Ever had a time when your fingers or calf muscle started twitching on their own? Or maybe your eye lids, areas under the eye, or your cheeks having a spasm party on their own? Even muscles on the back of your neck could twitch. These twitches, jerks, spasms are actually similar to hiccups. It’s called a myoclonic jerk.
AKA myoclonus, myoclonic jerks are involuntary twitching of your muscles. If you’ve had a lack of a good night’s sleep or been going through irregular sleep schedule, that’s probably the cause of those spasms and jerks. Stress and alcohol may also give you more jerks than usual.
They’re electrical signals being sent from the brain to wake up the muscle, or to relax it. Similar to how your heart beats on its own, sometimes your leg falls asleep and your brain fires off a signal to wake the leg up.
To some extent, they’re normal and part of life. They can also be indications that your diet or sleep or something is off with your daily routine or schedule.
Want to stop those twitches? Here’s a few things you can try:
- Massage – Sometimes a solid massage would do the trick
- Sleep – Most of the time, it has to do with your sleep. We live a sleep deprived world. If you haven’t been sleeping well or consistently, it’s definitely a good idea to take care of that first and foremost before doing anything else.
- Anxiety – if you’re stressing over stuff, it’s time to figure them out. Take time for yourself to take care of your work, your relationships, your life. Doing so will help you out emotionally and with your sleep, too!
- Caffeine/alcohol – drinking more than usual? Slow it down. You should also try cutting off for a few days to see what happens.
- See a doctor – if you’ve had an injury recently to the head, neck or back, taking any medication, or if the spasms are persistent, or worried about what’s going on, please see a doctor.
Oh, and also: if you’ve ever had a jerk or jump startle just when you’re about to drift to sleep.. Congratulations! You’ve had a hypnic jerk.