Odd sensation upon waking up

Ok, so my first thread was such a hit, I thought I’d ask about something else that’s been puzzling me. When I wake up in the morning, and only when I wake up “naturally” (i.e. without the dubious benefit of an alarm clock, noisy roommates, or other devices), I find that when I open my eyes, I feel a strange sort of pulse go through my body. The closest sensation to which I can liken it is the shockwave created by those fireworks that make a (relatively) small white flash, and a loud bang. I thought at first that my heart might be contracting unusually vigorously for some reason, but:

a) I’ve timed it so that it happens immediately after a regular heartbeat, and
b) it happens all over at the same time, instead of travelling from my chest outward

If I close my eyes for a few seconds and open them again, the same thing will happen. I’ve never bothered to see how long I could keep it going, thus failing to test my hypothesis that it might somehow have to do with my eyes being unadjusted to the light coming through the windows.

Has anyone ever experienced or heard of anything like this, or have some idea what it might be?

Oh, the other peculiarity I wanted to mention is that my father, my siblings and I all sneeze upon exposure to bright sunlight. I’ve met a handful of others who have the same reflex (if that’s what it is), but most people have never even heard of such a thing. Any thoughts on that one?

Welcome to the board, typo mna!

Can’t help you with your first question, but a search of the Straight Dope columns archive turned up this:

Why do some people sneeze when going out into bright light?

Happy posting!

[sub]It took me three tries before I got your username right…er, wrong… uh, you know what I mean…


This was prophecied in the Bible. Please have a good friend inspect your forehead for any, um, unusual symbols. “Fives” are okay. “Sixes” are not.

Be happy I didn’t go with “dishpit”. Thanks for the info.