Health & Fitness Why does your body jerk just before you fall asleep?

14:52  06 december  2017
14:52  06 december  2017 Source:   Netdoctor (UK)

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Then your body jerks suddenly and you 're awake. These jerks usually occur before you enter the deeper stages of sleep and are completely normal. Doctors and scientists aren't really sure why they happen, but they have a few theories.

Why does your body jerk just before you fall asleep ? Why is it that your body makes a jerking movement moments before you fall asleep . Has it got something to do with nerves? My boyfriend does it every n 28 January 2000. Share. Tweet. Share. Email. Question.

Why your body jerks you awake *right* before you fall asleep © Sally Anscombe / Getty Why your body jerks you awake *right* before you fall asleep

We've all been there… You're just drifting off to sleep when, seemingly out of the blue, your body jerks you back to wakefulness once more. Although they are extremely common (it's estimated that up to 70% of people experience them regularly), these starts – also known as 'hypnic jerks' – can be alarming.

So, what causes them? And can they be stopped? Here, we take a closer look at how you could get your hypnic jerks under control…

What are hypnic jerks?

Hypnic jerks occur when your muscles – usually the leg muscles – involuntarily contract and, although there is no concrete explanation for why they occur, there are several theories as to what could be causing them. However, in its simplest form, the jerks happen when one part of the brain goes to sleep more quickly than other parts of the brain. Speaking to Time.com, UK-based sleep behaviour expert James Wilson said:

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  Heard of sleep sex? Here are 7 mysterious things that happen when you are sleeping Recurring dream can be fascinating for some, but it could be disturbing for the person dealing with it. The recurring dreams are often related to our lives, at least partially. It is repeated by the brain again and again. There is no proper explanation for this, but it is believed that the dreams are played repeatedly by the mind so that you can come in terms with it.

A lot of people who do wake up during this light sleep believe they haven’t really fallen asleep yet. That’s why you may think that your body jerked right before you were about to fall asleep , but really, you were lightly asleep the whole time – just not deeply asleep .

edge in the brain, 'preoptic' means it is just before the point where the nerves from the eyes cross. When this does happen, it illustrates our mind's amazing capacity to generate plausible stories. Whilst a veil is drawn over most of the external world as we fall asleep , hypnic jerks are obviously

"The complexity of going to sleep and waking up is incredible, and sometimes-particularly when we are sleep deprived-our brain doesn't shut down normally, which means we get this sort of jerking movement when we're in a light sleep… which is when we imagine ourselves falling off the sidewalk, a cliff or in a hole."

He adds:

"If someone is sleep deprived, as they go through the process of falling asleep, the brain will get stuck at the same point in time. Usually if we can help people address their sleep deprivation, the instances decrease or disappear altogether."

a woman sleeping on a bed © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)

How to prevent hypnic jerks

Any sleep-impairing habits in the hours before bed, such as drinking caffeine or doing vigorous exercise, could increase your chances of experiencing hypnotic jerks. That's why regular sufferers should make a conscious effort to improve their sleep environment and sleep habits. Wilson adds:

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Then your body jerks suddenly and you 're awake. These jerks usually occur before you enter the deeper stages of sleep and are completely normal. Doctors and scientists aren't really sure why they happen, but they have a few theories.

Why do our body suddenly jerks while falling asleep ? Why do I sneeze before falling asleep ? Just before I fall asleep , when I am groggy enough, I sometimes hear voices.

"Try and get in a good routine around sleep. Wake up at the same time every day, and wind down properly before going to bed, making sure the activities you do in the hour before going to sleep are relaxing to you. Like most issues surrounding sleep, preventing hypnic jerks is all about trying to solve that sleep deprivation."

Other simple steps to improve your sleep include: 

  • Only go to bed when you're ready to sleep.
  • Try to avoid sleep medication.
  • Make sure your room is the perfect temperature for sleeping – not too hot or cold.
  • Avoid looking at your phone or watching TV for at least an hour before bed.
  • If possible, ban screens from your bedroom altogether.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol before bed.
  • De-stress with a book, bath or meditation.
  • Enforce a blackout so you're sleeping in total darkness.
  • Keep a sleep diary. If you suffer from hypnic jerks often, this will help you identify any patterns.

If you repetitively experience hypnic jerks and are worried about them, speak to your GP. For more healthy sleep tips, visit our collection.

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Then your body jerks suddenly and you 're awake. These jerks usually occur before you enter the deeper stages of sleep and are completely normal. Doctors and scientists aren't really sure why they happen, but they have a few theories.

Then your body jerks suddenly and you 're awake. These jerks usually occur before you enter the deeper stages of sleep and are completely normal. Doctors and scientists aren't really sure why they happen, but they have a few theories.

Related: The worst thing people do to wake up in the morning — according to a sleep scientist (provided by Business Insider)

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