Why do you kick when you sleep? The scientists put forward two possible conjectures

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.

Sleep is a normal physiological phenomenon, whether it is animals or humans, every day to maintain adequate sleep in order to have a good mental state. In fact, humans are very sleepy creatures. One third of their lives are spent in sleep. Through adequate sleep can improve our mental state, put forward the possible activities of the body, plays a very important role in human health.

However, sleep seems to be very simple. Many people can fall asleep when they fall asleep, but the whole sleep process is not so simple. In addition, some people sometimes have “special things” when they sleep. For example, sometimes when we are about to go to sleep, we suddenly wake up with a stare in our legs. What’s going on?


And this kind of suddenly waking up event sometimes happens in a dream, for example, some people sit in a dream, are walking freely on the edge of the cliff, suddenly step on the air, and fall down from the mountain. At this time, you kick your legs and wake up. I believe that many people have experienced similar sleep accidents, and some of them are very strong, not only kicking their legs, but also having a brief twitch of the whole body. They were about to go to sleep, so they were awakened by themselves.

After some people have such a sleep accident, they always think that they can’t get any disease. It’s easy for people to think of a disease epilepsy when they have this kind of whole body twitch. So this kind of sleep occasionally appear stare legs, body twitch normal? In fact, this is not a disease, but a normal sleep accident.

You may not know that people’s sleep is not “touching the pillow” on the surface. It usually goes through several stages. First from shallow sleep gradually into deep sleep, and then in 45 minutes to 1 hour later, into rapid eye movement sleep. During REM sleep, sleep twitch occurs.

According to the survey, about 80% of people have shaken in their sleep. For this phenomenon, experts say: this phenomenon has a name – Sleep twitch. Sleep twitch refers to the involuntary twitch of muscles when they are about to fall asleep, and the limbs will also have twitch like jumps. In this process, it is often accompanied by a sense of falling, and even fuzzy dreams, which may lead to wake-up.


Most of the time, people will regard sleep twitch as a disease, but sleep twitch basically occurs randomly in healthy people. In other words, sleep tic is a kind of benign tic, will not cause damage to our body. It’s like burping. It’s a physiological muscle jerk. Since sleep twitch can be regarded as a normal phenomenon, why does it happen?

There are many folk opinions about this phenomenon. Let’s take a look at the explanation of scientists for this phenomenon. In fact, at present, scientists have no definite scientific answer for sleep twitch. Scientists only know that it is a mechanism from the cerebral cortex and nerves. As for how the brain functions to produce sleep twitch, scientists have no answer. However, they still put forward two possible hypotheses.

The first hypothesis is the brain contention hypothesis, which was put forward by scientists represented by psychologist Tom Stafford. Tom believes that there are two systems in our brain that control our waking and sleeping respectively. During the day, the system that controls the awakening starts to work, and we stay awake. At night, the sleep control system starts to work, and we start to fall asleep. Every day, the two systems maintain a dynamic balance between competition and cooperation.


And the sleep twitch is like a buffer between the two systems when they switch. The system that controls our awakening is a network of nerve cells located below the cerebral cortex, also known as the reticular activation system. When the reticular activation system works, we become sensitive and restless.

The system that controls our sleep is the ventrolateral presbyopic nucleus, which can promote sleep and maintain circadian rhythm. When it is in an active state, we will become sleepy, so when we finish a day’s work or activity and lie in bed ready to go to sleep, the two systems will start the final struggle, and the final winner will get the control of the brain.

If the reticular activation system wins, you may not be able to sleep for a while. If the ventrolateral pronucleus wins, you may have fallen asleep. Of course, there is another special situation, that is, half awake state. This time is the hottest time when the two systems are playing, so this kind of situation is also the most prone to sleep convulsions.

The second hypothesis is related to our ancestors. Some scientists believe that our ancestors are responsible for the occurrence of sleep twitch. They believe that the human brain is based on the brain of arboreal hominids, so it still retains part of the stress response pattern of arboreal hominids.


When our muscles are completely relaxed, the brain mistakenly thinks that we will fall from the tree, so it starts this stress mode and quickly commands the muscle movement to catch something in the process of falling. In this way, the muscles suddenly changed from a relaxed state to an excited state, and the convulsions of falling asleep came into being.

There is no definite answer to which of the above two hypotheses is correct. It is possible that they are both wrong. Maybe in the future, scientists will have a deeper understanding of the human brain, and there will be other answers about the causes of sleep twitch.

Although we have no definite scientific explanation for sleep twitch now, we have some answers about what state is prone to sleep twitch. In fact, although sleep twitch is not a disease, it is closely related to human mental state. The frequent occurrence of sleep twitch crowd, the basic state of mind is not good during the day, sleep at night when it is easy to occur.


For example, overwork during the day, work and life pressure is relatively heavy, mental state in a state of tension for a long time is prone to sleep twitch. Sometimes there is no exercise for a long time. Suddenly one day, on a whim, I enter a lot of exercise, especially leg exercise. At this time, the legs are prone to be buttoned up. When I rest at night, I am prone to sleep twitch.

It can be seen that sleep twitch has a great relationship with people’s mental state during the day. The greater the mental pressure, the more prone to sleep twitch. Although there is no special harm, if sleep twitch occurs frequently for a long time, it is not a good phenomenon, and it may bring damage to the nervous system. Therefore, we should try our best to avoid sleep twitch, and to avoid sleep twitch, the most important thing is to relax the mental state.

Regular work and rest, pressure control, regular outdoor sports, and keeping a happy mood can make your mental state relax effectively, so that when you go to sleep at night, you should not have sleep twitch, and you will have a very good sleep quality.

Guys, have you ever had a sleep twitch? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button