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Know How: Are you or your Partner having Hypnic Jerks?

Author: Gud Sleepz Team

Know How: Are you or your Partner having Hypnic Jerks?

Know How: Are you or your Partner having Hypnic Jerks?

Have you noticed a sudden jerk while you are about to fall asleep or even during your sleep?

Does it disrupt your sleep or your partner’s sleep? You don’t need to worry about these jerks. This is fairly common and wouldn’t really need medical attention for most cases. Hypnic jerks are an involuntary muscle twitches that occur during the stage 1 and 2 of your sleep cycle and subside when you enter the deeper stage of sleep. It feels like, falling off somewhere or sudden sensory shock kind of a symptom. It can be felt or sometimes not felt by the individual depending on their sleep state and other factors such as tiredness, perceived threat and influence of some substances. People with no sleep issues usually shrug off this experience and go back to sleep. But it’s not always the case for everyone. 

Hypnic jerks or hypnogogic jerks or sleep twitches occurs during the transitional stage between the wakeful state to sleep state. This can be frustrating for people who suffer from sleep issues as it can cause difficulty falling asleep post these twitches and sometimes can affect your overall sleep quality. There is no single leading cause for these hypnic jerks but apparently lifestyle changes and thought restructuring has been shown to be effective in most cases.

Imagine, you are about to fall asleep after waiting in bed for about 2 hours and then you experience these jerks. It can cause stress due to the frustration of waking up after trying so hard to fall asleep leading to a belief that ‘sleep is not for you’ or thoughts like ‘I would never be able to sleep’. 

This is why, we decided to educate on the severity, cause for hypnic jerks and provide probable approach need to be undertaken for people who find these hypnic jerks frustrating.

Understand it’s normal 

Sometimes problems occur because we tend to fear of something bad happening to us and we tend to overestimate the issue at hand. When these hypnic jerks happen, do not panic as they are not harmful and fairly common. 

Make few lifestyle changes

Some of the causes that leads to recurrent hypnic jerks are said to sleep debt leading to excessive tiredness and fatigue, use of caffeine at night and use of stimulants such as alcohol and smoking. These are said to mess up with the sleep cycle causing disruptions in sensory reactions and motor functions. It’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid such substances to be consumed often.

Thoughts - Biggest Enemy

As I mentioned in the beginning of the article that for people with no apparent sleep issues, do not find these hypnic jerks frustrating and even some people just go back to sleep not remembering what just happened. This is because sometimes when you perceive a normal occurrence as a threat, it can create anxiety and disrupt the sleep. For people with sleep issues, waking up is seen as a threat in itself so the thoughts tend to rush causing anxiety which inturn affects your sleep. So, your hypnic jerks aren’t the culprit, your thoughts are. Being able to actively focusing on the quality of your sleep and not brooding over small mishaps is very important. 

Get Help 

We wouldn’t recommend staying with the issue if its causing increased distress and occurs very often. This can be evaluated by a sleep specialist and your issue can be dealt in a much better way. It is normal but if its affecting your mood, regular life and your overall sleep, get help. 

So, hoping this information was helpful for everyone and for more queries please contact us through the email or drop your questions in the comment box. 

Please Book a Session with sleep coach to know more about your sleep.

Tags: hypnic jerks , sleep

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