Why don’t we fall out of bed?

bedsI’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I wonder why we don’t fall out of bed when we’re sleeping?  I have never fallen out of bed while sleeping.  I tried doing a search about it and this is about all I could find. It’s really only a question forum through yahoo.

It seems all the other searches I did only covered toddlers.  A few did cover the elderly. I also can’t ever recall times when my kids fell out of bed either.  Now getting up to play while supposed to be sleeping is a completely different story.  But other than a few times, they pretty much stayed on their beds too when asleep.

Most things I read had to do with REM and the stages of sleep that you are in. Wouldn’t that also apply to you no matter how old you are?  The only people who seem to have rails up on beds are babies in a crib and the elderly.  Nursing homes all have those beds with rails on them.  Hospitals also do.  Do you suppose those rails also have to do with having something to hold on to when either getting into bed or out?  Or to help hold things like the “nurse” button or the phone?

I can remember there have been times that I would wake up with my head at the foot of the bed.  Or I’d wake up wandering around my room lost.  But in my whole adult life, I’ve had the “feeling” of falling but have actually never fallen out of bed.

What about you?  Do you know anyone or do you fall out of bed? What about your young kids, do they fall out of bed often?

We have a segment on our local news that I do use here quite often called “Good Question” and I’m thinking about submitting this one because it’s always been a question in my head.

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25 Responses to Why don’t we fall out of bed?

  1. innermusing says:

    I fell out of bed once as a child. But I was a restless sleeper. My son was also a restless sleeper when young; sometimes he would end up with his head at the foot of the bed.

    Now I generally stay in one spot all night like my body’s frozen. I think we dont’ fall out of bed because our senses are still awake and perhaps we ‘feel’ the edge of the bed.

  2. SKL says:

    No, I can’t say I fall out of bed, nor does anyone I know of. I remember doing it once or twice as a small child, in the middle of a dream where I was moving around. My sister did kick me out of bed plenty of times, but that’s the extent of it. (My kids are still in cribs, so no news on that one.)

    Why don’t we fall out? Because the memory and fear of falling is so strong that we don’t have to consciously think about it. Even while asleep, we can feel when we’re dangerously close to falling and automatically move the other way. I suppose it’s the same reason we don’t wet the bed either.

    I think when the elderly fall out of bed, they are probably trying to get up and just physically can’t do it. Sometimes they are losing their mental faculties and maybe don’t know quite what they are doing. Or they are in a hospital/nursing home bed they aren’t used to, so they don’t have a good sense of where the edges of the bed are.

    Interesting question.

  3. Tessa says:

    Great question!! I never thought about it. That is funny! I remember falling out of the top bunk when I was a kid once, after that my mom put a rail up. Around the same time, the old lady on the other side of our townhome fell out of bed and I heard it in the middle of the night!! I ran to wake my grandma up and she called an ambulance for our neighbor.

    Well, what do old people and children have in common? They both have little balance…well-unhealthy old people lose their sense of balance as their brains & bodies go downhill. Children are developing their sense of balance. Subconsciously, they don’t know their boundaries-their perceptions are off as well.

  4. Tessa says:

    Oh-it was the toliet she fell off of!! But, same thing, loss of balance.

  5. SanityFound says:

    You are so cruel seriously cruel I tell you! *sniff* ok so I regularly fall out of bed while sleeping, ok I havent done it for a full year (bonus). In the past I would wake up on the floor and go hmmmmm with a wide array of bruises … that and also falling out of bed when I get up, my feet dont work so well and they kinda get confused about the direction they are walking in hmph

  6. kwoneshe2 says:

    I fell out of bed twice. I was a teenager both times. Hmmm….

  7. Sue says:

    My 4 year old fell out of bed maybe a month ago and NEVER woke up! I picked him up off the floor and laid him back in bed, didn’t know a thing happened! I think I’ve maybe fallen out of bed once or twice as a kid, but that’s all. I do have that falling feeling though and I hate that!

    Hospitals/nursing homes have rails on the bed to help prevent falls which means to help with liability!!!!

  8. holeycheese says:

    I remember once when I fell out of my bed as a kid.. and that’s when I was sick and had a fever..

    Our kids do fall out of bed once in a while.. but it doesn’t happen a lot.. I think the older they get, the less they do it. They are three and four.

  9. An excellent question, Joy! From my knowledge, and I actually took a course on dreams, while dreaming our body is actually locked and paralyzed below the neck, and so during dreams we don’t fall out of bed because we literally can’t move. The rest of the night?
    Well, I think SKL makes a good point about the fear of falling being ingrained in our bodies. But also, even though we do move in our sleep, our brains are functioning and the brain is a strange thing- it may actually calculate as it moves where the edge of the bed is that it saw before you went to bed, thus making sure that when you move you’re not going to fall.

  10. Amy Hunter says:

    I have no idea why, and now you have me curious, Joy! Did you know that if you Google “Why don’t we fall out of bed while sleeping” your blog is at the top of the list?

  11. Joy says:

    Really Amy?? That’s hilarious.

  12. shane says:

    I fell out of bed as a child once and like Tessa’s mom did for her my dad and grandpa put a rail up for me. Now I don’t think I could ever fall out of bed. I think as you grow up you loose your ability to “sleep like a baby” I used to be able to sleep 12hrs. straight EASY! Now I have a lot of problems falling asleep and I wake up a lot easier now.

  13. Costas says:

    I fell from the bed yesterday, for the first time in my life.
    I was having a nightmare and it was so realistic i still remember details. I am socked and i have a big bruise on my neck because i hit myself on the sharp table corner next to my bed. I am little bit scared, still i feel pain. Yes , still wondering how this happen…

  14. brenda says:

    ok- i am 43 years old . this week i have fallen out of bed twice. i have never done this before. it freaks me out. the first time. i got up and went right back to sleep. the second time i was afraid to go back to sleep. now at night i find myself waking up to check i am not to close to the edge of the bed. it is driving me nuts!!!!

  15. Annette says:

    I was doing a search on this tonight because I fell out of bed LAST NIGHT!! I had not done this since I was a child, and I am 54. I am a retired school teacher, and was dreaming about trying to get out of class, and felt trapped.

    I had a hysterectomy a month ago, and also recently finished cleaning out my chidhood home sothat others could move into it. Lots of emotional stuff going on right now…could that be the cause??? I don’t know.

  16. Laura says:

    I had such a realistic nightmare where I was running and jumped over something in my dream and then in the dream fell and hit the ground. Well that is when I woke up! I was on the floor………have been in pain since. Very strange, this hasn’t ever happened to me before and I’m 40.

  17. bebe 2009 says:

    this caught my eye , i was looking this up because my 3 yr old almost fell out of the bed last night and i watched her stop herself like there was an invisable wall at the edge of the bed , it was strange , so i watched her and noticed that she would move her leg around and as soon as i went off the bed she would move closer to me , i dont buy that we cant move in our sleep …why would people fall in the first place or why people roll over ect. so i think i agree with the people that are saying that our brain and body know when this is going to happen and takes action and as we get older like everything else with our brain and body that gets weaker .but our bodies do alot of things without us ..like auto pilot ..breathing ? so why is this any different?

  18. Alicia says:

    I feel out of bed on christmas eve I landed on my knees lol kinda weird I remember dreaming something but I cant recall what, btw I’m 14 years old.

  19. chris says:

    im here because my 8 year old fell off the bed. this is the first page that came up on the search engine. she hit the floor hard and smashed the computer with her head on the way down. I was in the room and saw the whole thing but couldnt get to her in time to catch her. ive never heard of anyone doing this, even when my buddies fell asleep drunk they say they never fell off the bed. I hope this is not a problem.

  20. Don Keiller says:

    I am a 92 year old Englishman and a veteran of the Normandy landings. I am lucky because I am active, I play bowls, play bridge, do crosswords. People can’t believe my age. I don’t like them saying that as it is tempting fate.
    However, for the first time in my life, at seven o’clock this morning, while I was asleep, I fell out of bed ! I had a superficial cut from a bedside piece of furniture, but the accident has shaken me up.
    My hip joints are sore, particularly the left side one as is my left arm from elbow to shoulder, and it’s painful to walk.–I hope it doesn’t happen again !

  21. Weag says:

    I am reading thisbecause I fell out of bed last night! I am 29 and this has never happened before SMH

  22. Ron J says:

    I am 81 & fell out of bed last night. First time ever. I am very active and very alert but during a dream I fell out of bed, have a sore neck and shoulder. Like others, I I am not looking forward to bed tonight. d
    Do not want to repeat the the fall.?

  23. Pat Collins says:

    My husband fell out of bed last night. He cut his forehead on the corner of the night stand, has a scraped knee and a sore neck. He’s 61 years old and this is the first time it has ever happened. I’m worrying that it might happen again and nothing ever wakes me up so I wouldn’t know if he got hurt until morning. Pat

  24. Vicki Martin says:

    I am 59yrs old and last Oct/Nov I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and compartment syndrome in my lower legs. I have never fallen out of bed, not even as a child that I can remember. Now I have fallen out of bed 5 times in the past yr., one where I hit the side of my head in the temple region and probably should of had stitches but I just let it go. This is scary and I would like to know what the cause, or why now at this age?

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