Here’s Why Your Body Suddenly Jerks Awake When You’re Falling Asleep – BIZARRE!

So you know when you’re just getting in one of those wonderfully cosy sleeps then 1, 2, BAM you’re suddenly jerked away.


What is that all about?

Sometimes it can feel like your suddenly sinking in to an unknown abyss and your body jerks to try and wake you up in a panic. Or other times it might just feel like you’ve been batted round the head. WHY?


Chances are you’ve experienced something like this, I mean nearly everyone has. It’s superweird, but also super common but have you ever wondered why it happens?

Turns out it’s actually called a ‘hypnic jerk’ or ‘sleep start’ and there are a few theories that try to explain this extremely bizarre phenomenon.


Many doctors believe it is simply just jerking as your body is shutting down ready for rest.

However, another leading theory is that it happens when your body goes through the first few stages of sleep too quickly because you’re over exhausted.

During the first stage of sleep which is supposed to last a few minutes your breathing and heart rate slows down and your sleep is very light.

If this happens too quickly, it tricks your brain in to thinking your organs are failing and responds by trying hard to wake you up quickly.

Many doctors believe it’s a defensive mechanism, however, they are not sure why the visuals of falling or tripping happen.

“We don’t have a great answer to the visual component, but we think it might be the easiest way for the brain to interpret the rush or feeling of falling into sleep too quickly, like a lack of balance if you faint while standing up,” says Doctor Breus.

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Hypnic jerks often happen as a result of stress, sleep deprivation, or after a night of drinking.

And they can be quite annoying if you sleep next to your partner.

However, the best thing to remember is that they cannot harm you, and you can counteract their occurrence by getting enough rest.

Learn more about unconscious body twitching here: