Ever had that “body jerking” or “head exploding” thing happen just as you’re going to sleep?
The jerk is called the “hypnic jerk” which could be caused by caffeine and tobacco as well as stimulant medications and exhaustion.
When you’re so tired that your brain moves through the stages of sleep too quickly, it confuses itself into thinking the major systems of the body are failing and responds with a burst of chemicals that the brain builds a dream around and then, you wake up.
The exploding head is a known parasomia, a condition that accompanies sleep. A flash of light or muscle twitch might happen, too. The cause is unknown, but is likely related to exhaustion, stress, medication, health conditions, substance abuse or mental illness. It’s been reported in those as young as 10 years.
So, if your child tells you they’re experiencing either one of these conditions, you’ll know how to explain it. If it becomes a problem, see a doctor.
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