What are hypnic jerks?

Have you ever noticed when you start to drift off to sleep, a sudden jerk wakes you up? It could be a sign that you’re exhausted.

“These can be referred to as sleep starts or hypnic jerks,” University of Wollongong Australia associate professor Christopher Magee told The Huffington Post Australia.

“They occur when there is a sudden jerk of part, or all of the body, that occurs during the transition between wake and sleep. These can occasionally awake an individual and/or their bed partner.”

However, the hypnic jerk is not something to worry about and they occur in perfectly healthy people.

“The precise causes and underlying mechanisms remain unclear, however in the vast majority of cases they represent a normal event and can be experienced by healthy individuals,” Magee said.

Though it is reported that you’re more likely to experience a hypnic jerk if you’re particularly tired or run down, so you might like to look at your routine and lifestyle. If you have trouble getting to sleep, Magee suggests assessing your pre-bed routine.

“Factors such as stress, caffeine, alcohol consumption, uncomfortable bedroom environments, screen time (e.g., television, computer usage, mobile devices), lighting, environmental noise, jet lag, and shift work can make it difficult to fall asleep” Magee said.

Source: Huff Post Australia