A report from Healthline describes how the twitches that babies exhibit during sleep may be helpful in their motor development.

Some researchers believe that the twitches during REM sleep are more than just a meaningless spasm or movement related to dreams. They’ve linked these instances of baby twitching in sleep to sensorimotor development.

Meaning, that when your sleeping baby twitches, they’re actually activating circuits in their developing brain. Research on animals suggests that activating these circuits teaches babies’ brains about their limbs and what they can do with them. Think of it as processing sensory input and a mapping of sorts of the sensorimotor system.

Interestingly, studiesTrusted Source with mammals and birds shows that there’s plenty of REM sleep during early development. This has led researchers to think of these twitches as a way of synchronizing developing structures and strengthening neural connections.

Get the full story at healthline.com.