Here’s a couple of wildly interesting thoughts I was having. You know when you’re sitting there watching a TV show and all the sudden you wake up and your body jerks and you sling your soda across the house? hahah Well sometimes it may not be quite that dramatic, but the reflex is still the same.
Another thought that crossed my mind was brain freezes. There you are happily gulping down some luscious ice cream or a slushy and BAMB! It hits you like a ton of bricks, the Brain Freeze! And it’s painful as all get out too, but why does this happen.
So let’s dig in a bit and find out about these two bizarre encounters with the body.
Why Do You Get Body Jerks When Falling Asleep?
This type of reflex actually has a scientific name and it’s called hypnagogic myoclonus. In Latin this means “twitches while falling asleep.” LOL Imagine that right….
According to science, there really is no definitive explanation for these random body jerks, and since it’s nothing life threatening there really hasn’t been a whole lot of research put into it either. But there are a few theories on this…
One theory suggests that body jerks at night may happen when you’re woken suddenly by subtle noises or movements around you while drifting into sleep. A quick experiment that helps prove this theory would be to whisper softly into someone’s ear just as they are starting to nod off, a gently poke in the arm should work just as well.
Another stranger theory says this reaction is something acquired from our ancestors. Going back many, many years when man lived in the wild we had to be very alert and tuned in to our surroundings. Something like a defensive impulse to wake suddenly to ensure our safety from predators. Kind of like 0 to 60 in under a tenth of a second…lol
Why Do We Get Brain Freezes from Consuming Cold Things?
Yep, you guessed it, this one has a scientific term as well. Brain freezes are known by doctors as an “Ice Cream Headache“. Yah, a lot of research went into this term I can assure you…hah.
Again this one is just as baffling as the involuntary body jerks in that there really is no documented reason as to why it happens. But it’s believed this is caused by blood vessels toward the roof of your mouth being contracted when the cold substance hits them.
The contracted blood vessels will prevent the blood flow which causes it to back up in your head. This will then causes the other blood vessels to stretch which results in the pain you feel. I know it’s a pretty simple explanation but it makes sense to me.
Ice cream headaches or brain freezes have been related to another extreme form of headache known as a migraine. Of course Migraine headaches are much more severe and will last a whole heck of a lot longer than brain freezes do. Not only that but migraines have a way of repeating themselves on a regular basis and also bring symptoms of sensitivity to light and loud noises.
But one thing I have found personally is that when you get an ice cream headache, try to breathe through your nose, it helps to get rid of it a little faster. This could possibly be because of the warmer air passing through the nasal cavity helps to warm the blood vessels back up to temperature. I bet you can’t wait to get another ice cream headache so you can try this remedy out, right?
So I know these explanations weren’t quite what you were expecting and we really didn’t learn anything too great, but I bet it’s left you with something to think about. So why not share those thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below.