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Jerking awake throughout the night

For the last month or so, I’ve been jerking awake during sleep, including during during dreams but also when I don’t appear to be dreaming. It frequently feels like my body will jerk as I wake (I think it’s as I wake and not before I wake) but it’s not clear to me if I do. Basically, I’m sleeping then jerk awake & it feels as if a body part will jerk. 

Anyone with any thoughts? Most of what I read about hypnic jerks indicates that they happen upon falling asleep, but these will happen 2-6 hours after falling asleep. I’ve read that it could still be hypnic jerks & am hoping that’s what these are.

As background, im a 41 yr old male, and these began after I saw a neuro to get checked for Parkinson’s, as I have benign tremors & just wanted to confirm nothing to worry about. He asked if I ever acted out my dreams & I said to my knowledge “no” & that my girlfriend never said I have. I confirmed with her that I haven’t done so & haven’t done so since. I’m terrified these jerks are indicative of REM sleep disorder, but I don’t appear to be acting anything out & am instead just jerking awake. I’m also not talking or vocalizing in my sleep at all. Basically, I’m very nervous and assume that’s making it worse and deep down believe that this is rooted in anxiety but would appreciate any thoughts.
2 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi!  What was the outcome from the Parkinson's evaluation?  

So, I can see where this will make you anxious but one would think that if you are fully asleep, that anxiety is 'resting' too.  :>)   But I know that Restless Legg Syndrome is a nervous disorder (as well as a neurological disorder). This is when you jerk your legs.  This sounds like you are talking about more than just your leg?

With hypnic jerks, they talk about changing your daytime routine to improve your night time sleep.  Extra exercise during the day, for example. Do you get much physical activity?

Since this is 'out of the blue' I highly recommend another trip to your doctor to ask about it.  They may opt to do a sleep study with you which could be very informative.  Is that something you'd consider?
1 Comments
Dr said I was fine re: Parkinson & that I didn’t have resting tremor or any other symptoms (very thorough exam!) so confident that I’m okay there (for now)

I’ve asked him about this and he said it doesn’t seem to him to be REM sleep disorder, so that made me feel better but I get anxious with this stuff...

I’m going to see a sleep dr & not sure about getting a sleep study as I’m really terrified....we’ll see
973741 tn?1342342773
Don't be terrified.  These things can be worked out and a sleep study just uncovers your sleep pattern.  I do agree that I'm seeing a lot of anxiety.  Do you suffer an anxiety disorder?  Have you ever been treated for anxiety?  I have it too from tie to time more in relation to things like cancer or heart disease. But I can get frightened.  But as you are 'terrified', it makes me wonder if you went ahead and had your anxiety evaluated and you treated that or saw a therapist if it wouldn't help symptoms as well as how you cope during stress?  

Anyway, my sister in law had a form of narcolepsy. She had incredible day tie fatigue.  The sleep study helped her with the diagnosis and then she was able to treat the underlying problem.  Not terrifying, but freeing as she was able to understand what was going on better. :>))  
5 Comments
Thank you for your response! Yes, I have great anxiety around degenerative neurological conditions, and REM sleep disorder basically always leads to Parkinson’s so that’s why this is creating such anxiety in me. I’m not anxious in other aspects of my life or with other medical issues. The reason I’m terrified of the sleep test is if identifies REM sleep disorder, ill need to live knowing I’ll develop Parkinson’s in the future (3 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, who knows?) I’m not bothered by having any other sleep issue, so am hoping the sleep dr I’m going to can, with as much confidence as possible w/o a test, rule REM sleep disorder out. If so, my nerves will decrease dramatically.  To help deal with this fear, however, I do have appts set up with a therapist but that’s not for another month.

I’ve googled this, read all about the disease, asked the prior neuro what he thought (he didn’t think it was) and am not seeing a clear link (ie, haven’t read that jerking awake is a symptom), but am also not seeing anyone else describe what I’m going through and I’m clearly jerking awake during REM sleep...so...

Thanks again for your responses!
Since no one has diagnosed you with degenerative neurological conditions, then focus on that if you can instead of thinking you might be onto something that there is no evidence to support. You listed quite a lot of chains of disease that you are worried about in your last post, yet there is nothing except your imagination to support those theories. So I would try to stick with the diagnosis the neuro gave of nothing wrong.
Googling rarely provides any useful answers but you continue to do it in the hopes that it will, but are scaring yourself the more you search.
Thank you! I agree that I should try but for whatever reason that is difficult for me for these types of issues. I’ve accepted I don’t have a degenerative condition now, but am afraid of developing in future. REM sleep disorder almost always leads to it & I have weird jerking awake during dreams. Im trying to focus on what the neuro said about this (we talked on phone briefly) but am still concerned, though likely much more than i should be. I’m going to see someone about handling this better, but that’s not until the end of this month.
there are thousands of diseases and conditions that can pop out of nowhere, so there isn't enough time in the day to spend worrying about this happening. Your anxiety is focusing your mind on one group which is a bit of a mental illness at this point when you consider how much of your life is wasted every day in a futile and painful fear that you can the disease that gets you. Consider therapy because one on one might help you to get rid of this time and happiness wasting fixation.
I can understand that you would like to have a better sleep so see the sleep doc, but leave the diagnosing up to them, instead of anxiety producing googling for death, because it won't work anyway.
Yes, thank you. I agree 100%. I will be seeing someone one on one at the end of this month as I do waste a ton of mental energy on these thoughts which is quite destructive to me; I’m mostly just trying to get through until the sleep doc appt & was hoping before then to find someone with similar episodes to help allay my fears, as that has helped in the past.
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