You probably know that. You lie in bed, but before you fall asleep, you wake up with a shock that passes through your body. It’s like falling into a bottomless pit. Some people experience this sensation not only at the beginning of their sleep, but also in the middle of the night. But what is that shock you feel right before bed?
Sleep expert Alice Koster found out for us how this happens, whether it’s dangerous and if you can do something about it.
Hypnagogic shock during sleep
The sensation of falling before bed causes a convulsion and is formally called “sleep shock” or “sleep rebound.” This is a strong, sudden, short spasm of the body, just before you enter your light sleep. If you have ever slept but suddenly woke up with shock, you have been in hypnotic shock.
Although you probably won’t feel a decent sleep every night, it’s not unrealistic to feel one sleep at a time. It happens to about 70 percent of people. You may not wake up from such a shock, so even if you don’t think you’ve experienced it before, the opposite may be true. Then you were shocked, but you were still asleep.
is he dangerous?
Hypnagogic tremors may seem strange, but they are not dangerous. It’s basically not a sign of an illness or disorder, but it’s a normal phenomenon and these tremors are totally normal. Do you experience shock sensations in your body frequently and does this last longer? Then there may be more and it could be a sign of periodic limb movement disorder.
Symptoms by which you can recognize a sleep attack are (of course) a trauma to a muscle or part of the body while you are only sleeping, a feeling of “falling,” a high heart rate, rapid breathing, or sweating. Also, a dream or hallucination that leads to a stupor, a fall or a jump can belong to hypnotic shock.
An evolutionary advantage of sleep shock
The story goes that such trauma has an evolutionary advantage. People used to sleep high in trees to protect themselves from wild animals. This shock was a way to help primates adjust their sleeping position before falling asleep, so that they would not fall from a tree or get injured while sleeping…
In the stages between ‘good wake up’ and ‘sleep’
We now know that shock occurs between the “wake” and “sleep” phases. Something has gone wrong with the communication between your mind and body. Your brain falls asleep shortly after your muscles, causing a short circuit. Your brain senses that your muscles are all releasing and thus forms the idea that you are falling. The still-awake part of your brain triggers a reaction in your muscles to keep you ‘erect’. As a result, you are shocked and sometimes startled awake by this sensation.
Do you often suffer from sleep shock?
So there is no need to worry, but if you face a lot of trouble from these shocks, you can do a few things to reduce them. There are several factors that can cause such shock. One of these is a hyper-vigilant brain. When you feel fear or stress, your mind is very alert and you can imagine that such a shock occurred earlier. Also when taking stimulants before bed (think caffeine and nicotine), this increases the chance of cramps. Finally, intense exercise before bed can encourage your mind and body not to sleep at the same time, increasing the chances of sleep shock.
Want to read more from Alies?
Want to spend your day rested, productive and energetic? psychology and Sleep expert Alice Koster He writes for Margriet and owns Sucsleep. She helps others get a good night’s sleep through workshops and Online training. Through it Instagram page It inspires you to sleep, rest, and your mindset on this. scheduling a Free introductory meeting Talk to sleep expert Alies Coster to see if training is something that will help you.