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Hypnic Jerk: Do You Jump in Your Sleep?

  By posted Apr 25th 2012
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Hypnic Jerk: Do You Jump in Your Sleep?


Hypnic jerk is not a disease and does not lead to other nervous system disorders. But it is more common than you think. Firstly, you are not mad, secondly you’re not the only one going through it; thirdly, they are not encoded dreams. Don’t lose sleep over hypnic jerks. We bring you the hows and whys of this sleep peculiarity.

So what is a hypnic jerk? You are ready to sleep, you are slowly getting into the REM stage of sleep or deeper sleep, but you feel like you are falling or losing balance and wake up with a jerk or a jump. Your heart’s beating rapidly and you realise that you are still in bed. It can be described as falling, electric shock surging through your body or sudden feeling of loss of balance.

What causes hypnic jerks? Fatigue, sleep deprivation, anxiety, discomfort are some of the causes but the exact reasons behind the mystery of the hypnic jerks remain elusive.

What really happens is that your brain is confused. It misinterprets the relaxing of the muscles. As you fall asleep, thereby relaxing physically, your brain remains active. Experts believe that this creates an impression or sensation of falling and therefore your brain tells your body to react.

The jolts could be a result of calcium, magnesium or iron deficiency. Also, avoid exercises just before bed time. Smokes and drinks will keep you sleep deprived too. Listen to soothing music and take off your thinking cap before going to bed. There are pills that the doctor will prescribe but don’t worry hypnic jerks ease out as you feel more relaxed and comfortable with times.

*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images

 

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