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Hypnic jerks that simply won’t let me fall asleep.


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At night I have these persistent hypnic jerks or startles right when I’m falling asleep that sometimes can go all night. Hey raise my heart rate and leave me unable to try and fall asleep again for a long time, making them a vicious cycle. Any ideas whynthey can be happening?

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Hi @flatfeed9 sorry you have to go thru this. I can relate to disrupted sleep being a bit frustrating.

I get these when i am napping on the recliner (have not noticed them in bed) so you are not alone. From what i read there is no real good explanation as to why the jerks happen.

I would bring this up with your Doctor.

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Yes, these are a problem for me too. They usually go in cycles. I'll get them for a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks of misery and then they'll disappear for a few months again. I'm currently dealing with one of these cycles coincidentally. 

Usually, I'll just try to calm myself and fall asleep for about an hour. If that doesn't work, I'll use some things in the following order. 

- Melatonin, which I generally take anyway. 

- CBD oil 

- Magnesium

If none of that works within another hour or so, I'll bring in the heavy hitters. 

- A low dose of Xanax will generally work fairly quickly. 

- THC (medical cannibas) - have only used this once and it worked fairly quickly as well. 

Good luck

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Make sure you don't have any stimulants like caffeine before bed and no exercise. Stress and anxiety make them worse so try and wind down well before bedtime. I used to get them a lot but I'm more relaxed these days. Meditation may help. 

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I get them during times of high adrenaline from triggers, and what has seemed to help me best is a low dose Ativan ( 0.5 mg ) right before bed time. 

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I get these really bad at times. It goes from jerks to rarely whole body convulsions. I was doing some reading about this a few years ago when I had it bad but I didn't find out much except antihistamines like Benadryl usually make them worse. That was a huge find for me. Nine times out of 10 Benadryl will cause it with me to some extent.  Now I avoid it if possible.

I have no idea what the mechanism for this is but then I've mostly stopped trying to figure out why things like this just come and happen to me seemingly unrelated to what's going on to my body externally.

I'm very sorry this is happening to you. I hate the jerking worse than pain. It's like electrical current builds up in my muscles and then releases with a jerk. I hate the feeling of the build up worse than the jerk. It's like having an EMG all night long. And sometimes during the day.

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I have had these all my life. I think for me it is part of the huge brain body disconnect I have. It is like they are vaguely acquainted neighbors at best. Anyway, I have found these things helpful: exercise early in the day to get physically tired, do things to burn off adrenaline. Anything to reduce anxiety, whatever things work for you. Limiting caffeine tho I am weird. Soda makes me absurdly wired, but I can have a double espresso b4 bed. All I mean is go with what works. I'm also autistic and much more. So I've been doing a lot on sensory integration and such. Also, I now take prazosin for anxiety which blocks a lot of the adrenaline driven symptoms. It helped a lot for me tho ofc ianad. I went from dozens of these a night to a few times a year. Fingers crossed you find things that help for you!

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