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Why does the body twitch while we sleep

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Twitches while falling asleep are called hypnagogic myoclonus, myoclonus being any sort of involuntary muscle spasm. [ Source: http://www.chacha.com/question/why-does-the-body-twitch-while-we-sleep ]
More Answers to "Why does the body twitch while we sleep"
What causes body twitching while sleeping?
Twitching is caused by many things. One of them includes involuntary muscle spasms. These often happen at night, and are gone unnoticed. They are most likely benign. Parasitic worms also cause this problem as they move. This is highly unlik...

Related Questions Answered on Y!Answers

why does the body twitch while sleeping?
A: http://www.sleepdex.org/myoclonus.htm
Why does my body sometimes twitch while I'm falling asleep?
Q: Has anyone ever experienced this. Usually if I'm taking a nap I'm in that half sleep and half awake mode and my body will twitch. Why?
A: that is called a hypnic jerk, and a lot of people have them. You might experience them more often if you have a fever.It is an involuntary muscle twitch (more generally known as myoclonus or a myoclonic twitch) which often occurs during the transition from wakefulness to sleep (see hypnagogia). It is often described as an electric shock or falling sensation, and can cause movement of the body in bed. Hypnic jerks are completely normal, and are experienced by most people, especially when over-tired or sleeping uncomfortably.Hypnic jerks are usually felt just once or twice per night. More regular (and usually less dramatic) muscle twitches often occur during normal sleep (perhaps as often as once every thirty seconds). In extreme cases, this may be classified as a disorder called periodic limb movement. The person with the disorder will usually sleep through the events.When a subject is deprived of sleep and is trying to fight sleep, hypnic jerks can occur more often. This normally happens to subjects who have deprived themselves of sleep for longer than 24 hours.
Why do animals twitch when they sleep?
Q: I know this is really random but I have a dog and two cats. When they sleep their bodies twitch almost frantically. I know humans may have a quick muscle spasm while they sleep, but that's still different from the animals. Anybody know why that is? What's going on with them?
A: They are in the REM cycle of sleep, dreaming, like humans do :) Sometimes you can even see cats or dogs moving their paws as if they are dreaming of chasing something ^^

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