Hypnic Jerks: My Experience & Coping Ideas

Dark photo of a couple in bed, with the words on top "when you're just about to fall asleep, but your arm jolts you awake"

Have you ever woken up with a sudden jolt just as you were falling asleep? Maybe it felt like one of your arms or legs had an involuntary spasm?

Perhaps you’ve woken with the feeling of falling, saw a flash of light or heard an unexpected noise. If this sounds familiar, it could be that that you’ve experienced hypnic jerks.

In most cases, a hypnic jerk or two is thought to be a harmless part of the process of transitioning from being awake to asleep. However, if you’re concerned by the severity or how much they disrupt your sleep, or if you have spasms during the daytime, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor.

In this article, I’ll be talking about my experience of hypnic jerks, and how I cope with my partner’s episodes. After that, I’ll cover some background information and coping strategies.


My experience of hypnic jerks

My own experience of hypnic jerks is that they are usually quite mild and only happen once or twice a week – as far as I’m aware. Just one or two small twitches of a hand or arm seems to be the norm on the nights I have them. After that, I typically fall asleep quite quickly, and if I do have any more, I don’t remember them.

A few times a year, I experience a much bigger jolt that feels like one side of my whole upper body spasms or jumps in bed. I’ve noticed that these tend to happen when I’m particularly tired, such as when travelling or if I’ve hit the gym especially hard that day. Again though, I usually fall asleep fairly soon after one of these more dramatic episodes and they don’t cause me any distress.

Living with someone who has more frequent hypnic jerks

My partner, who kindly agreed for me to talk about her in this article, has multiple hypnic jerks every night without fail. As a bit of a light sleeper myself, her twitching has a tendency to keep me awake until it finally subsides, especially because they are sometimes very pronounced.

Interestingly, like my own hypnic jerks, I only notice her hands and arms making any movements. Even when we have our feet touching, they never seem to twitch. It’s always her upper body.

They also seem to follow a pattern. There may be two to five small movements or twitches over the course of a minute or two, and then one big one. If we are holding hands at the time, it sometimes feels like an intermittent pulsing of her hand, followed by either a tighter squeeze of my hand as her fingers contract or a sudden movement of her whole hand or arm to one side.

They rarely seem to wake her up on their own, but sometimes they cause me to move in bed, which then wakes her up. If she does stir and I jokingly tell her she just had an epic twitch, her usual reply is ‘oh really? I must be falling asleep!’

Her hypnic jerks are nightly, and can go on for several minutes after we turn the light out. They are so predictable, that I’ve learned to accept that it’s likely I won’t fall asleep myself unless I sleep on the other side of the bed with no physical contact or I wait until she’s fallen asleep if our bodies are touching. And if she wakes up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, and I’m awake too, the hypnic jerks often start all over again.

How I cope with our combined hypnic jerks

For me, the main thing is to always keep in mind that they are likely to be normal and nothing to worry about in both our cases. Fortunately, they don’t last long, so I don’t lie in bed worrying about my occasional twitches.

I harbor no resentment towards my partner just because her hypnic jerks keep me awake for a few minutes. It’s quite likely it would take me that long to relax and fall asleep anyway, with or without her spasms.

Finally, one of the key points I try to remember is that they can be seen as a sign that sleep is probably just around the corner. Even if I have a more dramatic jolt, I just smile to myself and look forward to the next phase – sleep.

As you’ll see in the following sections, there are some lifestyle factors that may be involved in hypnic jerks. For me personally, they are all things I try to do anyway, not specifically for the hypnic jerks. But I do feel that stress is an important one for both of us to keep an eye on, as the hypnic jerks anecdotally seem worse during periods of higher stress.

As someone who has had hypnic jerks for as long as I can remember, and more recently am living with a partner who has them nightly, it’s interesting to see what the current scientific thinking is around hypnic jerks. Let’s take a look.

Different names

First of all, if you look up hypnic jerks online, it’s worth bearing in mind that they are sometimes referred to by different names:

  • Sleep starts.
  • Night starts.
  • Sleep jerks.
  • Hypnagogic jerk.
  • Myoclonic jerks. A myoclonus is an involuntary muscle twitch, with hiccups being another harmless example.

