Here Are Some Reasons Why You Twitch When You Sleep & What To Do About It

No exact cause can be found, but these are some possible triggers.

Cover image via Rehina Sultanova/Unsplash & Alexander Possingham/Unsplash

Follow us on InstagramTikTok, and Telegram for the latest stories and breaking news.

Ever wondered why you've been told you twitch or noticed that your partner twitches in their sleep?

Image via SanSaw Kennels

First off, it's pretty common. In fact, it's said that 60% to 70% of people experience this natural occurrence.

It's called a hypnic jerk, or hypnagogic jerk, and it's basically an involuntary muscle contraction that your body makes as you sleep. According to Medical News Today, many people of all ages experience hypnic jerks, though the intensity depends on the person.

It's considered a form of myoclonus – a quick jerking movement you can't control – similar to hiccups. For some, it's just a light jerk, but for others, it can be vigorous enough to jolt them awake.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Alexander Possingham/Unsplash

Possible causes are extreme tiredness or sleep deprivation, stress and anxiety, or stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and certain drugs

Some people claim that hypnic jerks occur as your body relaxes, your brain mistakenly believes it's falling, so it jerks as a way to check if your body is alive.

Carl Bazil, a professor of neurology at Columbia University, told The Cut that experts don't know the exact cause, but they do know that it's a "neurological tussle between the brain systems that keep you awake and the ones that encourage you to fall asleep".

In this state, the "sleeping mechanism usually wins", however, "the wakeful one sometimes puts up a fight".

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via ethan/Unsplash

In general, hypnic jerks are not harmful unless they are preventing you from falling asleep and causing insomnia

If that happens, it is advised to try to avoid caffeine and stimulants to reduce the chances of unrestful sleep, and lessen the frequency of these twitches.

The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader's own medical care.

Love plucking your white hair? Here's what will happen if you do:

If you have more questions than answers, these stories might help:

You may be interested in: