Weird Symptoms, Explained
You Always Sneeze in Threes
The explanation: “Sneezing is a protective reflex,” says Nathanael Horne, a physician in New York City. “There’s something irritating in the
nasal passages, and your nose wants to get rid of it.” So you’ll sneeze until the job gets done.
The fix: Sneeze! Once, twice, or four or more times—all are perfectly normal.
Your Heart Races When You Wake Up Suddenly
The explanation: “When you’re startled, adrenaline kicks in, and your body’s fight-or-flight response is suddenly turned on,” says Moore.
And, says Teng, if you wake up abruptly from REM sleep, when vivid dreams occur, your heart rate may be naturally elevated.
The fix: In either case, your heart rate should return to normal within a few minutes.
When to see a doctor: If you also have chest pain or dizziness.
You Get Full-Body Shivers
The explanation: “It’s probably a momentary glitch in the body’s ability to regulate its temperature,” says Raj, especially if it lasts mere
seconds. (This happens more during the menopausal transition, since “hormonal changes can make body-temperature regulation
go haywire,” says Raj.)
The fix: A shiver should go away on its own in a minute or two.
When to see a doctor: If a shiver lingers for days, which could signal an infection. “Just like a fever occurs with some illnesses,” says Raj, “you can get chills when your immune cells release chemicals to fight off bugs.” Treating the underlying infection should stop the shivers.