What are Hypnic Jerks?

19th October 2022 Off By Marketing

Hypnagogic jerk also called a hypnic jerk is an involuntary muscle spasm that happens just as you fall asleep. Some people may experience a falling sensation or even dream of falling which causes them to jerk and awake.

Others may only experience a small twitching that is only noticeable to a spouse or partner. Hypnic jerks are quite common while sleeping but many people do wonder what causes it and how to prevent it.

Hypnic jerks are harmless and not indicative of any health or sleep disorder so there is no cause for concern. Everyone will experience them at some point. Research suggests that these jerks can either occur randomly or because of external stimuli.

The frequency and intensity of hypnic jerks can vary, some researchers believe that hypnic jerks can be caused by the following:


Exercising before bedtime will make it more difficult to fall asleep, rather do your exercises during the day as this will also help you sleep better at night. Stimulation from vigorous activities will make it more difficult for the body to relax and fall asleep.


One of the big causes of hypnic jerks is stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and even some prescribed medications.

Try and avoid caffeinated coffee or tea before bedtime rather opt for decaffeinated alternatives instead.

Speak to your healthcare provider if you suspect that your prescribed medication is negatively affecting your sleep. Both coffee and smoking can increase hypnic jerks.

Stress and Anxiety

Having a high amount of stress or anxiety can cause jerking while sleeping as your mind remains active even as your body falls asleep.

Try meditation or some deep breathing exercises before bed to relieve tension and help eliminate jerking while sleeping.

Sleep Hygiene

Give yourself time to wind down before bed, sleep in a cool, dark room, and keep a consistent sleeping schedule.

Avoid using phones or watching tv for at least an hour before bed, turn off bright lights and do something that relaxes you. When you’re calm and relaxed before bed, you’ll reduce hypnic jerks.