Have you ever woken up abruptly with a sudden jolt just as you had already fallen asleep? We presume that it felt like your arm or the leg experienced sudden involuntary spasm. In other words, you may have woken up feeling as if you are falling in a deep hole or over a balcony. Any of these familiar experiences are associated with hypnic jerks.
Hypnic jerks are harmless parts of the process of falling asleep and not a sleeping disorder. However, if hypnic jerks disturb your sleep most regularly or they do happen most often, speaking to a health specialist for guidelines might do you good.
Causes of hypnic jerks
Typically, there are no proven records as to why hypnic jerks do happen. Research in this sleeping phenomena and occurrences is not deeply enhanced. If you are a victim of these experiences, you are not alone. A research done in Italy shows that 60 to 70% of people across the world, in one way or the other have had suffered from hypnic jerks in their life regardless of sex or age. The possible causes of hypnic jerks include the following
1). Stress and anxiety
Stress or anxious thoughts tend to keep your mind active at all time. In that condition, even when the muscles try to relax and drift you into sleep, the mind does not allow. This causes your brain to send obnoxious alerts to the muscles just as you are about to fall asleep. The obnoxious thoughts trigger hypnic jerks.
The most worrying situation is when you develop jerks most frequently. This makes you develop anxiety towards sleep since you always begin to worry about sleep starts.
2). Sleep deprivation
In most cases, poor sleeping schedules and sleep disturbances are factors linked to hypnic jerks. Once you get deprived off sleep, you stand a high chance of experiencing jerks.
3). Use of stimulants
Caffeine and nicotine have a significant effect on your body since they delay sleeping making you stay awake for long. Chemicals components contained in these products prevent our brain from going deep in sleeping and instead startle from time to time. When such experiences happen, the next experience that one encounters is hypnic jerks.
4). Evolutionary assumptions
A research conducted by the University of Colorado suggests that jerks have their origin back on evolution from our ancestors. The research proposed that during evolution, jerks were on use to help primates change their sleeping positions before they could doze off to avoid accidental fall from trees.
5). Wrong exercise schedule
Exercising daily and in the most convenient time, help you avoid hypnic jerks. An exercise that is too close to the time of sleeping, however, might trigger the occurrence of sleep starts.
Typically exercising at bedtime makes your brain and muscle not to settle more easily for sleep. The moment you encounter such after going to bed, the next thing you might experience is jerks.
How to stop hypnic jerks and sleep confidently
In medical terms, the hypnic condition is not a disease that would warrant treatment. They are not serious conditions that would otherwise cause body complications.
Treatment of jerks, therefore, revolves around putting measures to prevent them from happening. If you do adhere to the following steps, you stand a higher chance of reducing the occurrence of jerks.
1). Keep off caffeine: A morning cup of coffee is okay but anything related to caffeine that you take after midday, you set up yourself for jerks. To stop jerks try by all means to avoid consumption of caffeine especially evenings.
2). Schedule your exercise time well: To avoid jerks that are triggered by poor exercise times, it’s good to get your sweat session before noon. If your work period does not allow, you can do low-intensity forms of exercise in the evening like the Pilates or the yoga.
3). Adopt a pre-sleeping routine: Scientist advice that to avoid occurrences of jerks, it’s good to prepare your body and mind before sleep. Preparing your body and mind helps to crack down energy use getting you to shut your eye.
It’s good to take up at least 30 minutes to disconnect yourself from technology staffs, turn off lights and slow your body down.
4). Avoid stimulants: Apart from caffeine, you should limit yourself from taking an excessive amount of nicotine and alcohol. This should be especially on the midday. Ideally, a glass of wine before bed will help you doze off with easy, so you should make it a routine.
5). Take up a balanced diet: Taking food with too many carbohydrates gives your body excessive digestion works. Nutritionist advice people that it’s good to after taking supper, you take up some fruits and glass you warm water a few minutes before sleep. Water helps to low body pressure giving the able blood time to flow well.
6). Sleep well: One of the other triggers of jerks is uncomfortable sleeping. Uncomfortable sleep results from using an uncomfortable mattress and beddings as well as bad sleeping positions. In order to avoid the occurrence of jerks, it is good to check that your beddings are in good condition and further you sleep in the right position.
7). Avoid getting too tired: Even if understandably you must work and have a busy, tiring day, it’s good to avoid getting too much tired. Becoming too tired sometimes triggers hypnic jerks.
In concussion, the causes of hypnic jerks are not well known. It’s vital to note therefore that we do not have medical treatment for sleep starts. How you run your life determines if you will develop jerks or not in your life. So plan your life activities well, and you will forever enjoy your sleep experiences.