Twitching While Trying to Fall Asleep

Updated on March 30, 2013
K.C. asks from Argyle, TX
9 answers

Recently I have started twitching a lot while I am on the verge of falling asleep. I know it's normal to twitch a little (once or twice) before falling asleep, but it now takes me about an hour to fall asleep because everytime I twitch, it startles me awake, then I try to fall asleep again, twitch again, and so on, and so on. I twitch probably 8-10 times everytime I try to fall asleep, and that doesn't seem to be normal. After all this twitching started, I also started to have some small muscle twitches while I am awake and sitting still (while at the computer, reading a book), and it's happening more and more often, like every few minutes. I have gone to my family doctor, had a complete physical and more extensive bloodwork done, and everything is normal. Has anyone experienced this before? Should I go see a neurologist?

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answers from Miami on

ETA: K., I just saw this on TV, or something like it. It's from Dr. House, MD and it's called myoclonus. I'm sure that you don't have what this kid did, but please ask your doctor about it.

From what I remember reading, this is the body's way of preventing you from dying. I know that sounds bizarre, but it's true. What I can't remember is WHEN the body does this.

That being said, what is happening to you is not normal. I've had this happen before too, but it's a once in a blue moon thing. I think that you need a sleep study to be done. Talk to your doctor and get him or her to order a sleep study. Those results will be helpful to the specialist who does the study. Perhaps that's a neurologist - I don't know. Just make sure that you do this.

Please update us!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

My husband starting taking blood pressure meds to control his borderline high blood pressure. When he did, the twitching started. It was enough to keep me up at night. You don't mention if you are taking any medications, but it might be something to consider if you are.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It's called Myoclonic twitch or Hypnic jerk.
I didn't know it's related to hiccups but it turns out it is.

Everyone does this once in awhile while falling asleep but to have it increasing in frequency would worry me.

It might not be serious, it might be just nutritional and that would be fixable with a suppliment or a change in diet..
But I would not rule out 'serious' yet.
There are conditions where it is a symptom.

"Myoclonic jerking may develop in patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Opsoclonus Myoclonus, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or lupus. Myoclonic jerks commonly occur in persons with epilepsy, a disorder in which the electrical activity in the brain becomes disordered leading to seizures. It is also found in MERRF (Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers), a rare mitochondrial encephalomyopathy. Myoclonus can also be a coexisting condition along with Tourette's Syndrome.".

Seeing a neurologist is a good idea.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think it is odd enough that if I had insurance I would call them and ask the nurse on duty what to do. She would have access to the list of all the docs that accept the insurance too. She could make a recommendation to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Is it twitching or the feeling of falling and then jerking awake?

You say " I twitch probably 8-10 times every time I try to fall asleep,"

Is this true? every night?

I agree, that you need to consider speaking with a neurologist if this continues for another week,

This could be a sign of some different things, but it could just be normal for you and maybe you will need to see what alternatives there are.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I was at the hospital with a very ill person and the doctor told me that the twitching meant his enzymes were off. You're not ill but perhaps you are need of some chemical in your system. A natural vitamin or mineral. I'd call the advice nurse and ask about it. For example when we take a diuretic we also need extra potassium.

Did your blood work include testing for nutrients and enzymes? Also, what medications are you taking? They can affect us in this sort of way. Did the doctor talk about meds with you?

I also suggest talking with the advice nurse to relieve your mind because I suggest that this is not serious. I've noticed that when I'm especially tired that I jerk more while going to sleep.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Have you had a CT scan done?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i do this sometimes i 'll be watching for answers.

my suggestion is mediation or a longer bed time routine and less computer/ tv before bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Peoria on

I was having this happen for a while. When I was falling asleep my legs were literally twiching and waking me - like they were set up to an electrical current. It also happened at any given time to my arms and legs. I also had pins-and-needles feelings in my hands and especially legs below the knee.

I was worried, so I called my doctor and insisted on seeing a Neurologist, because I had read that nerve damage can be stopped or slowed, but can not be reversed. If there was a problem, I wanted it addressed immediately.

The Neurologist gave me an exam and an EMG test. This is not a fun test, to put it mildly, but after it was done he reassured me that everything was fine and my nerves were healthy.

After this, I had no more problems - I think it was psychosomatic on my part.

Try taking vitamin B12 - you can't get enough of it and it's best to take the kind you disolve under your tongue - more gets absorbed into your body. B12 is great for nerve health. Also, watch your caffine past mid-day and no more alcohol, even a little, as it reeks havoc on your nerves. All advise from my Neurologist.

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