What is that strange falling sensation while asleep?

Israel
April 9, 2007 2:54am CST
Sometimes, when we go to sleep, we dream we are falling and wake up urgently out of fear. This phenomenon is called Hypnagogic myoclonic twitch (or by the name I prefer - hypnic jerk). There dreams are not normal dreams, produced by R.E.M sleep, but rather more like a daydream or hallucination. Muscles go into a restful state just as we are falling asleep. The brain senses these relaxation signals and misinterprets them, thinking we are falling down. The brain then sends signals to the muscles in our arms and legs, in an attempt to jerk us back upright. This is the scientific explenation. What do you think? Have you ever had such a dream? Do you have them often? Do you think they have meanings?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@gleznov (391)
• United States
10 Apr 07
I think everybody has this from time to time... I don't know - the muscle jerk scenario just doesn't line up well enough with the real feeling of falling a few inches when it happens. I believe this is more of a subtle-body experience, where your etheric has separated and suddenly you snap back into your body.
• Israel
10 Apr 07
Why do you think it is a better explaination? What is your etheric? Don't you think that if you do that, radio waves will mix you up? To understand the muscle jerk theory, you must first realise what is a falling sensation. You feel a fall when your body has nothing to hang on to, and that is somewhat like a sudden relief of your muscles. It is a misinterpretation of your brain the whole situation. Since while sleeping, the strong input your brain has is the tension of your muscles, it might be fooled quite easily. Haven't you seen Matrix?
@samrat16 (2442)
• India
9 Apr 07
Yes, I have faced exactly something like this in my dreams. I feel like I'm falling from big mountain and there is no base and I'm just falling and falling .thanks for sharing the name of this weird experience. I don't think they have a meaning but yes I had a major drawback once after I had seen dream like this. I used to put lot of betting amounts and one day after this kind of dream I lost lot of money. I'm still scared of this kind of dreams and doesn't know the solution for this . May be you have an idea about them . How to get rid of these kind of dreams.
• Israel
9 Apr 07
As I wrote, it is a misintrepertation of the brain. I haven't had dreams like this one for quite some time. I think it is due to my sleep system, which is the best in the world, but I can't tell for sure... Had bad things happened to you many times after such an experience?
@bindishah (2063)
• India
9 Apr 07
Yes I have had such dreams - about 4-5 times a year. I know other people who have had them too. I read somewhere that when you sleep at night your soul leaves your body and when it tries to re-enter it there is a feeling of strangeness and you wake up with a jerk. I dont know if I believe this explanation though.
• Israel
9 Apr 07
That is a nice theory. I would have liked to leave my body for a while, and travel bodylessly in the world... Which theory do you believe?
@natalie1981 (2000)
• Singapore
9 Apr 07
Yeah, I've had dreams like those. I was falling and then I could feel my body jerk when I fall in my dreams. Sometimes, even when I'm not dreaming that I'm falling I could feel my legs twitch. Here in the Philippines, there's a saying that when your feet twitches or jerks when you're sleeping, it means you're growing. LOL.