What are hypnic jerks?

Hypnic jerks are the sudden, involuntary twitching of one or more muscles when you’re falling asleep. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders manual describes them as follows:

Sleep starts, also known as hypnic jerks, are sudden, brief, simultaneous contractions of the body or one or more body segments occurring at sleep onset. Sleep starts (or hypnic jerks) usually consist of a single contraction that often affects the body asymmetrically. The jerks may be either spontaneous or induced by stimuli.

International Classification of Sleep Disorders – 3rd Edition

The fact that they often occur asymmetrically explains why it might feel that just one arm or leg jolts. Furthermore, they can occur independently or in response to external stimuli in the bedroom, such as your partner moving or external noise.

The Mdsmanuals.com website explains a key difference between physiologic myoclonus and pathologic myoclonus. It states that physiologic myoclonus can occur when a person is falling asleep or during early sleep phases, whereas pathologic myoclonus can result from different disorders and medications.

In a review paper in 2012, Dora Lozsadi neatly explained this difference as follows:

Myoclonus is a brief (less than half a second) contraction involving agonist and antagonist muscles, leading to a sudden jerk. It may be a normal phenomenon, as in the so-called ‘sleep starts’. When pathological, myoclonus is a symptom of a broad range of neurological and systemic diseases.

Dora Lozsadi


The most common symptom is the sudden twitching, spasm or jolting sensation of one or more limbs. Some people might have other experiences, such as:

  • The feeling of falling.
  • A shock sensation.
  • Hearing a sudden noise.
  • Seeing a flash or unusual light.
  • Hallucinations.

In addition, researchers have noted that it’s possible to have a physiological response, such as a faster heartbeat, increased breathing rate or sweating.

If you do have symptoms that feel more severe than simply twitching, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor about your experience.

How common are hypnic jerks?

If you have hypnic jerks, then rest assured you’re not the only one whose wayward limbs seem to have a mind of their own at bedtime. In a study in 2016, Italian researchers suggested that between 60% and 70% of people experience hypnic jerks, both men and women and people of all ages.

What causes hypnic jerks?

As is often the case in the complex world of sleep, the exact cause still isn’t completely understood. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders manual offers this technical explanation:

Hypnic jerks are hypothetically caused by sudden descending volleys originating in the brainstem reticular formation activated by the system instability at the transition between wake and sleep.

Or in layman’s terms, your brain and body are briefly a little bit out of sync as you relax and go from being awake to being asleep.

Factors that may increase the frequency and severity of hypnic jerks

Although the exact cause is still up for debate, researchers have suggested several factors (such as this 2015 paper and this 2023 paper ) that might increase the severity or likelihood of hypnic jerks happening, such as:

  • The use of caffeine or other stimulants. Medline.com has more information on the side effects of caffeine.
  • Anxiety or stress.
  • Fatigue, such as from intense physical work or exercise.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Certain medications.

Is it caused by another condition?

A review of hypnic jerks literature by researchers at the University of Alabama raised an important point. They proposed that hypnic jerks are often seen as benign, but could in some cases be a ‘characteristic of certain illness’.

They also suggest that hypnic jerks are more prevalent in chronic health conditions that disrupt sleep and could also be ‘mimicked by other movement disorders’.

Some of the differential diagnoses they say should be identified include:

  • Nocturnal seizures.
  • Nonepileptic seizures.
  • Parasomnias.
  • Hyperekplexia.
  • Restless legs syndrome.
  • Periodic limb movements in sleep.
  • Excessive fragmentary myoclonus.
  • Psychiatric diagnosis.

In addition, the Italian researchers in the 2016 study (see above) found that hypnic jerks are common in people with Parkinsonism. The Alabama team also suggested it could be helpful in diagnosing the condition.

Finally, don’t confuse sudden wakings from hypnic jerks with sleep apnea. If you, or someone you know, wakes suddenly gasping for breath or with loud snoring, this should be discussed with a doctor.

