This is something that happens to me more often than I care to admit. Have you ever suddenly jerked right before you were able to drift off into dreamland?

While I had never really thought about how common this is, apparently it happens to most of us. Sure, for all of us it comes in different manners. Some people describe it as falling and others say much worse things. For me, it feels as if I am being shaken but frantically. Researchers seem to think that it might have several causes ranging from caffeine to tobacco use.

It is most often referred to as the ‘hypnic jerk’ and it is seen most commonly when we are falling asleep at a fast pace for instance, when we are feeling exhausted. This confuses our bodies and this gives room for the hypnic jerk to present itself. These twitches seem to happen to people who have bad sleeping habits for the most part.

A study from back in 2015 found that stress has a lot to do with how intense they are and that sometimes medication for this can help cut back on the number of times this happens to a person when it comes to their daily lives. The reason these jerks are happening to you could be a number of things but for the most part, it seems to mean you need to relax and not let yourself overdo it. Winding down and relaxing before bedtime might benefit you greatly.

TheSleepJudge wrote as follows on their website in regards to hypnic jerks and their causes:

Being very tired or over-exhausted is another cause of this jerking before sleep which can make it even more frustrating for the sufferer as they may desperately want to get to sleep but be prevented by the twitching. Stress is also named as one of the contributory factors as the feeling of being constantly on edge or on “high alert” through the day is difficult to shake off when you want to relax and fall asleep. Exercising late in the day or too close to bedtime can also cause you to suffer a hypnic jerk and problems sleeping.

While there is no set cure or cause it is nice to be finally gaining a better understanding of what is happening. You are not alone, this kind of thing happens to a lot of us. Just about everyone is going to experience a hypnic jerk at one point in their life or another.

Image via Reader’s Digest

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