OPINION: Why does your body jerk when you’re falling asleep?

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So you’re comfortable in bed and your’e nearly asleep. All of a sudden your leg jerks involuntarily and you wonder if it is possessed by a ghost.

There is no actual research that can identify why our bodies jerk, often called the hypnic jerk, when we’re just about to fall asleep. From my own experience I came up with an answer that satisfies.

Our bodies move without conscious thought during our waking hours. We don’t have to tell our arms to bed or our legs to step, the unspoken communication between our brains and legs do it for us. The same thing is happening when we are almost asleep. Our minds are still awake, wandering through life and our bodies are still connecting with these signals. When your leg or arm jerks it is because in your mind you may be walking or moving and your body is still following your mental commands for movement.

I still can’t figure out why I always wake up with one sock missing. That is a mystery in itself.

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