Fang Talks

Coding with your clogs on.

So I just looked at the date, thought it was the blog’s birthday already, and then realized “no, that’s tomorrow”.

Tomorrow’s the big day. It’ll be the end of the third year filled with complete and utter garbage, with the few rare gems scattered in between, nearly impossible to find. But more about that tomorrow, I suppose! Today I want to take a look at a rather peculiar phenomenon. Ever heard of hypnic jerks? No, they aren’t psychic bullies. That feeling when you’re falling asleep, and then feel like you’re literally falling, jolting awake because of it. Ring a bell? Yeah, that’s a hypnic jerk.

There isn’t a whole lot known about it. Then again, it isn’t exactly something useful to study, and there may not really be that much to it. The English Wikipedia page for it says there’s a bunch of different possible causes, like anxiety or stress. Though those seem to make it occur more often, it also appears randomly in completely health people. No explanation for the feeling of tripping or falling is mentioned.

But then we move over to the Dutch Wikipedia page (because I happen to be fluent in that language, hay ho) and see it contains different information. Though unsourced, it lists two hypotheses. One says it’s a natural part of the sleep process. I doubt this, seeing as how it occurs so randomly, and jolts you awake too. Not exactly a thing you’d want in your sleep cycle, eh? The other is a more interesting theory in my opinion. It states that the feelings of relaxation sent to (and from) your brain are getting incorrectly interpreted to feel like falling. Those feelings then trigger the physical reflex of twitching your muscles. Seems plausible, though pretty odd how the brain can mistake such a common feeling (you sleep every night) for something else. But hey, the brain still messes up from time to time, so it’s a possibility.

I don’t know what just happened, but some parts of the Wikipedia page suddenly got displayed in the font Times. Weird.
~ Fang

Comments

  • 21/01/2014 (3:22 AM)

    Fang broke Wikipedia. We’re all doomed now. We’ll never know anything anymore. I know what a hypnic jerk is (just didn’t know the name). I don’t get them much, if at all, but the brain mistaking the feeling of relaxing for falling sounds pretty plausible. Much more plausible than it being natural.

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