Twitching in your sleep happens to a fair few people. It’s annoying for your partner and embarrassing for you. This isn’t uncommon, but continuous twitching may decrease your quality of sleep if it wakes you up. Express.co.uk chatted to Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan to find out why we twitch in our sleep, and how to stop it.
Why do we twitch in our sleep?
According to Dr. Ramlakhan, there are three main reasons why you might be twitching in your sleep.
The first reason is down to what the person is dreaming about.
She said: “During the dream states and REM sleep, the person might be dreaming about running and then tries to act it out.”
Dehydration could also be the culprit, said Dr Ramlakhan, so make sure you go to bed with a glass of water.
She said: “Dehydration can also cause twitches or painful muscle spasms.”
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Dr Ramlakhan said another thing possibly causing your twitching is hypnic jerks.
She said: “Hypnic jerks happen as the person is falling asleep.
“They can be related to the release of muscle tension and stress.”
Other reasons you may be experiencing hypnic jerks include:
- Caffeine and nicotine
- Exercising too close to bedtime
- Sleep deprivation
How do you stop twitching in your sleep?
While twitching in your sleep is common for some people, there are ways to stop it.
Dr Ramlakhan advised: “It’s important to relax fully before going to bed.
“Try some pre-sleep yoga or gentle stretching before bedtime.
“An Epsom salts bath can also help to relax the muscles and reduce stress and tension levels.”
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She added: “Being well hydrated is also important.
“You should aim to drink one and a half to two litres of water throughout the day.
“You can even add a small pinch of salt to the water
“Do this particularly if it’s a hot day, or if you’re exercising intensely and sweating a lot.”
What do I do if I can’t stop twitching in my sleep?
If none of the above seems to ease your twitching, you may need to talk to a doctor.
If you are feeling anxiety about falling asleep due to your twitching, or the twitching is causing you to be sleep-deprived, your doctor may be able to help.
Sometimes people who experience hypnic jerks are prescribed medication, or muscle relaxing drugs to help you sleep through the night unbothered.
Don’t worry though, most people will wake up suddenly in their sleep.
It is not a disorder, and there are ways around it.
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