Hypnic jerk is also known as sleep start, and it is an involuntary twitch that occurs during people falling asleep. And it is so common that most of people have experienced it. Do you remember that sometimes you might have a sudden jerk of the entire body or one or more body segments when you were falling asleep. That is hypnic jerk or sleep start. According to the description from people who experienced hypnic jerks, a visual hypnic jerk may fell like a sensation of blinding light coming from inside the eyes or head, and an auditory hypnic jerk may fell like a loud snapping noise that seems to come from inside the head.
Factors lead to hypnic jerks
Actually hypnic jerk is a kind of sleep disorder, even though it is a very light symptom. There are many factors that can lead to hypnic jerks, such as stress, strenuous activities before bed, drinking, an so on. Coffee is also considered as a material cause for hypnic jerks, because coffee contains the caffeine which can stimulate the hypnic jerks. So we recommend you do not drink too much coffee before sleep.
Hypnic jerks may occur throughout life, and they are particularly common in young children. Sometimes, a series of jerks may occur continuously. They can be frequent, intense, and repetitive, which can even cause people feel fear of falling asleep. But In most people, jerks only occur at random.
The mechanism for hypnic jerks is not known clearly, but according to latest research, scientists suspect it is related to the struggle between two parts of the brain, one part that promotes waking and another part that promotes sleeping.
People that suffer hypnic jerks might have an iron deficiency or a urea buildup with high probability. They are potential side effects of some antihistimines and antidepressants.
Tips for treating hypnic jerks
Hypnic jerks are rarely treated cause they are not critical issues for body. But if they occur high frequently, you should pay more attention to them. Commonly you can do more leg exercises. Most hypnic jerks occur with leg jerking. So improving the leg muscles can help you resist fatigue and lighten the hypnic jerks typically. Jogging, weightlifting, deep squat are all recommended sports.
Supplying sufficient iron can also reduce the frequency of hypnic jerks. So you might adjust your diet and eat food which contains higher quantity of iron, such as spinach, carrot, lean meat, egg, and so on.
In bad cases, dopamine agonists may be used for restless legs syndrome. But if you are a pregnant woman, please never have dopamine agonists. If you are really suffering frequently hypnic jerks, please consult doctor at once.