Hypnic Jerk A hypnic jerk, also known as a massive hypnagogic jerk, myoclonic jerk or sleep start, is a completely normal experience often described as a falling sensation or electric shock that occurs as we are falling asleep. While there is little research on the subject, there are theories on the various possible hypnic jerk causes. Hypnic Jerk Causes Sleep scientists have determined that these jerks are more common in people who sleep uncomfortably or are over tired. There is also evidence that the changes in body temperature, breathing and muscle relaxation that occur as we drift into sleep may cause the brain to misinterpret these as a sign of falling, signaling the limbs to wake up. Many people also experience a hypnic jerk during REM sleep, where dreams occur, all voluntary muscular activity stops and muscle tone drops. A hypnic jerk during REM sleep may involve a slight switching of the eye or ear that occurs just once or twice a night or in extreme cases, muscle twitches that can happen every thirty seconds or more. Sleep scientists refer to this extreme case as periodic limb movement disorder. Hypnic Jerk Treatment Methods According to sleep scientists, hypnic jerk treatment is not required, as the condition is considered harmless. Good sleep hygiene comprised of adequate quality and quantity of sleep may however reduce the incidence of hypnagogic jerks. Disclaimer: These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult your physician regarding any sleeping disorders.