I don’t want to cause panic with the above information, but I think it’s good to be aware that ‘usually’ benign doesn’t mean ‘always benign for everyone’. Again, if you’re concerned about your own experience of hypnic jerks, it’s okay to raise it with your doctor, even if you think it’s likely to be normal. Peace of mind is valuable!

Reader survey results

Way back in 2014, I conducted a short survey for readers to share their experience of sleep starts. The results are of course biased because the people who voted were already searching for information about the topic. With thousands of people participating though, I think the results are still interesting.

1. Frequency

In the graphic below, you can see how often voters experienced hypnic jerks. It’s interesting to note that many readers had them on a daily basis. The largest percentage of 42.2% say they have them occasionally though.

chart of poll results into how frequently people have hypnic jerks

2. How they affect your sleep

Here you can see that many people were able to sleep well after an episode. 43.9% of people say it disrupts their sleep at first, but then they sleep okay.

no sleepless nights hypnic jerks poll 2 - how they affect your sleep.

3. The role of stress and anxiety

The final poll shows how people feel about the impact of stress or anxiety. 50.8% thought anxiety or stress ‘definitely’ makes their hypnic jerks worse. It could be that tackling stress or anxiety in your life is a good idea if it’s relevant to you.

chart of the poll results for how much people think stress or anxiety make hypnic jerks worse for them

Do you need to see a doctor?

While sleep experts often suggest that hypnic jerks are benign in most cases, they do recognise that they can have a negative impact on some people’s sleep and well-being.

If your hypnic jerks aren’t severe and you don’t have any other symptoms or health concerns that are worrying you, then try to relax and allow yourself to fall asleep naturally when they occur.

However, if you have them regularly and/or severely, or have other symptoms, you might want to raise it with your doctor. If they think it’s a sign of another disorder, they might ask you to do a sleep study or further tests.

They might also offer to prescribe medication to reduce the frequency. And importantly, they can offer reassurance if that’s the appropriate course of action and give you advice about healthy sleep habits that might be beneficial in your case.

Finally, despite what I’ve said, trust your instincts. If you just ‘have the feeling’ you’d like to speak to your doctor about it, then do so.

How can you stop hypnic jerks?

It might not be possible to totally stop hypnic jerks from happening. Accepting them as normal and harmless is perhaps your best option if they aren’t severe.

Additionally, the following self-help ideas might be worth considering:

  • Cut down on caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants – especially in the evening.
  • Reduce how much intense work or exercise you do in the evening. Do exercise in the morning or afternoon instead.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Use a comfortable mattress and bedding.
  • Sleep in a comfortable position.
  • If you suffer from anxiety or stress, do some relaxation exercises in bed. One simple breathing exercise is to inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, then exhale for a count of 4.
  • Try not to allow yourself to get too tired. You may understandably have a busy and tiring lifestyle. But it’s important to give yourself enough time to sleep well.
infographic with self-help ideas for hypnic jerks and good sleep

Avoid the vicious cycle of worry

Hypnic jerks may trigger a vicious cycle of worry if you become fixated on them.

If you worry about hypnic jerks, you might start to get less sleep and become more fatigued. The problem then is that if stress and fatigue can contribute to the frequency of hypnic jerks, you might find yourself in a vicious cycle.

The key is not to allow the occasional sleep start to disrupt your sleep any more than it has to. Again, try to relax, forget about it and go back to sleep.

Readers’ tips for coping with hypnic jerks

In the comments below, many readers have offered suggestions for reducing their hypnic jerks. So I’ve compiled a list of the most common and interesting ideas.

These ideas don’t all have medical backing and are anecdotal. Please take them with a pinch of salt. But you might find the ideas useful if nothing else has helped.

