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Do You Have Hypnic Jerks?

Story at-a-glance -

  • Up to 70 percent of people experience hypnic jerks, or muscle contraction that occurs during the transition from wakefulness to sleep, particularly at the moment your body is drifting off to sleep
  • While typically not harmful, hypnic jerks may interfere with sleep or lead to anxiety about when the next one will occur
  • Hypnic jerks occur more often if you’re sleep deprived, and remedying sleep deprivation will often make them disappear

By Dr. Mercola

Have you ever drifted off to sleep only to be jolted awake a short time later by a strong jerking sensation? If so, you're not alone. Up to 70 percent of people experience this involuntary movement, known as a hypnic jerk, hypnagogic jerk, myoclonic or myoclonus jerk or sleep start, at some point or another. For some, the sensation is accompanied by a dream or feeling of falling, and your brain may even have you imagining that you're stepping off a cliff or sidewalk.

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