Hypnotic jerk: No, you didn't fall, it's just muscle contractions

Have you ever had a sudden, odd feeling of falling wake you up? This phenomenon is known as the sleep jerk, so let's get to know it in the following article:

Hypnotic jerk: No, you didn't fall, it's just muscle contractions

Hypnagogic jerks - Hypnic jerk is known by many other names, such as sleep start and sleep jerk. Let's examine the following to learn more about this phenomenon:

What is meant by sleep jerk?

Before entering a deep sleep, a person will frequently experience sleep jerking, which is a typical and natural condition. This phenomena manifests as abrupt, involuntary muscle spasms in one or more muscles, and it is accompanied by a sensation that resembles what one may feel when falling. The patient frequently wakes up from his sleep in panic as a result of a hypnotic jerk.

A specific form of sleep myoclonus is a hypnotic jerky. Myoclonus is a term for many types of involuntary muscle movements that may occur during sleep or while the body is relaxing in preparation for deep sleep.

Although it affects people of all ages, somnolence jerk is most prevalent in adults. Although the exact causes of sleep jerks have not yet been identified by studies, it is thought that a number of variables may raise your risk of experiencing them. There is typically no need to see a doctor about somnambulism as it isn't a dangerous ailment. Unless it appears in conjunction with other symptoms or health problems.

When does the hypnotic twitch happen during sleep?

The hypnotic jerking frequently does not happen during the third stage of sleep, which is scientifically referred to as the rapid eye movement sleep stage. Instead, it tends to happen in the first or second stage of sleep, which are the stages in which the person starts to transition from the waking stage to the deep sleep stage.

Causes of sleep jerks 

As previously indicated, researchers have not yet been able to pinpoint the precise origins of the hypnotic jerking, but certain theories are held to account for what is happening, including one that suggests a miscommunication between the brain and muscles just before sleep induction may take place.

The brain may sense that something is wrong even if the body is beginning to go asleep and its muscles are just beginning to relax because it may incorrectly think that the body is still awake.

When the muscles relax, the brain may interpret this as a sign that the body is about to fall, and in an effort to protect the person, the brain may cause the muscles to contract in an effort to activate or motivate the body to stop what it perceives as falling. This could cause the person to awaken unexpectedly.

  • sleeping pills

The most notable stimuli that may be responsible for the sleep twitch include:

  • Use of alcohol or stimulants: This type of substance is one of the stimuli that may disturb the stages of the sleep cycle, so that the person remains in the stages of non-deep sleep for longer periods, during which the chances of a sleep twitch are high. The body's withdrawal from these medications might also trigger the hypnotic twitch.
  • Stress and anxiety: Constantly thinking too much or feeling stressed out can make it difficult for your body to unwind and fall asleep, which can result in a number of sleep disorders. This includes somnambulism.
  • Excessive caffeine intake: Caffeine may cause muscle twitching or contractions and may have a negative impact on the stages of the sleep cycle.
  • Lack of sleep: The body's failure to get enough hours of sleep can stimulate a defect in the sleep cycle. This imbalance may occasionally cause sleep jerks as a result.
  • Other concerns include sleep apnea and heavy exercise right before sleeping at night.

Symptoms of sleep jerks

The hypnotic jerking's accompanying muscle spasms frequently only affect the extremities on one side of the body, such as the left arm or left leg. This may be restricted to one jerk, or the person may experience multiple simultaneous jerks before the body muscles begin to relax again.

These are the most prominent additional symptoms that may appear on the patient when a sleep jerk occurs:

  • feeling of tripping, of about to fall, or of having just started to tumble.
  • a dream or hallucination in which the subject may perceive particular things, such seeing brilliant lights, hearing popping sounds, and imagining themselves falling.
  • a sensation similar to an electric jerk.
  • a tingling sensation, or even discomfort.
  • Other signs include quick breathing, perspiration, and a quick heartbeat.

Even for the same person occasionally, the hypnotic jerk might range in intensity from mild to severe. Therefore, even if this jerk may cause the patient to awaken in extreme circumstances, it's likely that in smaller cases, the individual may not notice any effects until someone alerts him to them. Another who shares his bedroom with him, such as a husband or wife.

It is important to keep in mind that sleep jerking can cause sleep disturbances and make it difficult to fall asleep again after waking up.

Is there a treatment for somnambulism?

Although the hypnotic jerk frequently goes away on its own without any treatment, it can occasionally be quite violent, causing you to hit the edge of the bed, for example. In some cases, this may necessitate medical attention. Additionally, repeated episodes of the hypnotic jerk can worsen and cause sleep disturbances that may impair your quality of life.

Somnambulism cannot be prevented from re-occurring, but the chances of experiencing it again can be reduced by following the following recommendations:

  • Limit consumption of caffeine sources as much as possible, especially in the evening hours.
  • Avoid stimulant medications, and give up alcohol.
  • Always try to relax and avoid the causes of anxiety and stress.
  • To boost the body's capacity for sound sleep, develop a healthy sleep environment.
  • Sleep at specific times, and get enough sleep at night.
  • Avoid working out in the final few hours before going to bed at night.

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