Why your body jerks before you fall asleep
Today in “Things you’ve always wondered but never thought to ask at the right time”.
I have kicked the sheets clean off my bed before. I’ve smacked my wife in the head and I’ve sent my dog flying. All because of involuntary jerks at the brink of slumber. Scientists think it’s the result of the final moments of a battle between your sleep and waking cycles.
Deep in the core of our brain, a region called the reticular activating system controls our feeling “awake”. Elsewhere, near the point where the nerves from the eyes cross inside your head, the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus senses the cycles of light and dark and shifts our brain to a deep sleep mode.
As your waking motor system teeters on the brink of control at that point just before the VLPO takes over, WHAM, KICK whatthehell?!
Now you know. Sleep tight.
(More info at BBC - Future)
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