Coffee in Bed Illustration

Hypnic Jerk – Causes and Treatments

Posted By Erin on Jun 25, 2017

Here’s the scenario: you’ve gotten ready for bed, you’re in silk pajamas, you’re lying down on the most comfortable mattress (a nectar). Things are going great so far. You’ve read all the Nectar blogs about sleep care, and as such have a relatively easy time drifting off to sleep.

That feeling, known by sleep scientists the world over, is called a hypnic jerk, and it occurs even if you own the most comfortable mattress. Here’s the good news, that feeling is totally common. One recent survey showed that as many as 80 percent of us have felt a hypnic jerk at some point in our lives. Here’s some other good news, it’s a normal feeling and doesn’t lead to any real side effects (other than perhaps a delayed bedtime on your most comfortable mattress.) So what’s going on there, and what does it mean? Nectar did a deep dive on hypnic jerks, so here’s what they are, and more importantly, how to avoid them.

The Causes of a Hypnic Jerk

While a hypnic jerk sounds like some kind of mean pokemon, the reality of it is far less exotic. Sleep scientists aren’t totally clear on what causes it. But they have narrowed down the list to a few good ideas.

Dr. Reena Mehra, a sleep scientist at Cleveland Clinic, says the cause is partly unknown. But there are some triggers that can bring on that falling feeling. These feeling include stress, lack of sleep, stimulant medications, or too much caffeine. These hypnic jerks usually happen during stage 1 of sleep. This is when the body is still partially awake and very sensitive to stimulation. Having a lot of anxiety or coffee can produce chemicals that keep you in this inbetween state for longer. This is what is triggering hypnic jerks more often —  even if you’re sleeping on Nectar, the most comfortable mattress.

Relief is on the Way

Lucky for us, like the composition of a Nectar mattress, the solution is simple. Avoid caffeine or stimulants too soon before bed, try guided meditation to relieve your anxiety, and try to keep a consistent bedtime every night. While these things are hard to do, remember that self care is so important (as is having the most comfortable mattress you can).

“The main idea would be to get more sleep, that’s a big idea that we can all practice, which for adults should be seven to eight hours of sleep,” said Dr. Mehra. “Caffeine use really should be limited as much as possible and certainly none after approximately noon.”

So there you go, and as always, the best place to get that sleep is on a Nectar mattress. Our semi-open Lush Foam holds five patents and is the most premium gel foam available. Expensive to produce, our gel foam directly absorbs and distributes heat and recovers perfectly to its original untouched state. That’s a guaranteed enemy of the “hypnic jerk”. So give Nectar a try for yourself and feel the difference.

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