Why do I shudder while falling asleep? - boards.ie
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31-01-2007, 00:01   #1
breadmonkey
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Why do I shudder while falling asleep?

I'm not looking for a cure (if one exists), I'm just wondering what causes it.

Basically, as I'm nodding off, I periodically shudder. Maybe shudder isn't the right word; it's more like a quick contraction of my body, if that makes sense. I know this because my girlfriend tells me about it but also because I have woken myself up several times by doing it. I've also seen my dad do it before. Anyone?
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31-01-2007, 04:38   #2
Wishbone Ash
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Happens to me occasionally - it's quite common. I wouldn't call it it a shudder, it's more like a startled 'jump' as you are drifting off. (Don't know why it happens though!)

You might get a better answer in the Sleeping and Dreaming Forum.
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31-01-2007, 05:07   #3
mukki
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its when you get too relaxed and your heart stops beating, you get a big adrenilan rush, that jolts you out of your sleep

thats why people say of you dream your falling, and it wakes you up, if you didn't wake would would have died

rest easy
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31-01-2007, 20:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mukki
its when you get too relaxed and your heart stops beating, you get a big adrenilan rush, that jolts you out of your sleep
Really?
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01-02-2007, 00:38   #5
John
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No, that's not true at all. I don't know where mukki got that. It's called a hypnagogic myoclonus and it is most likely due to a mix up in neural signalling giving rise to a sensation of falling which of course will wake you up (because let's face it, our monkey ancestors sleeping in trees would not be our ancestors if they all stayed asleep while falling from a branch!).
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01-02-2007, 17:42   #6
DrIndy
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John is right! I get it too sometimes, perfectly harmless. Wakes me up too.....
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01-02-2007, 18:25   #7
breadmonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John
No, that's not true at all. I don't know where mukki got that. It's called a hypnagogic myoclonus and it is most likely due to a mix up in neural signalling giving rise to a sensation of falling which of course will wake you up (because let's face it, our monkey ancestors sleeping in trees would not be our ancestors if they all stayed asleep while falling from a branch!).
Thing is, I don't get falling dreams.
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02-02-2007, 15:30   #8
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Neither do I but it isn't really a dream but a reflex. I only really get it when I fall asleep listening to music or if I'm somewhere noisy like a hostel. It's a strange feeling, kind of unpleasant but mostly exhilerating.
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02-02-2007, 15:47   #9
man1
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When I was a teenager I experienced on a number of occasions a feeling of someone forcing or holding me down in the bed as I was drifting off to sleep, not with hands but like a weight all over my body, It was like a semi-dream but I was still very much consious.
I remember I would try to call out to my mum and dad who were in the room next door but as much as I tried to move or call out my body wouldnt move or my mouth wouldnt speak (weird I know!!), In my head I would be thinking "oh ****, how am I gonna get out of this".
I was able to see all around my room and would tighten up my body trying very hard to move until eventually I would move with a massive jolt and I would sit up in the bed and was then wide awake and wouldnt be able to sleep for hours after.
Happen to any one else or am I just a freak?
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02-02-2007, 16:52   #10
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I've had that too. I am too lazy to look for references but as far as I remember this is due to you mentally coming out of sleep but the paralysis that kicks in when you sleep (to stop you injuring yourself while dreaming) doesn't turn off. Basically when you go to sleep, normally your acetylcholinergic system (the neurotransmitter system that feeds into all your muscles) switches off. Only your heart, lungs, eyes and genital innervation stays on which means you stay alive, that your eyes move during REM phase and that when you have a sexual dream that there's a physiological response. For some reason this paralysis doesn't always switch off and your mind rationalises the experience as being due to something or someone pinning you to the bed.

The whole collection of these sleep-related weirdnesses are called hypnagogia. Interesting area. In the middle ages they'd put a lot of this down to demons (called incubus for a male demon preying on women and succubus for a female demon preying on men).
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02-02-2007, 17:16   #11
DrIndy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by man1
When I was a teenager I experienced on a number of occasions a feeling of someone forcing or holding me down in the bed as I was drifting off to sleep, not with hands but like a weight all over my body, It was like a semi-dream but I was still very much consious.
I remember I would try to call out to my mum and dad who were in the room next door but as much as I tried to move or call out my body wouldnt move or my mouth wouldnt speak (weird I know!!), In my head I would be thinking "oh ****, how am I gonna get out of this".
I was able to see all around my room and would tighten up my body trying very hard to move until eventually I would move with a massive jolt and I would sit up in the bed and was then wide awake and wouldnt be able to sleep for hours after.
Happen to any one else or am I just a freak?
You're describing sleep paralysis and it is caused as John says......
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04-02-2007, 23:07   #12
wheresthebeef
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i get that too myoclonic twitches. i get them in my left leg usually. my leg jumps a little bit.
i also get funny muscle contractions during the daytime too. not enough to cause movement of a limb, but they are very distracting. small areas of muscle rapidly contracting and relaxing. usually when i'm tired. i spoke to a doctor informally about it in work last year, and he said unless i had numbness or loss of sensation anywhere that it was probably nothing to worry about. my cousin gets them too and he had a full neuro work up at tallaght hospital and it turned out to be nothing.
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05-02-2007, 18:32   #13
tallaght01
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sounds like a myoclonic jerk to me
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05-02-2007, 21:56   #14
John
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Hey, who you calling a jerk!?
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12-02-2007, 01:49   #15
deimos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mukki
its when you get too relaxed and your heart stops beating, you get a big adrenilan rush, that jolts you out of your sleep

thats why people say of you dream your falling, and it wakes you up, if you didn't wake would would have died

rest easy

Bull****e.
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