MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
201897 tn?1245842334

Sleep Tremors and Other Events


I've been suffering from period bouts of insomnia for years now, but they've been cyclical.  In the last 9 months, the insomnia has become chronic.  No problem falling asleep, but wake up after 4-5 hours and can't get back to sleep.  I generally wake up anywhere between 3-5am, regardless of when going to sleep.  No caffeine use after 10am.

In the past few months, there have been some events before, during, and after sleep that have raised my concern.

I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep.  Will hear a fluttering sound in left ear.  At the same time, see flashes of yellow light and feel electrical shocks throughout body in sync with fluttering sound.  Lasts only a few seconds. No other symptoms.  This happens maybe once every 7-10 days.

This is the one that really bothers me.  Lying in bed just waking up from nap.  Jaw started to move as if chattering.  Tremors then hit all at once in all 4 limbs.  Heard a sound in left ear (like one of those electrical gadgets from Frankenstein’s lab) as well as a feeling of electrical buzzing in brain.  Consciousness was retained throughout.  Tried to move and speak, but couldn’t.  No idea of exact length of duration, but not very long (maybe 20 seconds in total, if that long).  No loss of bowel/bladder control.  No frothing or drooling.  Emotional state was one of apathy/eerie calm both during and after.  Slight retained feeling of tremors in hands for approx 1 hour after, but no visible signs of tremors.  No marked increase in fatigue immediately after, but was exhausted all the next day and cognitive ability was markedly reduced as well for several days.  This has happened only once.

I've recently had an episode where I was wandering around the house and making repetitive phrases.  I have no memory of this event.  

In addition, in the last 10 days, I've experienced an intermittent large tremor in my right hand.  This has woken me up twice and happened shortly after waking once.  During the day, I'll also experience smaller tremors in the same hand.

I've noticed I'll frequently have dreams before falling completely asleep.  All dreams in general are very vivid and frequently unpleasant and/or violent, often continuing where another ended or taking place in the same location.  Rather like a combination of serial dreaming plus deja vu.

I've seen a neurologist and am scheduled for an EEG and will be scheduled for a sleep study soon.  Unfortunately, the neuro wasn't very keen on answering questions so I'm no better informed as to what might be going on than before.  CT scan w/o contrast and MRI are clear.

Hoping you could offer some insight.  Any breadcrumb would be better than the limbo in which I currently find myself.

Thank you very much in advance.
5 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
201897 tn?1245842334
Forgot to add...

EEG was normal, even though there was some tremoring in my jaw during the hyperventilation part.  Nothing noted on EEG during that period.

MLST was negative for narcolepsy.  Reached stage 2 sleep in all 4 nap periods but no REM.

Thanks again :)
Helpful - 0
201897 tn?1245842334
Hi again! :)

I finally got the results of my sleep study back.  Even though I had several episodes of the night tremors during the study itself, they weren't detected.

The polysomnogram was negative for any abnormalities (including apnea, thank goodness), and the MSLT showed moderate EDS (fell asleep during all 4 nap periods in under 7 minutes).

My neuro says the tremors are "sleep paroxysms" and are sometimes difficult to detect.  Unfortunately, he wouldn't go into any further detail on the subject, even when prodded.  What are sleep paroxysms?

I've been rx'd Provigil for the moderate EDS.  The neuro said if this doesn't help with the tremors he'll refer me to a sleep specialist.

Any thoughts?

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal

How are you?

Yes menopause and insomnia go hand in hand. Some of the causes include hot flashes which causes an adrenaline surge and therefore causes the person to wake up suddenly. Other causes are disordered breathing and mood swings which also cause insomnia in perimenopausal women.
You may find the following link helpful.
Do let me know if you need more information. Take care!

Helpful - 0
201897 tn?1245842334
Thank you very much for your reply. :)

Like everyone else in this day and age, there's stress in my life, but no large recent stressful event.  

I'm wondering if it isn't perhaps a cascade effect.  I'm currently going through perimenopause and wondering if the hormal fluxuations have triggered the insomnia which, in turn, has brought on the other issues.

I most certainly have sleep deprivation and now realize many (not all) of these events have taken place when I'm lying on my back.  I try to keep a regular time when I go to bed, although the time I wake tends to be highly irregular.

I'm attempting to do some research on my own on the particular topic of sleep tremors.  Is there anything else they're called?  I'm finding a distinct lack of information on the web about them, most having to do with epilepsy or parkinsons (and I'm fairly sure those don't apply to my case).

Thank you again!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal

How are you? I can understand how difficult it must be to cope with all of this.

Has there been a recent stressful event in your life?

You are suffering from sleep tremors like you have rightly mentioned and also sleep paralysis as you experienced an episode where you were lying still and could not move your body.
Unfortunately very little is known about these conditions. The causative factors can be excessive stress, irregular sleep schedule, sleep deprivation and sleeping in face upwards position.
A sleep study will help and so will an EEG as to what exactly is going on in the brain at that time. Do keep us posted!
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Neurology Community

Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1669040108
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease