I’m a man in search of a dream, both literally and figuratively.

My dream is to sleep again.

In the solitude of that sleep, I will be able to dream and allow my brain and body to heal and enjoy life the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Sleeping. Just close your eyes and drift off into another world and leave your current one behind.

For some of us, it’s the most difficult part of our lives.

I cannot sleep like a normal person because of muscle twitches and jerks at the VERY second I begin to fall asleep.

Every single time I begin slumber, a twitch and jolt from my rebellious body wakes me up.

I’m not alone either. Some call it hypnic jerks, or sleep myoclonus, or sleep starts. I call it torture.

This blog is to bring those of us suffering from this condition together. This is our voice. I’m finished suffering by myself and not knowing how to explain this to doctors or others. Let’s help each other gets our lives back. We don’t have to feel alone and helpless anymore.

189 thoughts on “About”

  1. Here is the link with good example of moro reflex while sleeping. Sometimes also called startle reflex. Quite common for children up to 6 months during sleep and awakening stages. The cause is to be believed undeveloped vestibular system. It may persists in later stages of life which is indicative of some issues in nervous system development.

    There is a lot of info on the web, including medical treatment and special gymnastic. I bet whatever is on this link has similar mechanics to our case if not exactly the same. It is still the question why it happens to us being adults but in my view whatever may happen to child may happen to an adult as well.

  2. MyoclonicMoments said:

    First of all, TheManWhoCannotSleep, when are we going to hear from you again? I really miss you stories… The lake was positively my favorite, but you never know which ones are others :) You do have a way with words.

    I’ve just connected to something: They reduce my anxiety around bedtime, which actually helps, in my case. For what it is worth.


  3. MyoclonicMoments said:

    Mark, I’m sure he will if you ask him to. He’s probably just busy.


  4. MyoclonicMoments said:

    Mark, He can, but he’ll need to know exactly where on his site you posted it. Even I am having trouble tracking it down.


  5. All, I may be on to something. Has anyone else had their GFR number tested? The rate at which the Kidney filters toxins? Mine is borderline not good. I read over and over that can cause sleep disorders including PLMD and Restless legs. About 2 months before I got my jerks I had a whole week of RLS. Never had it in my life either. I am going to see a Kidney specialist.

  6. PS. When I quit drinking my jerks subside or end. I drank 2 days ago and jerked so bad I hit myself in the face, jumped straight out of bed.. So it either causes mine or make it present itself. I am looking at the kidney and liver now as the culprit.

  7. My doctor has prescribed me Valproate, (aka, Depakote). I started using 300 mg before sleep around 2 months ago and it really helps to suppress jerks. I would say I almost have no jerks now. 300 mg is only 1/7 of the normal dose which is used for treating epilepsy, so this is very low doze without side affects.

    • Mark Jaggers said:

      Any idea what caused your jerks ? How long did you have them ?

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Anonymous said:

        Mark, I had brain concussion followed by insomnia. After appr 1 year jerks have started. It is certainly not due to alcohol.

      • I’m still seeing a lot of consistency in these problems from neck or head injuries. It really makes me wonder. I have a herniated disc in my neck that nobody has been able to correlate to the jerks. But, when I am lifting weights and aggravate the neck; the jerks are usually worse.

  8. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get
    a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same
    blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?

    Thanks a lot!

    • It was just an option for me on the original layout. I didn’t have to get a plug-in for it. Good luck!

      • Themanwhocannotsleep – I was looking through your comments before and I saw the point where you thought you’d have to resign from your job when it got so bad. May I ask what kind of work you do? I teach, so I need to have a high amount of energy and mental focus so I know that fear all too well. Also, something others have said and I know all too well do you experience an increase in the jerks if you are not quite tired enough to go to sleep right away? I fluctuate between thinking it is worse when I go to sleep kind of tired vs super tired like if I missed a good night’s sleep the night before.

      • I’ve never noticed the jerks being related to how tired I am. That’s one variable that never happens. I haven’t ever tied it to that. As for my job, it’s fairly public and I also have to be focused with a high amount of energy. That’s a main reason for a lot of the anxiety that the jerks produce. If I just worked in an office with no public scrutiny, it wouldn’t be as important to sleep. I can certainly empathize with your desire to need sleep before teaching. It must be difficult to be “on stage” in front of children or teens or whomever you teach.

