Friday, June 18, 2010

feel like you're falling off a cliff

I think this happens pretty regularly...........

You dream of falling from a building and wake up, mid air, halfway through a twitch

Mine only happens in the most inconvenient situations
1. dead asleep and drooling awhile everyone around me is awake
2. sitting up in a chair next to an awake patient
(wait that wasnt a twitch)
3. in the middle of a closing argument during jury duty
4. science class, Sophmore year Mr Boyle's class

There have been many instances where i have been:
elbowed in the nose,
punched in the back,
kicked in the shins
and even flung halfway off the bed
by someone sleeping next to me

All (supposedly) caused by muscle twitching
We lose control of our body's while we sleep....or do we?

Hypnagogic Myclonus and Muscle Fasciculation.

Hypnagogic Myclonus
Twitches while falling asleep are called hypnagogic myoclonus,
myoclonus: involuntary muscle spasm
and hypnagogic: referring to sleep.

The twitches occur during very light sleep as the conscious brain gradually relinquishes control of the motor functions. Often they're accompanied by a sense of falling, or the feeling that something is flowing through the body, and sometimes people will experience vivid dreams or hallucinations.

we have more control over our bodies while sleeping
because our conscious mind cant fight it
maybe its krang?
It's not known exactly what causes the twitches, but they appear to be associated (although by no means invariably) with (a) anxiety and (b) some faint stimulus, such as a noise.

twitches are a normal progression from being awake to being asleep.
As you fall to sleep your body’s physiology changes to prepare for rest,
i.e. your breathing rate, temperature and muscle tone changes.
Perhaps the twitches are just a product of these muscle changes.

This can occur during REM sleep, the sleep when dreams occur as well. They are less common during sleep and are generally a sign of a more severe sleeping problem such as REM Behavior Disorder or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.

1.REM Behavior Disorder (RBD)

During REM sleep we experience a muscle paralysis, to inhibit body movements that could endanger us while we sleep and dream. During this time all voluntary muscle activity stops. However, in people with RBD their muscles do not relax, remaining active, resulting in violent muscle spasms and jerking while asleep as they are acting out their dreams.

2.Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

This is also characterised by twitching sometimes violently during sleep. Movements are quite often repeated every 30 seconds or so for an hour or sometimes even longer. And this pattern can sometimes repeat a number of times throughout the night.

Muscle Fasciculation
Frequent muscle spasms while awake are a different story
They can be the cause of a number of Nervous System Problems

Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Damage to the nerve that leads to a muscle
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Weak muscles (myopathy)
What most of us experience is usually cause by

  • Diet deficiency
  • Drug overdose (caffeine)
  • Drug side effect (such as from diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
  • Exercise
  • Twitches not caused by disease or disorders (benign twitches)
    • Often affecting the eyelids, calf, or thumb
    • Normal and quite common, often triggered by stress or anxiety
    • Come and go, and do not last for more than a few days

    1. I can definitely relate to the 'Muscle Fasciculation'. Very interesting and informative blog! I've read the last couple of months worth, since joining the other day.