You may have experienced just lying in your bed and attempting to fall asleep, and suddenly your body decides that it has its own way to do it. It shakes you awake and you start feeling your heart racing. If you have experience this rest easy that you are not the only one in this world. You have just got what is called hypnic jerking or sleep twitch.
Hypnic jerking is nothing but an involuntary twitch which tends to happen just as you are about to fall into a deep slumber. While it comes with a few different names, they all stand for the same thing.
What are its symptoms?
Sleep twitch is not actually a health condition or disorder; therefore there are no symptoms as per the medical definition. The most important thing to consider is whether the twitch wakes you up often. Apart from that, mild jerks will not affect our health. Usually sleep twitch is uncontrollable and they don’t seem to have any particular reason.
What are the causes?
Till now no one has been able to pinpoint the causes for these problems. Some of the causes attributed are stress, coffee, anxiety as well as rigorous exercise just before retiring to bed. These twitches also occur in people with some bad sleeping habits. The problem occurs mainly in completely normal and healthy living individuals.
Treatments for sleep twitch
First thing to do is avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Even drinking a cup of refreshing coffee in the afternoon can lead to serious effect on the overnight sleep. The lack of sleep in turn causes hypnic jerk.
Saying no to alcohol will allow you to enhance your sleep and prevent any hypnic jerk. Alcohol is a stimulant and drinking it will affect the overall chemical make-up of the brain and thus prevent a person from going to sleep. So drinking alcohol will compromise the quality of your sleep and keep you awake.
Exercising is great for the body, but exercising just before retiring to bed is not advisable. If you exercise just before bed then you’ll turn out to be hypnagogically jerky.
There are available a range of herbs and essential oils which can help to distress you and get you good sleep. Eucalyptus oil, for example is known for producing cooling, relaxing and enjoyable aroma. Everything that smells nice and not too strong will help go through the night without any hypnic twitch and problems.