I guess any of us who've had pet dogs would have surely seen this too. I knew its known fact that dogs dream too, just like us. I have grown with pets and my curiousity about canines took me to the Google nirvana.
R.E.M or, Rapid Eye Movement. Just like us, when dogs too enter the Deep Sleep phase ( after the SWS/ Slow Wave Sleep phase), they experience R.E.M. phase. This is when they Dream, just like us. :)
In fact, little tangentially; for those of you who don't know, when your pet dog is looking really cozily curled up, he/she is mostly not into the R.E.M. phase. Because, in this phase, his/her entire body has to get relaxed(...remember your own body, the final pose that gets you snoring is not the rolled-up-around-yourself one!). Thinking about that, I rememebered those INNUMERABLE times when my cousin would fall off the bus seat snoozing/ banged his head on the window / slept on all the fellow-passengers' shoulders/ woke up startled...obviously scared everyone with his blood-shot red eyes/ shook with a jolt while sleeping . All the others were side-splitting except for the last one. That one seemed to be an interesting one.
Again, Google to rescue.
Hypnogocic Myoclinic Twitch. I had read about this in Femina few months ago. A small mention. Even now, its was really weird that I found only ONE HIT IN GOOGLE on this!
Being something that I am sure 99% humans would have felt in their lifetime. It IS surprising, you see. This particular phenomenon is seen when your body gets into the R.E.M. phase and your muscles tend to relax. But, sometimes while you enter this phase, your response system in the muscles send a signal to the brain which is very similar to the one that happens when you're free falling. Thus, brain sends a sudden responsive signal to the body to pull together the muscles! This is seen as the Twitch/Jolt which we experience.
Being such a mysterious and vague fact doesn't stop it from being amusing for the onlookers of the victim. Thanks to Youtube; I found some comical and some eye-catching videos;
You can watch them too;
Dog Twitching in R.E.M. :)
Cute baby- funny expressions in R.E.M :D