  • Try to see the funny side (I do this myself).
  • Magnesium supplements have been helpful for some readers, as has rubbing magnesium oils or transdermal magnesium into the area where you most commonly twitch. One suggestion was to get a blood test to check if you have a deficiency. Disclaimer: please discuss supplementation with your doctor as there is no conclusive evidence that magnesium helps with hypnic jerks.
  • Assess your current diet. Make sure it’s healthy and balanced. Eat less processed sugary and salty foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • If you follow a special diet, such as being vegan, pay particular attention to your vitamin and mineral intake, such as the B vitamins. Ensure your diet includes the right quantity, and preferably get your B vitamins through food rather than supplements if possible.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, coffee or energy drinks for a week and see if it improves.
  • Don’t stress about it, as worrying makes it worse.
  • Try to properly deal with any major source of stress in your life.
  • If you suffer from anxiety, take steps to tackle this in your daily life.
  • Stop doing very intense exercise late in the evening for a week and see if it improves.
  • Try to see them as a sign that you must be falling asleep. So it’s a positive thing as you know you’ll soon be asleep.
  • Ask your doctor if any medication you currently take could contribute to your hypnic jerks.
  • Check if medication you’re taking has a known side effect of myoclonus. If it does, raise it with your doctor.
  • Experiment with different sleep positions if you sometimes feel uncomfortable in bed.
  • Don’t go to bed very late at night.
  • Film yourself sleeping or use a sleep tracker. One reader said he discovered through doing this that he was snoring, and that the hypnic jerks occurred while he was snoring heavily.
  • Some female readers feel that it can be connected to hormonal changes.
  • Ask for a referral to a sleep clinic if it’s particularly troubling.
  • Ensure you have a quiet sleeping environment. It could be a sudden noise which startles you awake.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If you’re being bothered by them repeatedly, get up and do something relaxing for 10-20 minutes, then try to sleep again.
  • Have a warm shower before bed. Then do relaxation exercises before getting into bed or while in bed.
  • If you do exercise, it could be excess lactic acid contributing to hypnic jerks. So try looking into ways to reduce the lactic acid.

Your views

It’s always interesting to hear your experiences, and I know many readers have benefited from reading the stories and advice of others.

So please keep your comments, tips and theories coming. And if you have any practical ideas for dealing with hypnic jerks, I’ll continue to add them to the list.


  1. Does anyone feel like these are affecting their heart, when my body jumps like this it feels like my chest is hurting also

    • Yes I have that feeling like it’s in my chest and I awake gasping and startled
      Happens a few times b4 I nod off

  2. I find allergy season they’re worse as histamine acts as a neurotransmitter on central nervous system. Check out histamine and anxiety!

  3. My experiences were closely tied to stress, overthinking, and late-night workouts, often exacerbated by stimulants that impeded restful sleep. This often left me feeling overtired. I’ll share my personal experiences in hopes of helping others who come across this article.

    Even when physically drained, my mind raced incessantly, creating a relentless cycle, much like another commenter mentioned. The anticipation of these nocturnal jerks turned bedtime into a dreaded event for me, sometimes leading to tears. I was reluctant to rely on sleeping pills, having heard they might exacerbate the problem.

    My relief came from CBD. I consume gummies containing a blend of 5mg CBD, 5mg CBN, and 5mg THC. Although I do smoke cannabis, higher THC content sent my thoughts spiraling. This balanced cannabinoid mix perfectly calms both my mind and body. For optimal results, I’d advise giving it a 1 to 2-week trial, though I personally felt a change from the first night.
    I also adopted breathing exercises, synchronizing my thoughts with my body’s sensations. I’d focus on affirmations like, “I’m so relaxed, I’m so tired, time for bed,” coordinating with my natural breathing rhythm, avoiding any exaggerated deep or forced breaths.
    Late-night workouts invariably left me on an adrenaline high, often propelling me into a second wind.

    I found a straightforward remedy by ensuring I finish workouts at least 4 hours before my bedtime.
    Alcohol significantly disrupted my sleep. Though it initially made me drowsy, it often caused me to awaken around 3 a.m., tossing and turning for hours before finally drifting off again. The subsequent night, the hypnic jerks intensified due to the accumulated fatigue from the previous restless night.

