Why do I get goose bumps? Involuntary reactions of our body

We think that every movement we make we do it voluntarily, but the truth is that our body has a series of automatic reactions controlled by the nervous system, which causes us to involuntarily respond to certain actions.

We talk about sneezing, yawning, goose bumps, tics or the sensation of falling out of bed when we are almost asleep.

And it is that our body is wiser than we think and it itself knows how to respond with physiological actions as common as the mechanism that causes it is surprising.

Piloerection

According to medical terminology, we define goose bumps as piloerection and it happens to us when we are cold or when certain things “hit a chord”, that is, we have a reaction to an emotion.

This reaction has its explanation for each of the cases. When we feel cold, the hairs stand on end due to the contraction of an erector muscle that is under the skin. By contracting, a layer of air is created around the body that protects us from the cold. Another cause that causes goose bumps is related to an increase in adrenaline production in situations of strong emotions, be they fear or pleasure. It is an action similar to that which occurs in other animals such as cats or dogs when their hair stands on end when fighting or facing a threat, a way of appearing larger in the face of an opponent; or in male birds when they court their female.

Myoclonic spasms

Surely, on some occasion, when you are about to fall asleep or have already fallen into the arms of Morpheus, you have had the sensation of falling out of bed or from the top of a building. This phenomenon is called myoclonic spasms and consists of small sudden and involuntary movements caused by sudden muscle contractions or relaxation. Approximately 70% of the population has felt it at some time and, usually, they are not pathological actions, although if they occur frequently and repeatedly, it is worth consulting a doctor to rule out a serious origin.

Why do I get goose bumps?  Involuntary reactions of our body

Yawn

It is said that one yawns from hunger, sleepiness or boredom. I do not know what is scientific in this statement that I have always heard at home. What is scientifically proven is that yawning is a biological mechanism that is carried out to have an extra supply of oxygen in the brain, a way to oxygenate it. As a curiosity, it has been calculated that on average a yawn lasts about six seconds, but the time varies depending on the size of the brain and its complexity. In mammals, the difference in the duration of yawning responds to an increase in cognitive abilities.

Hiccup

An episode of hiccups is usually generated by irritation of the diaphragm and usually disappears after a few minutes. And is that the diaphragm is an arc-shaped muscle that is found in the lower part of the thorax and intervenes in breathing: it goes down and contracts when we take in air and rises and relaxes when expelling it. Generally, the movements are smooth and rhythmic, like breathing, but sometimes when he eats too quickly or large bites, he becomes irritated, dropping abruptly. This causes air to enter the throat, also abruptly, colliding with the larynx, the vocal cords to close suddenly and hiccups occur.

Why do I get goose bumps?  Involuntary reactions of our body

Sneeze

It’s about a Reflex stimulus in which air is forcefully and compulsively forced out of the lungs into the nose or mouth. This reaction is caused by particles that irritate the nostril or by a viral infection. The mechanism of sneezing is complex: the base of the tongue rises, the soft palate descends, partially closing the airflow through the mouth and directing it towards the nose. The muscles of the mouth, throat, and chest move in a coordinated manner to force air out of the lungs with great force, expelling mucus, droplets, and particles that irritated the nostrils.

Trembling of the eyelid

Medically it is called eyelid myokymia and are those small tics that occur in the upper or lower eyelid unilaterally or bilaterally. These annoying tremors occur when the orbicularis muscle contracts and the causes can be of a different nature. The most common are the physical and / or emotional stress, fatigue, lack of rest or any other reason that stimulates this muscle. Also the intake of drinks with a stimulating compound such as coffee, tea or energy drinks or simply due to dry eyes. The best way to alleviate myokymias and make them disappear is by putting a direct remedy on the cause that produces it: tear if you have dry eyes, relax if you have too much stress or consume certain drinks and rest.