Geek Trivia

When You Experience A Hypnic Jerk You’ve?

Been Startled Awake
Held In A Sneeze
Got The Hiccups
Hit Your "Funny" Bone
What Are The Most Influential Sci-Fi Writers Of The 20th Century Called?

Answer: Been Startled Awake

You climb in bed after a long day, you’re just drifting to sleep, and then it happens: your body jerks, you tense your body as if you’re falling, and you wake up with a feeling that you almost, no matter how improbable it is, were about to tumble out of bed and onto the floor.

In that moment that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their life (if not many times), you’ve experienced a “hypnic jerk”. It’s an involuntary muscle twitch that occurs right around the time someone transitions from consciousness to sleep. While the exact cause of the hypnic jerk is unknown, they occur with greater frequency in childhood and more frequently in adults with irregular sleep schedules, anxiety issues, stress, caffeine┬áin their system, or who perform strenuous activities later in the evening.

One theory on the origin of the phenomenon comes to us via evolutionary biology. The argument is that the hypnic jerk is a holdover from an evolutionary mechanism designed to protect us, that our brains sometimes mistake the relaxation of our body in our beds for the muscle relaxation that would have sent our primate ancestors tumbling out of a tree.