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Does anxiety cause nighttime body jerks?
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Does anxiety cause nighttime body jerks?

I have body fatigue, stomach pains, and generalized body pains for several years now and have had many tests done.  I have worried myself over these symptoms and have the hand shaking and symptoms of anxiety.  I feel dizzy, have neck pain,etc.  But now my muscles twitch constantly when I'm trying to sleep and my body will jerk.  The part that has been the scariest for me is that sometimes I will be awakened by my entire arm jerking up from the bed or off the bed.  It feels like my brain is not communicating with my nerves and muscles properly.  Has anyone ever experienced the limb movement or jerking with anxiety during sleep?  I have read about the shaking being a symptom of anxiety but I don't know if the jerking and twitching can also be manifestations.    
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Miami,

For the past few years, when falling asleep, my head jerks to one side or the other several times. It is how I know I'm really falling asleep. Lately I've had severe insomnia and was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (I didn't think that was a real condition). I've also had quick, sharp stabbing sensations in legs and head. My psychiatrist prescribed Neurontin for neuropathy a week ago, and my sleep has improved. He also recommended Melatonin and/or Valerian Root and Vitamin D.

From what I've learned, anxiety is a major factor in the jerking movements. Due to several family health issues and talk therapy with shrink, he said that I have a fear of sleep--that if I fall asleep I'll never wake up. Without going through all the details, I must agree with him. Once I learned the "why" I've started to do a better job of dealing with the whole array of sleep difficulties. I have a few journal entries that might interest you.

Like you, I have neck pain, sometimes dizziness, and day time shaking in my legs. However, once asleep, I not wake up from jerking movements. Although our symptoms are not identical, you are the first person I know of who has jerking movements when trying to sleep. I've named it the "Linda Blair Syndrome" :-)

I'm not yet "cured" but hope this has helped.

Pleiad

,
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have body jerks when falling asleep,sometimes it is so bad it feels like i am jumping out of bed,i also suffer neck pain mine is due to nerve damage in that area,my leg constantly throbs,they have put it all down to tension through the anxiety,jerking movements are also associated with alchol,i find that if i have had a few drinks on the weekend my body jerks alot more.
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Avatar_f_tn
I so appreciate the feedback.  I don't drink but this jerking started out as occasional whole body jerks that would wake me up at night or happen just as I was falling asleep but then when my arm jerked completely up in the air a few times I became very concerned.  It's helpful to know that jerking is not completely uncommon with anxiety.  I just wonder if anyone else has had the arm actually extend all the way up or out away from the body as I've had.  I'm also trying to figure out if I should go to a neurologist (which I've had 2 normal MRI's in the past 1 1/2 years), psychiatrist or a rheumatologist for pain/problems/medications.   Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
I meant to say that I don't drink alcohol in response to cheshchesh819 instead of just saying I don't drink.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes my arm flies through the air as do my legs,its like a bed time thing beats me it like we are not allowed to relax ever,as for going to see a neurologist and the others you do what ever it takes to get the answers and the help you need.
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358304_tn?1395085884
This is so funny you wrote this. Anxiety can do SO many things to our bodies, and us that are very sensitive to stress and anxiety, it can REALLY cause some cruddy symptoms.

This past summer I got a stiff sore neck, and then my lower back, for 3 months! I was paranoid it was something bad causing this... I'd also get electric shock feelings from my neck to my brain it felt like. After about a month while having the neck pain and back pain, my muslces ALL OVER MY BODY were twitching... like one of those twitches you'd get in the corner of your eye? Except I would get these all over my body all day all night. It was terrible. I thought I had MS, or ALS etc... of course that caused more anxiety.

My Dr. assured me it was just anxiety and stress at it's finest. Sometimes when we arent even feeling that stressed etc. our bodies are and sometimes thats our body telling us to take a break.

Hang in there, sounds like youve done all the right things, you got a clean bill of health with all your tests etc.

Anxiety can do this. =)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again for the posts.  It certainly does help to know that anxiety can cause so many things.  Now to just figure out how to cope or deal with this....
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Avatar_f_tn
in time i just learnt to ignore it,it tends to fade when you dont focus on it so much.
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1473245_tn?1286934736
that was happening to me for a bit to

like my leg or arm would move on it's own (like a big twich) I was like "WTF?"

I guess the best thing to do is see a doctor. :) you'll be fine
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784558_tn?1276011429
Your symptoms are shared by many on this site. Being able to accept & relax when these jerks etc crop up is the only way that I know of handling them. I blame the meds I've taken & continue to take, but they do enable me to function & not feel suicidal. Being unable to carry a cup of tea without spilling most of it is not something that now bothers me, Jerks when about to sleep, or sitting in a chair etc are now 'normal'. Seeing your Doc. won't do any harm ~ he's able to get you more specialised help if needed. Best wishes, George
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes I get this as well jolting, shaking, twitching awake I feel a few things cause this, when I'm nervous or my anxiety is playing up in the day I normally get it, when I sleep facing the wall on my side I get it, and when I dream I get it. All these variables need to happen for me to get it. I would suggest trying not to worry and sleeping in a different position. If you get this all the time you may need to see a doctor or a psychiatric.

Jack.
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