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Do you ever feel a slight twitch as you are starting to go to sleep? Is it sometimes as if you are being jolted away right before you can actually drift off to the world of dreams?

This peculiar sensation is called the hypnic jerk and it happens to more people than you might think. About 70 percent of the population has them from time to time. While they don’t normally happen every single night, when they do occur it can leave you feeling quite odd.

We do not know what causes them but many believe it has something to do with the downshifting of our nervous systems as we fall asleep. Also, since most of the time this kind of thing occurs when we are most exhausted, exhaustion is thought to have something to do with it. Emotional stress, sleep deprivation, and other things of the sort might play a big role in whether you have these hypnic jerks often or not.

These jerks are strong sudden and quick contractions of the body that happen as we are trying to fall asleep. These jerks come off as very similar to the kind of twitching or jumping a person would do when they are suddenly startled. You may have even experienced this without knowing it as a lot of people are able to sleep through them so instead of being jolted back awake they just continue to doze off.

This kind of thing doesn’t have a specific treatment plan and usually isn’t bad enough to need one, but if you are having hypnic jerks and want to avoid them cutting back on caffeine, exercising before noon, and trying out a pre-sleep routine could benefit you big time, according to Healthline. Relaxing before you go to sleep and allowing yourself time to wind down might be what you need to avoid them.

When these jerks occur a person might lash out and move their legs and arms without being able to control it or they might just twitch slightly. Some people react in a violent manner and others do not. No two hypnic jerks are the same, what might be mild for you could be extreme for someone else and so forth.

To learn more about hypnic jerks and the theories behind why they happen feel free to check out the video below. What do you think about all of this? Have you ever experienced a hypnic jerk?