Hypnic jerk, known in the medical world as sleep jerk, is popularly known as a jump in sleep or a fall in a dream. We all get startled from time to time when falling asleep. But some people experience this problem much more often and even every night. Erdem Hospital provides services for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

What is a hypnic jerk?

Also known as a hypnagogic jerk, this condition manifests itself in the form of jumping while falling asleep. Hypnic jerk occurs with symptoms such as waking up from sleep just when you are going to fall asleep, experiencing a feeling of falling in a dream, and being startled while standing still. If you suddenly experience jumps and body contractions while falling asleep, you are experiencing sleep jerks.

These twitches, seen in the process between sleep and wakefulness, are very similar to the jumps we experience when we are afraid. Hypnotic concussions are quite a common problem. Research shows that these contractions are seen in a large part of the brain, such as 70 percent. However, not all contractions experienced during sleep-wake us up. We continue to sleep during many contractions. Waking up from sleep is rarely experienced in some people, and almost every night in other people.

Situations such as waking up by jumping while falling in a dream are essentially involuntary muscle twitching. We can also give hiccups as an example of involuntary muscle twitching. Whatever the name of this condition, it is a situation that negatively affects life for the living. It is possible to prevent hypnic jerk. Keep reading our article to get information about sleep jerk treatment.

Hypnic jerk causes

The causes of hypnic jerk are not yet fully known. But there are certain factors that are thought to cause the appearance of this condition. The dream that healthy people can also experience can also develop without any reason. The known causes of hypnic jerk are:

  • Anxiety and stress: For reasons such as stress, or anxiety, the brain can remain active while muscles relax while falling asleep. This causes your brain to continue sending signals, even though you are physically sleeping. On the other hand, you may start to have insomnia problems due to involuntary muscle twitches. Lack of sleep causes you to feel more anxiety and anxiety. More anxiety and worry means more hypnic jerks.
  • Caffeine and smoking: Caffeine and smoking can reduce the body’s capacity to fall asleep and stay asleep. The use of stimulants and beverages can prevent the transition to deep sleep by changing the chemical balance of the brain.
  • Doing sports before sleep: Doing sports regularly allows you to have a much healthier sleep. However, sports just before sleep can cause you to experience sleep jerk.
  • Insomnia: Sleep problems and habits such as going to bed late and waking up early cause insomnia. It is known that people who suffer from insomnia experience much more sleep jerk.
  • Evolutionary process: At the University of Colorado in the United States, the origin of the hypnic jerk state was studied. The results of the research revealed that primates, our evolutionary ancestors, experienced sleep jerk in order to be able to adjust their location and sleeping position before falling asleep.

Hypnic jerk symptoms

First of all, sleep jerk is not a disease. It is necessary to understand this well. It is a condition that is in accordance with human nature and is very common. Almost every person experiences these involuntary sleep jumps. But some people live a little too much. This leads to a decrease in their quality of life. Therefore, we make you aware of the signs of hypnic filth. If you understand the symptoms, you can be treated more easily.

Symptoms of involuntary muscle twitches in sleep generally include:

  • hypnic jerk falling sensation
  • jerking, jolting, or twitching sensation
  • dreaming or hallucinating
  • rapid breathing
  • increased heart rate
  • sweating
  • feeling startled
  • tingling feeling
  • sensory flash

Hypnic jerk treatment

It is not necessary to be treated for people who experience this problem. Because this situation does not create a serious problem in terms of health. It does not cause the emergence of various complications. However, with the frequency of situations such as falling in dreams and jumping asleep, the problem of insomnia arises. This situation can cause various health problems. Therefore, it may be necessary to be treated. Hypnic jerk medicationcan be done by the following methods.

  • Reduce caffeine: You can start your day with a cup of coffee in the morning. That’s okay. However, the coffee you drink in the afternoon may not be good for you. It can cause sleep problems in the evening. Pay attention to your caffeine consumption in the afternoon and especially in the evening.
  • Do sports in the early hours: Doing sports is very beneficial for sleep patterns. However, straining the muscles during sports can cause muscle twitching during sleep at night. It is possible to get rid of the hypnic scum problem by doing sports in the morning where you spend intense energy. Exercises such as pilates in the evening can help you get a better night’s sleep.
  • Breath exercises: Breathing exercises are also recommended for patients who have sleep jerk problems. After you go to bed, you may be asked to take deep breaths for 10 seconds and then hold your breath for 5 seconds. By continuing this routine with certain repetitions, you can slow down your heart rate, brain, and breathing.
  • Psychotherapy: Some psychiatrists and psychologists make special therapies for people with hypnic. The basis of therapies is “conditioning”. It is ensured that the person does not have a problem such as falling in a dream or jumping in sleep.

Do you get hypnic jerk during the daytime?

If you have fallen into a light sleep during the day, it is unlikely that you will have this problem. But often you encounter such a problem during the night’s sleep. However, irregular sleep and exposure to too much stress can cause you to experience sleep jerk more often. Therefore, you can overcome this problem by acquiring healthy living practices. People often search for ‘hypnic jerk dying’ and ‘hypnic jerk heart stop’ on the internet. So there are concerns that this problem could cause cardiac arrest or death. But hypnic jerk is not a problem that can cause death.

Hypnic jerks during pregnancy

During pregnancy, there is a high probability of experiencing hypnagogic jerk as the anxiety and stress of expectant mothers increases. However, this situation does not cause any harm to the baby. The fact that the expectant mother has a regular breathing exercise and has a healthy sleep minimizes the likelihood of this situation. However, if you are pregnant and experiencing this problem a lot, you may need to be examined by a doctor. You can eliminate the hypnagogic jerk problem with different methods of psychotherapy.

Are hypnagogic jerks dangerous?

This condition is not very dangerous and does not require medical help. The biggest problem is that it prevents you from falling asleep. However, in addition to the above symptoms, you may feel:

  • multiple jerks during the day
  • injury caused by hypnic jerks
  • wetting the bed
  • other jerking or twitching movements during sleep
  • feelings of confusion when you wake up
  • tongue or mouth biting while you sleep

This problem can sometimes be confused with seizures. They may look similar. Yes, but it has some important differences. Seizures can occur due to an underlying condition or infection. However, hypnagogic jerks are a benign problem that does not depend on any health condition.

When to talk to a doctor?

Hypnic jerks are often considered a normal part of twitching in your sleep. At the same time, this problem typically does not require a cure. However, you may want to talk to your doctor if it’s causing sleep irregularities.

Your doctor will try to figure out if your muscle twitches are due to epilepsy. For this, he does some tests. Based on their findings, it can help you treat existing health conditions. It can help you learn ways to manage hypnic jerks.

If you are experiencing such a problem, you can contact the Erdem Hospital call centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a hypnic jerk a seizure?

Hypnic jerk occasionally occur during light sleep. However, it causes a brief stimulation. Sometimes hypnic scum can be misdiagnosed as myoclonic seizures. Be examined by a good doctor to avoid such a situation.

At least 80% of people report experiencing this condition. However, 10% of them report experiencing sleep jerk every night. Sleep jerk can occur more often when people are extremely tired. If patients describe these experiences as described above, no tests are required for diagnosis.