why does my child twitch while sleeping

Most of you have jerked awake just as your sleep begins. Likewise, you have probably seen a sleeping person twitch their feet or hands. So, what makes people twitch when they are supposed to be sound asleep? Twitching in sleep at times disrupts sleep and that reduces a person s energy levels and contributes to your mood being thrown off-balance. It also affects a person s creativity and memory. While there are many different types of twitches, most can be treated. It is important that you determine the type of twitch you have so that an effective solution can be sought. What Is Twitching? Twitching is the sudden, involuntary movement that occurs at any given time, which includes when you are deep in sleep. The movements can be temporary and may not even require treatment. However, there are instances where involuntary twitching is a sign of several different medical conditions. That is why it is important for people to determine the types of twitches they have. Describing a twitch is not easy. As a result, it becomes hard to pinpoint the cause or possible condition. There are some people who will say that they twitch when asleep due to muscle spasms. Some people may even describe tics when talking of twitches. Here are the different types of twitches:
Myoclonus. This is involuntary movement that appears when there is sudden relaxation or tensing of muscles or a muscle. Convulsions. These are involuntary spasms that are identical to seizures. Tics. These are intermittent and spontaneous repetitive movements. Tics tend to focus on one area such as the trunk, face, shoulders, hands and neck. Muscle spasms. These are the involuntary contraction of muscles that mostly cause cramping.


Leg cramps also occur when you are sleeping and it is a common problem that may not need treatment. However, you should always tell your physician about the spasms you get at night. Tremors. These are involuntary movements that happen in a rhythmic motion. They are gentler compared to tics, spasms and convulsions. What Causes Twitching in Sleep? 1. Sleep Tremors The hands, arms and legs are the areas that are mostly affected by tremors. Tremors also occur in the trunk, face and voice when you are sleeping. When tremors occur while you are sleeping, they could be symptoms of some neurological disorder. Tremors can be caused by alcohol withdrawal, alcohol consumption, an overactive thyroid or it can run in the family. Even though it is most common in people who are over 40 years old, tremors can occur at any age. 2. Sleep Myoclonus Myoclonus twitches can either appear in pattern sequences or alone. There are cases where they appear in a specific body area then spread to other muscles in different parts of the body. This twitching mostly appears when you are in the initial sleep phase. It could also be a symptom of sleep disorder like the restless leg syndrome. 3. Sleep Convulsions These are involuntary spasms of the muscles and can last up to two minutes. When you are having sleep convulsions, take note of the legs or arms that are shaking, whether there is a change in consciousness or if you have fever. Sleep convulsions can be signs of medical conditions such as head injuries, heart disease, epilepsy, or low blood sugar. Seek medical attention if the convulsions do not stop. 4. Dystonia This movement disorder is what causes dystonic tremors.


It can affect people of all ages. The movements are as a result of twisting motions and painful positions that occur when your muscles involuntarily contract. 5. REM Behavior Disorder REM is a stage in sleep where your eyes start moving rapidly. Normal REM behavior is when your body is hobble with sleep paralysis, but the brain is still processing information. It is in this phase that strong dreams occur. If you have REM disorder, you will twitch violently and have muscle spasms when in REM phase. The muscles react and twitch as they are behaving within a dream. 1. Home Remedies for Twitching in Sleep Home remedies are usually effective solutions to muscle twitching. It is important to identify the reason for twitching in order to find a viable solution. 2. Talk to Your Doctor About Twitching in Sleep When it comes to treating sleeping problems, consulting your physician is one of the most critical steps. If it s needed, you will be required to participate in a sleep study. During sleep study, there are devices used by technicians to measure the movements of your body (which includes twitches). The study helps to determine what causes your sudden movements and what the appropriate treatment will be. Restless leg syndrome treatment. If twitching in sleep sleep recurs and interferes with your ability to sleep, you should consult your physician about it. We ve all been there. Youвre about to drift off into the land of nod, when suddenly your body twitches and your limbs, for some reason, jerk in random directions. It may cause confusion or even amusement, but have you ever wondered what causes this bizarre phenomenon? We look into scientific theories to find out what causes jerking and twitching in sleep.


What is Sleep Twitching? Twitching in sleep is academically known as a вhypnagogic jerkв or a вhypnic jerkв. It got its name because these twitches usually occur while you are in the hypnagogic state, which is in between being awake and asleep. According to the, they are most common in children and are basically an unconscious muscle spasm that occurs as you are drifting off to sleep. Hypnic jerks can be completely random or induced by certain triggers, such as sound or light. Sleep expert As we transition from wakefulness to sleep, we experience a hypnagogic state of consciousness. During this state, we can experience unique phenomena including aВ hypnic jerk that accompanies a falling sensation. During sleep, restlessness centered in the legs, or periodic jerking of the legs can be symptoms of sleep disorders. Why do I Twitch in My Sleep? If this all sounds too familiar, donвt worry because you are not alone. According to, 60-70% of people experience twitching in sleep and thatвs only the number of people that manage to remember having these twitches in their sleepy state. Many hypnic jerks can go unregistered. In terms of science, there are different theories for why twitching in your sleep could occur, but little concrete evidence. Some research suggests that sleep deprivation, and factors such as stress or anxiety, can increase the chances of twitching in sleep. Some people report hypnagogic jerks that are accompanied by the age-old nightmare of falling; which suggests there could be a link to stress. Although these movements can correlate with certain dreams, such as falling or tripping up, hypnic jerks do not usually reflect what is happening in the dream world.


Instead your brain builds dreams based on what is happening in the real world. In other words, as you twitch or jerk your brain corresponds with your bodyвs movements and you conjure up a falling scenario in your head. This is similar, to when your alarm clock goes off, and youВ incorporate the sounds into your dreams. But what makes these movements occur in the first place? The suggests that hypnagogic jerks are your last attempts of regaining control as your body drifts off to sleep, stating: вAs sleep paralysis sets in remaining daytime energy kindles and bursts out in seemingly random movements. In other words, hypnic jerks are the last gasps of normal daytime motor control. в One interesting hypothesis behind hypnagogic jerks claims that they occur when nerves вmisfireв during the bodyвs transition from being awake to asleep. Another idea links them back to an ancient primate reflex, suggesting the brain misinterprets the bodyвs relaxation as a cue that the sleeping primate is about to fall out of a tree, and thus causes the muscles to react immediately. Can I Stop Twitching in Sleep? While there is no clear explanation behind twitching in sleep, the above theories suggest that external factors can play a role. If youвve been suffering from many hypnic jerks recently, the best advice would be the avoid any additional light or sound in your bedroom and try to wake up naturally without an alarm clock. On top of that, incorporate relaxation into your daily routine to try and minimise stress and anxiety levels. How often do you experience twitching in sleep? Let us know in the comments!

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