Have you ever snapped awake feeling that you were falling down? Do you often find yourself having vivid sensations of falling down from a height while sleeping? This sensation, also known as the hypnagogic jerk, is quite normal. But care has to be taken if it keeps recurring.
So, how can one treat this sensation? What can be done? Would you like to have the answers? Read this post!
What Is Hypnagogic Jerk?
Falling Sensation while sleeping, or a hypnagogic jerk, is an involuntary twitch or a Myoclonic jerk (1). It usually occurs while you are asleep or are beginning to go to sleep. This jerk often awakens you suddenly. The twitch itself resembles a ‘jump’ when you are startled and is mostly accompanied by a falling sensation (2).
[ Read: Effective Treatments For Sleep Disorders ]
Falling Sensation While Sleeping:
To understand what causes falling sensation during sleep, you must understand sleep cycles. Sleep is divided into stages (Stages 1,2,3,4 and REM Sleep) and cycles (they last for 90 – 110 minutes) (3).
Usually, it is only your physical body that requires sleep. The mind or your consciousness does not require sleep. Your consciousness can be lucid, and the levels of lucidity are different at different times.
What usually happens is most people like you and me lose the lucidity of their minds when the physical body sleeps. Although this is not always the case, it usually happens as you train your body to switch off when asleep. If you manage to remain lucid while you sleep, you will experience an out-of-the-body experience (an astral projection).
Your astral body (pyschosoma) has no weight like your physical body, and thus, it floats around your physical body during natural sleep. As your mind is not lucid while this occurs, you cannot experience any out-of-the-body feeling. When we sleep, we experience a bio-energy recharge that is often linked to the astral body separating from the physical body. The natural disengagement of your astral body (psychosoma) from the physical one is the usual cause of the falling sensation, which is a result of your expanded energy at that moment.
Your consciousness reconnects with your physical body as you wake up. In the morning, the process is slower and the reconnection is quite normal and steady. This is why we don’t experience the sensation in the morning. When you wake up outside your physical body, i.e. just when you were floating around, the sudden jerk causes the psychosoma to integrate with the physical body almost immediately. As you regain a moment of lucidity while your astral body is floating around you, the physical body integrates the astral body’s experiences, and the sudden jerk can sometimes mirror a feeling of falling down from a great height.
Sometimes this condition can be triggered by neurological disorders as well. There are numerous studies on neurologically challenged children experiencing repetitive instances of hypnagogic jerks (4).
Remedies For Hynagogic Jerk:
There are a number of ways you can avoid this out-of-the-body experience. You can consider practicing meditation techniques that help you connect with your consciousness.
As the natural disconnection with your consciousness is what causes the falling sensation, you should consider taking up meditation and other energy building techniques and activities.
Relaxation and breathing exercises can also help you avoid hypnagogic jerks. As you practice relaxation, with time you will develop deeper levels of relaxation and even expand your energies. If you practice enough and relax deeply, you might reach a point where you feel a floating sensation, where you can barely feel the presence of your physical body around you.
So, the next time when you experience sudden sensation of falling, don’t worry. The condition is quite normal. If you experience the condition over and over again, you might want to get yourself examined by a doctor.
Tell us about your own out-of-the-body experience here. Leave a comment below.
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