At Home With Lorraine Kelly 2017 - 140
FROM PULSATING EYELIDS
TO TWITCHING MUSCLES,
WE TAKE ALOOK AT SOME
OF YOUR BODY'S WEIRD
AND WONDERFUL QUIRKS
ave you ever been puzzled by
random things that occur in
your anatomy? Like that twitch
in your eye, or the cramp in your
calf that wakes you up in the
middle of the night? Are these twitches and
twinges normal, or could they indicate health
issues that may be a cause for concern?
Thankfully, it's usually the former. Many
body quirks are simply down to lifestyle
factors, such as tiredness or stress, but others
can be down to genetics, the environment
and even our animal ancestors.
The body is a complex network of arteries,
veins, muscles and organs, and some of those
weird tics ay have e you ba ed unti
now, of course...
Uncontrollable jumps when you're
asleep usually come about when
you re dri ing off to s ee
or during a brie
o en when you a or tri in
your dream. The movement makes you jolt
awake, wondering what's happened.
hen you a as ee the rst to
inutes is a ight s u ber but a er about
an hour, rapid eye movement (REM) begins.
It's during this point that you have dreams
and your muscles become paralysed.
However, if you're extremely tired or
stressed, you could well enter REM sleep
faster than usual, breaking your sleep cycle
and causing you to have vivid dreams.
As your muscles aren't fully relaxed,
you may experience involuntary jerks, or
twitches, as if you were falling, which
causes you to 'jump' in your sleep. The
medical term for these sudden jolts is
hypnic myoclonia but they're more
commonly known as hypnic jerks.
140 | AUGUST 2017
Try to relax
HYPNIC JERKS CAN
BECOME CYCLICAL IF
your heart, brain and various
ts esti ated around
YOU START WORRYING muscles, and as it does that,
people experience these jerks
ABOUT THEM. KEEP
the blood rushes out of your
at some point in their lives.
CALM - THEY'RE NOT
legs, which makes them
While not exactly preventable,
feel like jelly and begin
you can reduce the chances of
to shake. This may be
having one by cutting down on
accompanied by a loss of balance.
caffeine and a coho be ore bedti e
However, if you're not in a stressful
ensuring you are getting enough calcium
or scary situation, and the shaking mainly
and agnesiu in your diet as this can he
happens at night, you may have restless legs
with usc e and nerve s as s and avoiding
syndrome, aka Willis-Ekbom disease.
strenuous exercise late in the evening.
A condition of the nervous system, it
causes an overwhelming urge to move
your egs. heres no s eci c cause it
When adrenaline rushes through your
can run in families, and can also have
body, your blood goes to the places
something to do with how your body
your body feels need it most. These include
WORDS: LYNNE MAXWELL,
IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
JOLTS IN YOUR SLEEP