Proprioception is the brain’s unconscious sense of where the body is in space. If the brain is receiving inaccurate information from the body about its position in space, sleep, attention and social interaction may suffer.

Clues that may indicate a weakness in proprioception include:

  • Need to be held, swaddled, snuggled
  • unusual need to have physical contact with another person; clinging
  • extreme upset over hair washing or pulling of shirts over the head
  • avoidance of activities that require closing the eyes (such as pin the tail on the donkey)
  • discomfort or disorientation in the shower
  • difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep
  • sleepwalking
  • falling out of bed
  • feeling of floating
  • extreme restlessness while sleeping
  • difficulty getting up and moving after sleep (as if strings were cut)
  • need for heavy covers or clothing or backpack to feel grounded
  • need to have a light on to sleep (fear of the dark)
  • avoidance of team sports
  • dislike of being in crowds
  • preference for or greater skill in swimming than in other sports
  • clumsiness, tripping over own feet, bumping into things
  • difficulty grasping mathematical concepts
  • accident – prone behaviors
  • insecurity going upstairs

Tapping your feet under your desk even after you have been told it is disturbing others may indicate that your brain needs help keeping track of body parts that the eyes can’t see.


The brain can practice and improve its ability to make the calculations necessary to know what angle and rotational twist each of the relevant joints are performing to place a given body part in a given position in space.

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