turn. It’s a sudden physical sensation that wakes you up. And what accompanies it is a hallucination, not strictly a dream.”
Also known as a hypnagogic jerk in medical terms, it tends to happen as you’re falling asleep. Typically when you dream, your body is paralyzed, but sometimes you can start dreaming before your body is in “off” mode. With hypnagogic jerks, you might act out a dream like falling off a cliff, falling from the sky, or tripping. Hypnic jerks are associated with a rapid heartbeat, sweat, quickened breathing, and sometimes “a peculiar sensory feeling of ‘shock’ or ‘falling into the void. People with irregular sleep patterns often feel these hypnic jerks.
There are many reasons why this happens to you. It’s more likely to happen when you’re overtired, sleep-deprived, stressed or you have had too much of caffeine just before you sleep.
Some scientists also believe that the sensation of falling comes from the act of relaxing itself, especially if the person is anxious or unable to get comfortable. As the muscles relax into sleep, the brain stays awake, monitoring the situation. The slackness of the muscles — and the fact that a person generally “settles” as their muscles relax — can be interpreted by the brain as a sudden sensation of the entire body falling. The brain then jerks the body awake.