What Is It Exactly?The space between wakefulness and slumber is known as the hypnagogic stage. During this stage, it's easy for your brain to be 'jerked' back into wakefulness by something like an involuntary muscle twitch. And that's exactly what happens during a hypnic jerk; your muscles twitch and your brain goes, "Hey! Wake up, something's happening!"
Why Does It Happen?In most cases, a hypnic jerk is nothing to worry about. In such a case, the muscles begin to relax in preparation for sleep. The brain gets confused by this, thinks the body is falling and tenses the muscles to brace for impact. It's just a simple misunderstanding. Usually. For some people, a hypnic jerk can actually be a symptom of a serious health condition.
Medical Causes For Hypnic Jerks
Restless Leg Syndrome10% of the population suffers from restless leg syndrome, which causes one to experience throbbing, painful sensations in their legs. Researchers suspect it to be hereditary but it's also linked to the following:
- Kidney failure
- Alcohol abuse
- Sleep deprivation