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ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

What is it called when you suddenly feel like falling when your in bed?

Asked by ilvorangeiceblocks (865points) March 20th, 2010

I’ve always really wanted to know what is actually happening when it happens and why its happening. I used to scream when it happened or start crying. What is actually the cause of it? Is it because you are tired or your about to pass out or what?

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29 Answers

Just_Justine's avatar

I do believe it has to do with the sleep cycle where kinetically the brain and body muscles do not fall “asleep” at the same time. The opposite of this would be when you wake up and feel paralysed briefly. Meaning your mind is awake but your muscle activity is still in a different level of consciousness or still linked to a particular cycle in your sleep state.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I think its because then you fall down and start feelling like you are dizzy….maybe it could be because you are tired and are coming to rest:D

figbash's avatar

I don’t know the answer to this, but I think Justine got it. I have to say, I really like this feeling! I also like it when I fall in my sleep and then feel like I landed on the bed.

j0ey's avatar

@Just_Justine I experience that sleep paralysis thing quite often…it can be very scary.

simone54's avatar

When you enter REM sleep your brain sends out signals to make your body paralyzed. This is so body does not act out your dreams. It is not related to the sudden feeling of falling.

MacBean's avatar

I’m not sure if there is an actual term for the sensation of falling, but I know the way you jerk and wake yourself up from it is called a hypnic jerk…

j0ey's avatar

@simone54 thats what @Just_Justine just said

partyparty's avatar

I think it is when your muscles are totally relaxed, just before you fall asleep

Pazza's avatar

Don’t know what its called, but science apparently had a look at it and came up with this:

When you fall, or are falling asleep your body relaxes and your heart rate slows, the theory is that sometimes your heart rate slows to the point where it is danger of stopping, so your mind creates the illusion of falling over which causes you to ‘jump’ in your sleep and raising your heart beat.

Sounds quite reasonable to me, its happened to me many times over the course of my life, and the thing I always notice is the increase in my heart rate.

cazzie's avatar

hypnagogic myoclonic twitch
‘Most researchers feel that when muscles begin to slack while preparing for sleep the brain senses and misinterprets the relaxation signals, and assumes the body is falling. A little presumptuous on the brain’s part to go around “assuming” you’re falling while lying down. Then again it’s nice to know the most important organ is on the lookout for trapped doors with mattresses on top.’

I also read that it happens more if you are really tired.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is called hypnic jerk .
Sleep tight.
Oops…MacBean beat me to it and I can’t figure out how to erase.

ucme's avatar

You’re making love to a really fat person,i’d imagine.Scratches arse on light bulb, loses balance falls off.

MacBean's avatar

@worriedguy Your answer is better. You included a link. I was too lazy. XD

CMaz's avatar

It’s called… SPLAT!

Skydivers should never fall a sleep.

gailcalled's avatar

Check out also the various forms of vertigo.

mrrich724's avatar

@worriedguy is right. Hypnic jerk is exactly what it is. When the last muscle in your body relaxes, you experience a temporary falling sensation, LOL

simone54's avatar

@j0ey No it wasn’t.

neverawake's avatar

It’s called ‘death fall’

Jeremycw1's avatar

Vertigo. I hate it when that happens!! It freaks me out!!

mollypop51797's avatar

I don’t know what it’s called.. but I kind of like when it happens. It’s cool. Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning also. But it’s not as weird

gailcalled's avatar

Seeing “kind of,” like,” “cool” and weird” all bunched together gives me awesome vertigo.

MacBean's avatar

Deal. It’s how people talk.

Jeremycw1's avatar

@simone54 so is sleep walking like a disfunction of that brain process?

simone54's avatar

Sleep walking is not in a REM sleep. It takes place in the either of the two stages of deep sleep before REM. It’s not acting out dream as people would seem to think.

Sayd_Whater's avatar

I know that feeling…I though it had to do with that fact of sometimes falling asleep on one side of my body instead of fully rest on my back.

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