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why do we move around in our sleep

Image Credit: clemenswinkler ) I don t know about you, but when I sleep, the position I fall asleep in is seldom the position I wake up in. As you are well aware, we allPtend to roll around in our beds as wePsleep, which naturally leads to a question: What happens when we sleep that causes a comfortable position to suddenly become uncomfortable, forcing us to roll over, reposition ourselves, or change sides? You would think this question has a simple answer, but the truth is
We don t really know. P Dr. Harriet Hiscock a pediatric sleep specialist at the in Melbourne said No one that I m aware of has specifically researched this. She went on to explain that Babies usually start rolling around when they reach four months in age, before which, Hiscock said that they don t have the coordination or the strength to do it. Even though the mechanism hasn t been studied, some doctors have ideas on why this basic human movement takes place. Especially in the modern world, we find ourselves being still, in the same position, for long periods of time while conscious. If you pay attention to your movements, you ll find that you probably move around, shift your body into various inhumanPpositions, stretch a little and let loose.


When we are still for long periods of time, we tend to get stiff joints and we ll actually develop pressure-related problems. Dr. Peter Roessler, who is a fellow at the, said, I think movement while we are asleep is a protective mechanism to prevent problems developing from prolonged pressure, such as reduced blood flow to certain parts of the skin. This would help prevent us from developing pressure sores when we sleep. He believes that the rolling is triggered when our brain receives warning messages from our pain receptors, telling our bodies that we need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves (biologically speaking, of course). Of course, all of this is preferable to that instance when you re on the brink of fallingPasleep. All of a sudden, your body starts spazzing out, usually when you re asleep in the worst place possible (where people are sure to notice you ve nodded off, like school or church, for instance). Why does THAT happen? Thankfully, we have it covered (kind of).


P A hypnic jerk (technically known as a myoclonus and also known as hypnagogic massive jerk, a moyclonic jerk, or a sleep start) is anP so you couldnt even stop it if you tried that jerks a person awake. These twitches from hell usually happen in the beginnings of sleep ( ). Nobody knows why these robbers of sleep occur. There are, as always, some hypothesis to explain them. Its possible sleep starts are a result of the relaxing of muscles. Other theories suggest that, as the body drifts to sleep, the brain interprets various temperature and breathing changes as falling. One of my personal favorites is the theory which says the body doesnt know the difference between falling asleep and dying, so (as the picture says), your brain violently jerks your body to make sure youre still alive and to keep everything functioning. How do you stop, or at least help prevent these things? The same way you cure every other sleeping ailment relaxing bedroom, no caffeine, no strenuous activity, comfortable mattress, and white noise machines could also help. Did you know setting your phone to operate on airplane mode might help you get a better night s sleep?


Learn more about it, or share your experiences with it. Herr Mr. med student here. If you stay in the same position for too long the bony bits on your body, head, hips, knees, etc tend to loose blood flow due to the pressure that the weight of your body puts on them. In extreme cases you can get bed sores -( ). This is common in bed ridden patients- we turn them every few hours so it doesn t happen. If you want a freak show google it and look at the pics. In most cases this isn t going to happen to you in your squishy bed overnight, but, you have to remember we re not designed to sleep on beds. Our ancestors didn t have cushy beds, and were most likely at much higher risk of getting bedsores. Many of those who did most likely died of infection -- leading to the natural selection of people who move around in their sleep becoming a common trait in humans as it increased fitness (survival). This answers the why portion of your question, a neurobiologist could give you an answer as to how we do it. But, that s out of my league.

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