    Maintaining a consistent sleep routine has proven beneficial in this regard.
    I observed a correlation between heightened allergies and exacerbated hypnic jerks. Contrary to this article’s advice against antihistamines, I came across an individual’s account, claiming his doctor attributed nighttime disturbances to histamines.

    To counteract this, I began using non-drowsy Flonase each morning during allergy season.
    I genuinely hope my account offers some solace and guidance. Wishing everyone a restful night. :)

  4. Every time I attempt to go to sleep, I experience hypnic jerks in my lower back. Surprisingly, these jerks even occur when I try to take an afternoon nap. Although there is no pain associated with them, sometimes they are so intense that they cause me to double up. It’s worth noting that these jerks happen consistently every time I try to sleep. I currently take carbi/levodopa before bedtime, which does assist me in falling asleep. This has been happening for over a year and a half now. I’m curious if anyone has any insights into what might be causing them. I do have spinal stenosis, which could potentially be a contributing factor.

  5. I have been experiencing hypnic jerks for a week now. I used to do intensive workouts and consume a lot of green tea, but I have already stopped. However, the jerks have not stopped. I am not stressed either. I often take sleeping pills to sleep, but even those do not work during severe jerks. I am currently in Nigeria (originally from India), and the doctors here are not well-equipped. Please suggest a way to reduce these jerks.

  6. For the last two weeks, I’ve experienced a jerk so violent and severe that it feels like I’m going to die in my sleep. What has helped me is an exercise from my physio that was given to me to improve neck mobility, but also seems to stimulate my vagus nerve. Laying on the floor with my head resting on a mostly deflated bender ball. Turn the head to one side as far as it will comfortably go and take 3 deep belly breaths, 5 times each side. As soon as I’m finished the first rep I start yawning uncontrollably until I’m finished and for a few minutes afterwards. Since I’ve been doing this I’ve had much more success with falling asleep.

  7. I started having hypnic jerks in Nov 2019. They are quite severe, I can have them every 20 secs or so. They mainly happen when I wake up in the night and try to go back to sleep or if I have a nap during the day. I keep thinking that there must be something wrong with me for me to be having them so frequently but can’t pinpoint what it is. Alcohol, exercise etc don’t make a difference.

  8. I get hypnic jerks almost every night over and over again. Sometimes I’ll have 30 in a night, or more, and I won’t be able to sleep for hours and hours. What really helps me is electrolytes and water, and if I haven’t eaten enough calories that day they seem to be worse so I will eat a snack and then drink electrolytes and that usually takes them away.

  9. Hi. I usually have these jerks and it is no problem for me. I use the, “awesome I’m about to fall asleep,” technique. I’ve also noticed my partner do it occasionally and I’m just happy for him that he’s getting rest.

    But… I just had spinal surgery and now I’m jerking like nothing I have ever experienced. I can’t fall asleep because each jerk is so painful it wakes me up!

    Obviously tomorrow I’ll call my doctor and I’ll ask if one of my medicines could be causing this. I was just curious if you’ve ever heard of a relationship between surgery and excessive jerking.

    • Hi, for years now one or both of my arms fling out just on falling asleep every time I’m about to drift off and jerk myself awake. So for a long time now to combat this, I have to put my hands in my tight-fitting underpants along the side of my legs, like a tight band I guess. And this keeps them still during involuntary movement. And is the only way I can fall asleep.

  10. I have these jerks when falling asleep and waking up. I also hear strange noises. Sometimes loud like crashing cymbals and other times nondescript sounds.

  11. My hypnic jerks keep me awake, and I decided to read this article it really doesn’t explain why I can’t sleep.
    But thanks anyway for the briefing.

  12. Nice to see others on here as well. I just started having these. Actually had them 2 separate instances and they were gone overnight. But just the last few nights it came back again. The first 2x i believe it was related to strenuous exercising. The feet of my soles hurt like crap. Now this time I think it is due to my lack of blood circulation to my heart then hearing these cracking noises in the structure of the condo started spoofing me. Typically if I am ok with blood levels etc, I have no issues hearing these sounds…I don’t get jolted. My Asian doctor asked if I was scared of something and that made me realize yah that was it.

