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Hypnic Jerks - anyone heard of these?

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  • Hypnic Jerks - anyone heard of these?

    I am hoping to find a remedy to these muscle jerks/spasms (falling, slipping sensation) that I experience when falling asleep. See here this link for my information: Sleeping Disorders: Cures for Hypnic Jerks

    Currently, I have one cup of coffee per day (finished by 10 AM), drink close to 1 gal of water a day, limit exposure to LCD/phone/computer screens 1 hour before bed, and practice various relaxation skills before bed (deep breathing, meditation). These strategies are very helpful to relax and feel sleepy before bed. However, as is the case with hypnic jerks, the jerks wake me up while falling asleep despite being tired. My sympathetic nervous system then kicks in and my heart begins pounding, which keeps me awake for a few hours.

    As far as supplementation, I have tried melatonin, herbal tea, and mag tabs (Calson's Chelated Magnesium). Most recently (last 3 months) I starting taking of Natural Calm and have experimented with different dosages and consumption times. None of these have consistently helped, and it seems that they have made the jerks worse at times.

    As for lifestyle factors, I strength train 3x week. I am also a doctoral student in counseling psychology, which means I sit a lot doing psychotherapy and am under a good amount of stress.

    These jerks started a year and a half ago when I moved from the humid northeast to the dry air of Montana. I have wondered about the dry air having an effect as I have been back to the northeast and even my home region of the Pacific Northwest (also humid) and have not had the jerks in the locations.

    With that said, have any of you had experience with hypnic jerks and treating them with your diet?

  • #2
    I've had that once or twice but didn't ever know there was a name for it.

    The bit about the humidity makes me think you should invest $40 in a room humidifier and keep it running until you're no longer using the heater. My guitar repair guy recommended I get one years ago, and suddenly all my wintertime nasal/sinus problems just disappeared.


    • #3
      Yes I've had them many times - not recently.
      They were bit annoying as I it happens just before the sleep stage but it didn't really bother me too much as it didn't keep me a awake for long. It sometimes happened multiple times but eventually I go to sleep - it always was something that intrigued me though.

      The feelings can be a falling sensation with a jolt awakening or it can be a single mild or explosive movement - the fast movement when it happens, I could not consciously reproduce it with the same power or speed if I tried.

      For me I think it happens if too tired or stressed.


      • #4
        I used to get these fairly often, as well as the sleep paralysis where you wake up but for about 20 seconds you can't move or open your eyes. I've had neither since I changed to PB eating. Funny - I hadn't really thought of it but both of them have dissapeared.
        Healthy is the new wealthy.


        • #5
          Are you sure you really need a gallon of water a day? Perhaps you are literally flushing out your electrolytes too much.

          Waterlogged – A Dogma-Shattering Book?

          The only other thing I can think of is work on reducing the stress level in your life. Yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, sex, whatever works for you.


          • #6
            Try some EFT, aka tapping.
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