You are in bed, your eyes closed, ready to drift off into dreamland. Even though you are in bed, it feels like an out-of-body experience.
Well, if you’ve ever experienced this, the impact has a name. It’s a hypnotic jerk.
Martin Seeley, sleep expert and CEO of MattressNextDay, said: It can occur at any time of the night, but is most common during the very early morning hours. ”
What is Hypnotic Jerk?
Hypnic jerk may involve smaller muscle spasms or more complex actions such as head jerk, arm jerk and leg jerk.
“Movements may be minor, but at times they become intense enough to wake you up. can be,” explains Seeley.
Hypnotic jerks are common in both children and adults, he added. They are rarely discussed because they are not considered dangerous or harmful. “But if you suddenly wake up with a sudden jerking of your body, like an electric shock, it can be unsettling!”
Why do hypnic jerk happen?
Hypnotic spasms are perfectly normal, says Seeley, although they may feel a little strange.
“It’s caused by the brain’s attempt to regulate arousal levels during sleep,” he explains. “During REM sleep (the sleep stage when you are dreaming), your body is paralyzed except for the muscles involved in your eyes and breathing. Being able to move freely during this time is not ideal as you could injure yourself or others!”
“In order to enter a deeper phase of sleep without being fully awake, the brain sends a signal through the spinal cord to relax the muscles throughout the body, which are normally active during waking but need to be present at this time.” (This includes muscles that are not active, such as those used for speech.) This process allows the body to enter a deeper state of sleep.”
Should I be worried about hypnotic spasms?
In most cases, hypnotic jerk causes no pain or harm. However, when it happens regularly and keeps you awake in the middle of the night, it can be confusing, and if this happens to you, Seeley offers his two handy tips.
refrain from calling
“Bright light can interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, which can make you feel like you’ve woken up in the middle of the night,” he says.
‘Additionally, checking the time on your phone can cause you to subconsciously calculate how many more hours you have to stay awake, increasing your anxiety and keeping you from staying awake longer.’
try a full body scan
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try this meditation technique, also known as a full-body scan.
“Just close your eyes and breathe slowly. Then focus on your face and think about relaxing each muscle in your face,” says Seeley.
“After 30 seconds to a minute, move to your neck and do the same for 30 seconds. Then your shoulders, then your arms.