Home Remedies

Hypnic Jerks Causes: How to Stop Hypnic Jerks from Anxiety

Are you looking for how to stop hypnic jerks from anxiety? Have you ever felt jerks or a sudden shake in the body while sleeping or beginning of just falling asleep? Hypnic jerks or hypnagogic jerks are myoclonic jerks that can occur when you are in a state of wakefulness to sleep or when sleep starts. 

When you feel hypnic jerks, you may feel frequent muscle twitching while lying on the bed that can awake you with a jolted shake.  

In this Article

What are Hypnic jerks a sign of

Hypnic jerks are a natural phenomenon generated by your body. Most people feel these sleep twitches when they switch to see dreams or near to fall in a deep sleep. 

Hypnic is the short form of hypnagogic and is related to muscle contractions and triggers you just before sleep. One may awake with a shock, including shouting or screaming with fear that is your body’s natural process when it feels danger around you. 

In medical terms, hypnic jerks are also called myoclonic jerks. You may hear many other different names of this problem but symptoms and causes are the same.   

Hypnic Jerks Symptoms

Our body becomes paralyzed when we sleep due to REM sleep atonia, and we have no control over the body. People feel scared and feel hypnic jerk anxiety after waking up. 

  • The muscles and body wake up with a jolt. 
  • One may feel falling from the height with a fearful sensation that wakes you up. 
  • Hallucinations of falling and jumping. 
  • Sweating and increased heart rate 
  • Rapid breathing and anxiety 
  • Hearing loud noise of crackling, ringing, or shouting. 

What causes Hypnic Jerks

What causes Hypnic Jerks

According to researchers, hypnic jerks are common to state more than 70% of people, and they can affect all ages and gender. Hypnic jerks are still a mystery for the experts as they don’t know the exact reason and why you twitch in your sleep.

For understanding it more, for instance, when your body gets relaxed, the brain’s neurotransmitter assumes that you are falling and need help, and it awakens you with a shock to save your life. 

Still, some noticeable causes must be helpful to comprehend it deeply:-

1. Excessive intake of Caffeine

You need caffeine and nicotine to stimulate your body, and when you have an excess intake of such things can lead to hypnic jerks. 

2. Exercising in Night time

If you are addicted to doing more exercise, it may sound good, but not when you need sleep. Doing exercise in the night can provoke hypnic jerks as it makes you alert and active. 

3. Insomnia 

Nowadays, insomnia is a common health issue affecting millions of people. Sleep deprivation or disturbed sleep increases the chances of hypnic jerks and mood swings as well. 

4. Stress 

Stress and anxiety are the root causes of most troubles, and sleep twitches aren’t an exception. Overthinking and stress don’t allow your mind to relax and not get deep sleep, and it contributes well to hypnic jerks. 

How to Get Rid of Anxiety before Bedtime?

Anxiety or stress before bedtime can disturb the whole sleeping process and even affects the entire day as you can’t focus and stay in a bad mood. 

  • Doing some meditation practice can reduce anxiety before sleeping. Listening to some relaxing music can also help you. 
  • Doing some light stretching exercise and avoiding caffeine and nicotine intake before sleeping. 
  • Avoid overthinking and try to be in the present time. 

Can hypnic jerks cause death?

Hypnic jerks are not dangerous though they are annoying and can disturb your sleep. The experts believe that it is a natural body action, so you shouldn’t worry much. 

In some rare cases, people can harm others and themselves, and it is dangerous, and expert supervision is necessary. 

One may feel hypnic jerks while awake in a highly relaxed condition, and it may fear you from tip to root, so try to calm up and stay relaxed.  

Can stress cause Hypnic jerks?

There are many causes responsible for hypnic jerks, and yes, stress is one of them, affecting mental and physical health. 

Stress causes brain cells to be active and unable to relax completely, and you may feel headaches, sleep deprivation, and insomnia that are causes of hypnic jerks. 

How to Stop Hypnic Jerks from Anxiety

We aren’t saying you can eradicate hypnic jerks, but prevention and some treatment methods can help you. Let’s see what are they:-

  • Switch to better sleep habits like going to bed on time and avoiding using mobiles or screens for too long. 
  • Maintain the temperature of the bedroom and make it dark. 
  • Do breathing exercises, Yoga, and meditation to reduce stress. 
  • Make a schedule of your exercise and avoid vigorous exercise, especially at night time. 
  • Decrease the consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, or any drugs that can destroy the natural sleep pattern. 
  • Various aromatic and effective herbs and essential oils are available that helps in a deep relaxed sleep. 
  • Adept healthy diet plan and add more veggies, fruits, and nutrition’s-rich diet. 
  • Share this problem with your friends and family, and you’ll come to know that you aren’t alone who is having hypnic jerks.   

Hypnic jerks ruining my life

If you experience excess sleep twitching or hypnagogic jerks, you may have sleep anxiety and insomnia that can increase with time and affects your whole life. 

There are some supplements that can help you, but people can be addicted to them. 

Moreover, disturbed sleep can cause mental and physical issues, and you must consult with a doctor. 

Alcohol withdrawal hypnic jerks

Alcohol withdrawal hypnic jerks (twitching) is a temporary condition that occurs in some people after they stop drinking alcohol. It can also be called an alcohol-induced disorder, or alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal twitching include

  • Tremors
  • Shaking of the hands and arms
  • Legs may shake (akinetic) and jerk when walking or standing still
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Sweating, especially at night
  • Sweating with no apparent cause, known as non-restrictive hyperhidrosis (DRESS)
  • Sleeplessness, anxiety and irritability due to nightmares about cravings for alcohol.

Can hypnic jerks cause seizures?

Hypnic jerks can cause seizures if it happens at the wrong time. If you twitch when your brain is trying to focus on something, it may cause a seizure.

There are many factors that can contribute to causing seizures, such as stress and dehydration. There are also many medications that have been known to cause seizures in some people, such as certain anti-seizure drugs.

However, for the most part, people who suffer from epilepsy are more likely to experience seizures due to other causes rather than twitching itself.

In Closing

Sleep jerks are benign and common, and our habits and lifestyle play an essential role in inviting them. Try to reconsider all the causes and prevention methods as they will surely going to help. 

If you ever felt hypnic jerks or have any suggestions that you want to share with the world, please feel free to share with us, and we hope this information will be helpful for you. 

Stay tuned with us for more articles like that. Till then, keep smiling and stay healthy.  

Be sure to read:

  1. Why Do I wake up at 3 am Every Night
  2. What are the Most Common Dreams

Trusted sources

  1. Hypnic jerks possibly induced by escitalopram – NCBI [1]
  2. The effects of the tree-to-ground sleep transition [2]
  3. Sleep disturbances in Parkinsonism[3]
  4. Myoclonus Fact Sheet[4]
  5. Sleep-to-wake transition movement disorders[5]

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

Related Articles

Back to top button