General Question

deaddolly's avatar

Anyone know what makes you 'jump' in your dreams?

Asked by deaddolly (3431points) September 19th, 2008

You know when you’re sleeping and dreaming about falling and you startle so that you jump?

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16 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I don’t, but it really freaks me out.

deaddolly's avatar

i know, it freaks me out too.

shilolo's avatar

It is known as a hypnic jerk. Very common, and benign. No one knows exactly what causes it, however. For more information, you can check this site out as well.

shrubbery's avatar

I do it all the time…

ninjaxmarc's avatar

it’s your subconscious messing with you. Just think of it as a bad practical joke.

melly6708's avatar

hahah i do this all the time as well. its so funny.. im not even all the way asleep and i jump. i think its cause im dreaming something like falling .. once i was having a sad dream about someone and i was crying.. i woke up and i was actually crying, it was weird… also once when i was about 6yrs old i was dreaming that i was in the bathroom.. and my mom said that in the middle of the night i got up peed on the floor and went back to bed.. how weird.. it was pretty funny as well :)..

Nimis's avatar

I think the urban myth (when I was growing up) was that you always wake up
before you hit the ground (in your dreams) because you would die (in real life) if you did.

Haha…and while I think that’s a lot of bull, I actually don’t know anyone
who has hit the ground in their dreams! Has anyone here?

hollym's avatar

Wow, that wiki says that hypnic jerks are usually felt once or twice per night. How can that be true? Do you just not remember it? It only happens to me (or is remembered by me) about once a month or less.

Nimis's avatar

Holl: Probably only remember the really strong ones that wake you up?

emilyrose's avatar

@nimis- I heard the same exact thing! I also heard that you can’t die in a dream or you die in real life.

BoyWonder's avatar

I believe it has something to do with the REM stage of sleep, Rapid Eye Movement. It’s the part of sleep where you dream so most of the twitching and eyeball-rolling occurs during this stage. I believe its the 4th or 5th stage, I don’t remember.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I used to have these a lot as a kid. As I got older and felt less insecure, I had them less. Want a free adrenalin rush? Next time you are lying on the floor, close your eyes and imagine that you are lying right on the edge of a cliff. You really have to make yourself believe it, then roll off the cliff. Eeek! We used to do this as pre-teens, and it is really a freaky feeling. Much like the hypnotic jerk we are talking about.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

if it’s what i’m thinking about, i think it occurs in one of the first few stages of sleep, but i cannot think of the reasoning behind it. i know this one. ugh.

Val123's avatar


Strauss's avatar

Some say that happens when your astral body “snaps” back into your physical body.

Val123's avatar

from @shilolo Wiki link, ”...or that as a subject falls asleep, their muscles begin to relax and cease working, causing the brain to believe that the body must be falling through air.”…I’ll go with that. It just sounds right. Because when I jerk (which only happens when I’m really, really tired and just falling asleep,) my heart rate increases a little and I can feel a leetle bit of adrenaline sneaking around in there, as though I was afraid. It doesn’t last long tho.

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