Have you ever had those times when you’re lying in bed and you slowly fall asleep only to be suddenly awaken by the falling sensation? That has happen to me a few times. I would lie in bed, close my eyes and the next thing I knew, I would start twitching. My hands would go flying in the air, my legs would sudden stiffen and my torso would twitch.
This phenomenon is known as hypnagogic myoclonic twitch. From what I’ve read, this process is as natural as a slower breathing and a reduce in heartbeats. A concensus believe that it is caused by the relaxation of your muscles. For some reason, the brain misinterprets it as falling so it sends signals to your arms and legs in order to try and get it upright. Since you’re in R.E.M sleep, you also get that dream in which you are falling. Everytime this happens to me, I always get the dream where I’m sllipping on a patch of ice.
Another strange and unexplained phnomenon I get is when I wake up minutes, maybe even seconds before my alarm goes off. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother setting the alarm the night before. During my last semester in school, I hardly has 8am classes, so I was up late at night and woke up around mid day. Usually, I would set my alarm for 10am, incase I over slept. But in the morning, I would wake up at 9:59am. Because the alarm hasn’t gone off yet, I’ll try to go back to sleep but seconds later, the alarm would start screaming and I’ll have to hit the snooze button a few times. I’ve had times when I’ll wake up and the first thing I’ll do is put my hand on the snooze button. Sure enough, the alarm goes off within seconds. But since my finger is already on the snooze button, my early morning lightning fast reflexes has the button pressed before you can say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidotious!’
And then there are times during a dream when I somehow figure out that I’m inside a dream and not actually awake. Usually, it’s triggered by an action I am performing that I don’t normally do in real life. I had one dream where I did a back flip over a fence. When I landed, I stopped and starting thinking, “I can’t do backflips.” That’s when I get the idea to pinch myself. I didn’t feel a thing so it clicked, I’m in a dream. I remember doing backflips everywhere, over a car, off the roof of a house, I flipped over every object there was, until I woke up.
Sometimes I’ll have those dreams where I’m running away from someone or something but I’m running really slow. Everything else around me is moving fine but no matter how fast I run, I don’t seem to be going anywhere. In those types of dreams, it never occurred to me to test out whether I’m dreaming or not. I just let it happen as if it was a natural thing. I dont’ know why I would think that running in slow motion is something natural but eh, I could care less, I’m busy sleeping.