We’ve all had those bizarre, weird moments while sleeping that leave us confused and freaked out… here’s what they really mean.
Did you hear that??
You wake up suddenly because you heard an abrupt loud noise – an explosion, a flash of light… your head is exploding! But nothing has actually happened.
Exploding Head Syndrome is a type of hypnagogic jerk – this means your mind is transitioning into deep sleep, but your body isn’t on the same page leaving your senses still turned on.
I can’t move!
You’re awake – but you can’t move a muscle or speak for several seconds to minutes. It feels like you can’t breathe and it’s absolutely terrifying…
Sleep Paralysis is the opposite of hypnagogic jerks, because your mind is awake from “deep sleep” before your body has woken up too – leaving you paralyzed.
Plunging to your death
The feeling of endless falling is also a hypnagogic jerk – sometimes our minds can start dreaming before our body is on “off” mode. So, our body is acting out the dreams.
Researchers aren’t sure why we get the “falling” feeling... but it’s most likely to happen when we’re exhausted, sleep-deprived and/or stressed.
Waking up mid-act…
In a study of more than 800 patients, about 8% of patients experienced sexsomnia – initiating sex with a partner while asleep. Whoah!
This happens because you’re partly out of deep sleep - enough that you can move and possibly talk, but your brain isn’t awake enough to be conscious. It’s possible you may have been dreaming about sex or perhaps you went to bed with the urge.
Sleep-walk with me, sleep-talk with me
With sleepwalking, you’re coming out of sleep just enough for your body to move, but not enough for your brain to be awake. Additionally, about 5% of adults blab in their sleep – but normally the pillow talking last an average of about 30 seconds.