Dr. Kim Foster: Wicked Health


Weird Body Quirks

stuff we can't explain

weird body quirks

The human body is a peculiar thing.

I was recently asked by fellow YMC blogger, Sharon DeVellis, if I could explain why that annoying eyelid twitchy thing happens. And then I was suddenly flooded by a bunch of people on Twitter enthusiastically reporting : Yes, we get the same thing!...And what the heck is that anyway?

So I figured, this is something I should address.

So, eyelid twitching. You know what we’re talking about, right? When your eyelid does that flutter/tic thing that you can’t control and can’t stop?

The scoop is: it’s usually triggered by one of these underlying causes: stress, fatigue, dehydration, caffeine, or alcohol.

But here, I have to admit...although we know the triggers, scientists haven’t exactly figured out why those triggers bring out eye flutter. Damn scientists. Get back to work, right?

Once eyelid spasms begin, they can continue intermittently for a few days. And then they usually disappear. Fact is, muscle twitches can happen anywhere in your body because of those triggers. The eyelid just happens to be the most common spot. Which is great. It couldn’t strike somewhere a little less visible, perhaps?

When it happens, we feel like it’s super-obvious and ridiculous-looking...but rest assured it’s not nearly as visible to other people as it is to you.

Best thing you can do to avoid eyelid twitching or make it stop once it’s started: correct the underlying factors. Deal with stress. Get more sleep. Drink more water. Cut the caffeine. Go easy on the alcohol.

Now. Thinking about this topic started me pondering other weird things the human body does, other things we don’t have great explanations for.



What is it? An uncontrollable spasm of your diaphragm (that’s the muscle that sits under your lungs and helps you breathe). It can be triggered by eating too fast, too much, swallowing air, or overindulging on alcohol. Just about everybody has their own little remedy for hiccups. Mine? Drinking a glass of water from the wrong side of the glass, upside-down-like.

And then there’s...


This is something done by everyone—animals and humans, alike, and even fetuses! But it’s another curiosity we don’t fully get. Theories abound: is it to increase brain oxygenation? Is it a form of involuntary stretching? We actually don’t know. If it’s all about oxygenation—why do studies show that breathing more deeply doesn’t seem to decrease yawning? And why do we yawn when bored? And then there's that contagious-yawning phenom. Seeing other people yawn—even thinking about yawning—can make you do it. How many times did you yawn while reading this?

Sorry ‘bout that.