Why does a person twitch in a dream

Why does a person twitch in a dream

24.05.2022 0 By admin

Everyone at least once in their life experienced twitches during falling asleep or during sleep itself. Such spasms occur in both men and women at any age. They occur periodically in about 70% of the population, and 10% of people experience them daily.

There is an opinion among sleep specialists and clinicians that twitches are usually harmless and are associated with stimulation of the motor areas of the brain during the transition from wakefulness to sleep. But they can certainly be frightening, especially if they happen frequently.

Let’s figure out why a person twitches in a dream, what affects the occurrence of twitches, and also how to prevent them.

why do people twitch in their sleep
Twitching during sleep is usually harmless and is associated with stimulation of the motor areas of the brain during the transition from wakefulness to sleep. Photo: © Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Causes

The culprit that a person twitches in a dream is the electrical “misfires” that the human brain gives during the transition from wakefulness to sleep. These twitches usually occur during the sleep phase when the muscles begin to relax and the person begins to fall asleep. At this time, the motor areas of the brain can be spontaneously stimulated, resulting in twitches.

External factors

1. Evening workouts. After exercising in the evening, it is difficult for the body to relax when falling asleep, so sleep is disturbed.

2. The use of psychoactive stimulants . Sleep disruption:

  • caffeine;
  • nicotine;
  • some medicines, etc.

3. High levels of stress can cause the brain to remain overactive when a person is trying to sleep.

4. External sounds and stimuli. Loud conversation, bright lights, or even a partner working next to you in bed can interfere with restful sleep.

To prevent the occurrence of twitches, you need to …

… exercise early or mid-day

Physical activity is important for a healthy night’s sleep. However, intense evening loads can break it. In order for exercise to bring only benefits, it is necessary to stop playing sports 90 minutes before going to bed. This will normalize:

  • circadian rhythms;
  • body temperature;
  • endorphin levels.

Endorphins are hormones responsible for a good mood, euphoric states. They relieve pain and reduce anxiety.

… cut down on coffee and alcohol

Cutting back on coffee and alcohol in the afternoon can help reduce nervousness and possible anxiety. Drinking stimulants and alcoholic drinks before bed will not only make it harder to fall asleep, but also increase the frequency of twitching.

why do people twitch in their sleep when they fall asleep
Turning on the TV, bright lights, loud noises and external stimuli can interfere with the process of falling asleep. Photo: © Pixabay/Pexels

… stick to a sleep routine

For a better night’s sleep, you need to follow a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine. This procedure helps the body to understand when it is time to go to bed, therefore, over time, it makes it easier to fall asleep.

Irregular sleep patterns due to shift work can lead to increased twitching during sleep. If the work schedule does not allow you to sleep at night, you must:

  • eliminate external distractions;
  • observe the reverse sleep pattern (night – wakefulness, morning / day – sleep).

… eliminate stress

Stress and anxiety can disrupt sleep and make twitching worse. You can reduce stress by:

  • meditation;
  • breathing techniques;
  • progressive muscle relaxation, etc.

It is necessary not only to eliminate the primary causes of stress (for example, by changing activities, reducing the load), but also to deal with its consequences.

…remove external distractions

Turning on the TV, bright lights, loud noises and external stimuli can interfere with the process of falling asleep. It is necessary to find a way to eliminate external interference. For example:

  • put on a sleep mask;
  • hang thick curtains;
  • use earplugs (to reduce the volume of sounds that cannot be controlled).

It is important to remember that people twitching when they fall asleep is not a serious medical condition. However, if you have anxiety or worry about sleep twitches, you should talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do to help you fall asleep better.

Video

Bibliography

  1. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2014). International Classification of Sleep Disorders – Third Edition (ICSD-3). Darien, Illinois. Ibrahim, V., Zafar, N., & Sharma, S. (2020). Myoclonus. Stat Pearls Publishing.
  2. Dolezal, B.A., Neufeld, E.W., Boland, D.M., Martin, J.L., & Cooper, C.B. (2017). The relationship between sleep and exercise: a systematic review. Advances in preventive medicine, 2017.