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hypnic jerks common but harmless

sleeping statue covered with grass

hypnic jerks common but harmless

sleeping statue covered with grassI often get searches on this site for hypnic jerks. Hypnic jerks and walnuts, hypnic jerks and vitamin B12, hypnic jerks and vitamin D3. The combinations are endless. I also suffered from hypnic jerks until just recently, so I know how scary they can be.

I am here to reassure you that they are completely benign forms of sleep starts, which may be caused by stimulants such as nicotine or caffeine, fatigue, vigorous exercise, stress or sleep deprivation. They usually correct themselves without any treatment, and the literature advises that the best course is to reassure patients that these sleep starts are harmless, and they are a common physiological condition, affecting 70 % of the population at some time.

Very occasionally, if severe, they can develop into epilectic myclonic seizures. This mostly occurs in neurologically impaired children. They can also cause insomnia. However, normally these sleep starts get better without any treatment, and simply resolve on their own.

If the hypnic jerks are causing insomnia, a low dose of clonezapam can help to induce sleep without the jerks.

Some literature suggest that hypnic jerks are simply a cause of the muscles in the body relaxing, and body temperature falling. The brain confuses the sensation of relaxing muscles, with a sensation of falling, and instructs the muscles to catch itself.

I know it can be very scary, but perhaps there is something that you are putting in, which might be causing this such as a stimulant of some kind. Some medications can also cause this condition, which quite frankly, has doctors and scientists baffled.

This is what is available in the literature, some forums online suggest that Krill Oil, Vitamin D3, zinc and vitamin B12 might help, however, I think the most important thing is that you know that they are not dangerous, and relatively common.

It should correct itself on its own. I know how wonderful this can be! How wonderful to go to sleep without these myclonic spasms! However the other day, after too much wine the night before, I experienced them again, which makes me think you should consider if there is a stimulant, medication of some kind, which could be causing them, or if you are overtired.

2 Comments
  • Marilyn Shelton
    Posted at 08:40h, 29 March Reply

    If anyone knows how to stop hypnic jerks let me know. I had head trauma and have insomnia. On Valentine’s night I was real depressed so I started drinking and then I mixed booze with Benadryl that night, hoping to pass out. Well, I did pass out, into a deep sleep.The hypnic jerks started that same night and woke me up. I started kicking and my shoulder jerked skyward. That was over two months ago and they haven’t gone away. I was started on two antiseizure drugs, Depakote and Gabapentin. While on the drugs, the seizures diminished. I ran out of the drugs due to medical staff being out of town and the hypnic jerks came back.

    • Sarah
      Posted at 20:46h, 01 April Reply

      I am really sorry to hear that Marilyn. I know how scary they can be. As I mentioned in the article, stimulants such as alcohol can start them off, or make them worse, but even if you are not taking any stimulants, a supplement of magnesium might help. Muscleze by Bioceuticals helped me a lot. I was getting them for years, but haven’t had one in ages!

      Also, one thing to remember is that if these sorts of things happen near sleep, or during sleep, they are less of a concern than if they happened at other times. Our bodies can do funny things on the cusp of sleep and while we are asleep, that can not be completely explained.

      Good luck! I hope someone else sees your comment and gives you some more advice!

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