Do you suddenly experience a shocking falling sensation while falling asleep? This phenomenon is known as the “hypnic jerk”, “hypnagogic jerk”, or a “sleep twitch”; and may sometimes be accompanied by a visual hallucination.
So what is it? Keep reading to learn more!
The “hypnic jerk” is an involuntary muscle spasm that happens while drifting off to sleep.
What causes “hypnic jerk”?
- Consuming a lot of caffeine
- Undergoing significant emotional stress
- Sleep deprivation
- Taking depression and anxiety medication
According to sleep experts like Michael Breus, the hypnic jerk may be a sign of the eventual switch over between the brain’s recticular activating system and the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (that’s to say the transition from an active state to a dormant state).
Don’t worry it’s a normal and natural phenomenon.