  13. Hi Ethan, I have been suffering from this for over 2 years. There is Facebook group called “Hypnic jerk/ sleep myoclonus support” where there are 1600 of us sufferers. There’s a lot of information on there and it will be worth you and other sufferers joining the group as it has helped many. Members are working hard towards getting this condition researched by Stanford. Together we can hopefully find a cure and supper each other.

  14. Hello,
    I had this problem for 10 months and got through it.
    What You have to understand that it is not the jerks that prevent you from falling asleep.
    It is our brain that is on alert, it scans and examines the slightest sign of a problem and as soon as it sees a small sign (like the jerk which is quite normal and which happens to everyone), the brain says to itself: damned, it’s serious what I have!! and now the stress occurs, which creates even more jerks and now the vicious circle begins!

    It is not the jerks that prevents sleep but it is YOURSELF that deliberately creates the jerks because you have unresolved problems deep inside you which accentuate the stress.
    It’s your stress that keeps you from sleeping.

    In internet forums, we mostly see people complaining. It seems like it develops their egos to be the one who is going to be the worst.
    Once the problem is solved, people stop thinking about sharing their experience.
    This is why I decided to do it today.
    How did it start for me?
    I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea.
    I started to think more and more about this problem to the point that when I was falling asleep I asked myself questions such as: “am I going to have sleep apnea tonight?”
    once in the middle of the night, I had a jerk that woke me up, and I started to think to myself: “this is because of the sleep apnea”
    And from that day on I had these jerks that kept me from sleeping
    Sometimes I slept 1 hour a night, sometimes 2 hours, sometimes for two days in a row, I didn’t sleep.
    Sometimes I could at last sleep a whole night.
    That for 10 months: it was hell
    How I solved the problem? I went to see a psychologist, which made me understand that the shaking was not due to my problem of mild apnea but was due to my fear of sleeping
    in fact, I had entered a vicious circle.
    The fear of sleeping caused the shaking, the shaking prevented me from sleeping, and the lack of sleep caused even more stress which prevented me from sleeping.

    I had reached a point, that the simple fact of resting my head on the pillow caused me great anxiety and from the first jerk, the stress became terrible.

    Then during the whole day, I was afraid of the next night, and I was anxious all the time. The shrink gave me medication: anxiolytics and antidepressants. It helped me little by little to calm the anxiety and also I did some work on myself, because I had some problems. for example, due to the death of my mother that I had put under the carpet, problems that I had repressed.

    I wouldn’t have had these insomnia issues if I hadn’t had these repressed issues.

    If we repress problems they emerge one day or another in such and such a form; me it came out in the form of insomnia but for other people it could have come out in the form of serious illness for example.

    After a month of therapy with the shrink, I was able to sleep normally again.

    I also worked on myself, going to my mother’s grave more often, helping others, being in the present moment without continually thinking about what might happen later.

    Without thinking about the past with guilt.

    I have started to play more often with my 7 year old son because the children are in the moment.

    I try to listen to my wife more.

    I try to be less selfish.

    I was also interested in spirituality and less in material things, earning money etc. For example audiobooks that can be found on Youtube have helped me a lot. Edgart Tollé, whom I always listen to before going to sleep.

    There you have it, I hope my testimony can help other people.
    Happy New Year and good psychological and physical health.

    • Thanks for sharing man, I have the same issues, probably for the same genral reasons, hopefully I can resolve mine without meds.

      • I have been having similar issues. I have been trying very very hard to get out of the deep dark hole it threw me into. After 20 yrs struggle with sleep and headache, developed stress and anxiety to the point it’s unbearable. Recently I was told I have mild sleep apnea. I got suddenly hopeful about CPAP treatment. After six months delay I received one. Have been using it for about 10 days. Unfortunately, my conditions have gotten worse with daytime sleepiness, headache and stress/anxiety…unending vicious cycle. I wish I could get rid of it like you did.

    • Not everyone’s jerks are caused by stress etc. Mine occurs as I fall asleep then cause my sphincters to spasm and cause bile to enter my stomach burning the crap out of it. Mine is caused by spinal stenosis.

