Have you ever been falling asleep, and then suddenly your body jerks? It is a common occurrence, and this is what is actually happening to you.
In the first stages of sleep, your heart rate and breathing slows down quickly. Sometimes when someone is really exhausted, the brain proceeds through this stage of sleep too quickly and it confuses the brain into thinking you are dying and that systems are failing.
Then the body quickly responds with a jolt of chemicals that make you jerk awake. This is the working theory of the ‘hypnic jerk.’
The other mystery is the visual perception of falling that people experience in their dreams just before they wake up. One possibility is that the parts of the brain working dream creation might be trying to make sense of the sudden urge to wake up, and this results in a dream scenario being created. This is only a theory right now, and more research needs to be done to confirm this.
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