Sleep Jerking and Twitching: Almost Asleep?

in education •  last year 

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For almost all my life I have had this experience of jerking in my sleep or almost sleep. This always wakes me up and keeps me alert. I believe we've all been there.

Some times it may look like am dreaming but I wasn't because I could still hear my surroundings. I would say I was half-asleep. In the "dream" it will either be that I kicked something or missed my steps; hence the Jerk.

This jerking or twitching in sleep is called different names; Hypnagogic jerks, hypnic jerks or Myoclonic twitches or jerks. This Twitching is not a disease or sickness. A hypnagogic jerk is an involuntary muscle spasm that occurs as a person is drifting off to sleep. 60-70% of people experience this jerking and only a few remembers having these jerks while sleeping

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According to Dr. Natalie Dautovich, the Sleep expert;

‘As we transition from wakefulness to sleep, we experience a hypnagogic state of consciousness. During this state, we can experience unique phenomena including a hypnic jerk that accompanies a falling sensation. During sleep, restlessness centered in the legs, or periodic jerking of the legs can be symptoms of sleep disorders.’

Although as normal as the twitching may be , there are still various believes surrounding it. Some scientist believe that the frequent twitching is as a result of fatigue, stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation, but this conclusive research is lacking on the subject. Michelle Drerup, a psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic's Sleep Disorders Center in Ohio also believes that this twitches may be as a result of intense physical activities or exercises in the evening.

One hypothesis says that;

Hypnic jerks or Twitching are a natural part of the body's transition from alertness to sleep, and occur when nerves "misfire" during the process.

This jerking can be described as:
-Action
-Cortical Reflex
-Essential
-Palatal
-Progressive
-Reticular reflex
-Stimulus-sensitive, and
-Sleep

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Can I stop the Twitching?

In the heart of everyone reading this article, that have had this experience, is "what is the solution to this sleep twitching" because it disturbs sleep. While there is no clear explanation while the twitching, there is also no clear solution to it. The theories behind it has no bases.

Anyways, If you’ve been suffering from many hypnic jerks recently, the best advice would be Incorporate relaxation into your daily routine to try and minimise stress and anxiety levels, avoid any additional light or sound in your bedroom and try to wake up naturally without an alarm clock.

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Good post. Really informative

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Thank you

This is really informative... Thank you.

The jerking is tiring..i experience this alot especially when i take a nap in the noon time

I suggest you try to drink herbal teas.. chamomile and lavender and many other herbal teas daily and i gurantee these twitching will lessen or go away !!!