  15. I notice eating apples helps a lot. The jerks are very mild and sometimes don’t occur anymore when I sleep. Hope this helps.

    • I have hypnic jerks in my jaw which causes my mouth to snap closed usually biting my tongue or cheeks. It is painful and takes a few days for the bites to heal. I think I grind my teeth when sleeping. I also clench my mouth closed to avoid the jerks. All this is problematic so I will be talking to my doctor. Hope to find a solution.

      • Does anyone know if having these episodes of jerks is related to blood sugar? I’m having them and I’m trying to find the cause, but it’s really hard to figure out.

        • Hi,

          I’ve been suffering with hypnotic jerks for a few months now. It all started one night I had sickness and diarrhea. For 3 nights I didn’t sleep. Every time I tried to sleep I would be jolted awake. It was absolute hell.
          I was terrified that it would kill me. As my body just wouldn’t let me sleep.

          The doctor reluctantly gave me 3 days of sleeping pills, which worked. But I couldn’t stand the thought of being on them long term.
          So I decided to go the herbal route. I started with CBD oil 3 drops 5 times a day, a cup of camomile tea and a valerian tablet before bed.
          I’m now on 3 drops 3 times a day.
          I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder and have been very stressed. Hoping it isn’t a sign of a serious neurological illness. But I am very worried, and have developed a fear of sleep.

          In response to the blood sugar. I’ve noticed whenever I eat processed food that contains a lot of sugar I get more jerks. Also when I eat processed meat.
          I’ve excluded alcohol and caffeine from my diet.

          If I stick to the following lifestyle I don’t get jerks before sleep;
          low sugar
          no alcohol
          no caffeine
          Exercise early in the day
          Practice yoga early
          CBD oil
          Camomile tea
          Valerian tablet

          I do get hypnic jerks in the morning after waking and trying to fall back asleep. This I’m assuming is through all the herbal remedies wearing off. So usually when I’m awake I get up, as I won’t be able to get back to sleep.

          I hope this helps someone.

          • Thanks Vanessa it helps to know I am not alone. Glad it’s been better. I have been much better with medication for my anxiety. I also have generalized anxiety.


  16. I’m currently suffering through this. I used to take trazodone to sedate me fast into sleep. With all the side effect of the medication (pins and needles all over my body, serotonin syndrome, and I would wake up middle of the night with either my whole leg numb), I stopped taking it. I now take supplements with valerian flower, Passionflower, and chamomile. It doesn’t work as well as trazodone but I don’t wake up groggy and suffer from the side effect during the daytime.

    • I suffered from this for 5 months, and now that I found help I want to share it with you. Remember, it’s all caused by STRESS and ANXIETY! You have to try to find your own methods to low your stress hormone levels, but these have worked for me…..

      *Yin-yoga ( Every night, you can find free classes from Youtube)
      * TRE- Tension releasing exercise( book by David Perceli )
      *Neurosonic mattress. Now this is a Finnish innovation ( I’m from Finland ) that is based on the low-frequency vibration to calm down your sympathetic nervous system. Maybe you can find something similar in your country? Products are expensive but worth every penny.
      I so hope this is helpful to someone. Remember, there is hope with these jerks! However hopeless it feels right now, your body and mind knows how to heal from this. It just takes time and a little push in the right direction. But it is possible! Hugs!

  17. I get these hypnic jerks once in a while but they seem more likely to occur when my seasonal allergies and sinus are at it’s worst. I have bad post nasal drip and congestion plus some inner ear issues. I do have some anxiety as well, especially social anxiety. But anyone else feel like sinus issues could cause the hypnic jerks?

    • Hi Marli,

      I get these hypnic jerks too and have almost exactly the same issues – severe seasonal allergies, post nasal drip & infrequent vibrations near the ear along with a certain degree of social anxiety.

    • Yes I have suffered from the hypnic jerks since my post nasal drip started last year. I took antiallergy drugs for nasal but the HJ came in. I am wondering, is it because of the post nasal drip or the antiallergy medication? What do you think ?

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