Vintage Oral Surgery & Periodontics

Schedule An Appointment

    This appointment is for:

    Have you ever had mini jolts that suddenly jerk your body awake in the middle of a peaceful sleep? It can be unnerving, but is this twitching during sleep connected to sleep apnea in any way? Let’s find out.

    Is Twitching While Sleeping A Sign of Sleep Apnea?

    There are times when people mix sleep apnea with a hypnic jerk because both make you wake up gasping for air. However, the truth is that they are not the same at all. Sleep apnea is characterized by a condition in which your breathing stops and restarts many times during your sleep. This prevents your body from getting enough oxygen and may lead to fatality.

    Hypnic jerk – What Actually Is It?

    Hypnic jerks are an involuntary contraction of your muscles that makes you feel like you’re falling while in a dream. It is basically muscle twitching of your arms or legs. The good news is that these episodes do not last for long, but they can definitely give you a shock.

    Are Hypnic Jerks Dangerous?

    Fortunately, most of the time, hypnic jerks are harmless. They may serve as a surprise wake-up call but are not a sign of something serious. However, in case these episodes start happening too often, talk to a sleep specialist.

    However, if you take a look at the twitching if accompanied by gasping or snorting loudly as soon as you wake up, it could be a sign of something more serious like obstructive sleep apnea.


    So, what is the reason behind these muscle spasms? Well, it could be a lot of things. Here are some of the main causes your muscles twitch while you’re snoozing:

    • Involuntary muscle twitching is common when your sleep schedule is not right, and
      you lack adequate sleep.
    • Heavy exercising.
    • Fatigued body – you are super tired.
    • Stress during rest time.
    • Anxiety while sleeping.
    • Excessive amounts of caffeine keep your muscles on their toes.
    • Excessive intake of medications such as antibiotics or painkillers.

    When Should You Talk to a Doctor About Hypnic Jerks?

    There is no need to freak out if your main concern is hypnic jerks only. These episodes are short and happen when you are on the move from awake to asleep, and yes, they are usually harmless.

    However, if you notice muscle contractions happening during the day, which are spreading to different parts of your body, or if you are suffering from other kinds of jerky movements while falling asleep, it might be time to connect with a doctor immediately as these are all signs of other stuff going on.

    Closing Note

    Make note; A hypnic jerk may startle you, but it is usually not something to be worried about. Simply relax and catch your good night’s sleep, and know that your body’s just having a little night time adjustment. However, if your situation is due to sleep apnea, you can contact Pasadena Oral Surgery for more information on the treatment we provide.

    Skip to content