  9. I’ve recently passed the year anniversary of my twitching condition; it was something I was surprised lasted a month much less a year! Mine goes into ‘remission’ for up to three weeks at a time but then it always comes back. To comment on what you were saying to the other, I’ll get the twitches when I am not super tired, but then I’ll also get them after about 3-5 hours of sleep. I take Clonazapam once a week when in remission, twice when I’m not, just on really important nights. I just don’t want to take it that often because the efficacy is compromised. I’ve learned to live on an average of 5.5 hours of sleep a night. Six or seven? Absolute heaven! But it sure beats the nights I didn’t sleep at all. Take care!

    • I said this before we have the exact same thing. What time do you go to bed usually?

      • Hey Mark, I try to be consistent about when I go to bed but I’ve gone through a lot of changes lately. I employ a sleep mask if I am going to sleep past seven and ear plugs if I am going to try going until eight. When in remission I get some really good nights of sleep and how I know it is coming back is when I start to get restless again, waking up after only a few hours of sleep and needing to take something to go back to sleep (a Benadryl or sometimes mirtazapine or melatonin). I believe I am heading back toward the twitches because I’ve just had a week of really bad sleep. Any night now! Take it easy!

    • By the way I am exactly one year last month also. So weird.

  10. Poodlepal said:

    I’m also a teacher. It’s a stressful job that can play havoc with your sleep for sure. My current job is so awful that I’m actually sleeping well. My last job was almost as bad but my commute was shorter, so I had more trouble with twitching and regular insomnia. I will still twitch if I try to take a nap or if I’m not that tired. Usually, being exhausted calms it down. I also have waking twitches as I try to wind down.

    Good luck to all of you. My case is mild compared to some others (knock on wood) but I know what you’re going through.

    • Anonymous said:


  11. Hey Mark, I just thought of something I thought would be interesting. A year ago was when my twitches started, and simultaneously I moved closer to my parents (to seek treatment from a doctor they knew because mine was dropping the ball on my care) and I found that my father was going through the same thing, and that he had been suffering from it for years. We were both scheduled to do sleep studies and his determined that during the night he was getting about 1.5 hours of ‘real’ sleep! In his case it was later determined that some of his many medications (heart meds and prednisone) may be the culprit but of course the doctor wasn’t certain. He was put on lorazapam. My study revealed that I was getting much more than that (about 4 hours) but nothing apparent was at the heart of it and the neurologist figured it would go away eventually. It does come and go (I just had nine horrible nights of restless/twitchy sleep) and then it passes and I’ll have a week or so of ‘normal’ sleep. I also get twitches when I try to nap during the day, in fact can’t nap; after I twitch five or six times I actually feel rested and just get up. I get the twitches in the early morning after I’ve had about six or seven hours (those are GOOD nights!) and eventually just get up. I’ve learned to function on four to six hours of sleep and not feel like a zombie, and I only take clonazepam about once a week (hope it stays that way). Anyway, thought that might be of interest, that it may in some way be hereditary. I am a veterinary technician/dog walker/pet sitter and sometimes stress causes the twitches when I am extremely busy and I have to drive a lot through horrendous city traffic on a daily basis. I’ve also found that alcohol exacerbates it so I try to avoid drinking to excess. I was prescribed medical marijuana when the twitches first started and I found that it made them worse but now, a year later, it actually helps from time to time. I try not to use it often because I don’t want to be a ‘pothead’ but also it only works for a short time and then later the efficacy wears off and it simply feels as if I am gratuitously getting high. Wow, sorry for the novel but sometimes it is fun to talk about this. Take care!

    • Anonymous said:

      I said this before but I could have written the same thing you just did it appies to be EXACTLY.. The weirdest one is the nap thing>>> I can be 10 times more tired in the day than night but have twitches on the nap but not at night…What is that? Drinking fir sure makes them worse or in my case may have caused them, I am trying something called Saltstick, it is an electolyte pill they are cheap runners love them. If I quit drinking for months they go away fyi. MIne were gone for two months. True story which I have mentioned before I put rogaine on my head for 10 days and it gave me jerks immediately. Many things make them worse. The more relaxed at nigth you are the better. Valerian root helps a bit for sure.I have some other things like Lavander that can work done the right way but leaves you groggy nex day

  12. Anyone got new information on this?


  13. Jo wright said:

    Oh goodness just started to suffer from this terribly. I’ve always had them but been very minor. Had some extreme I’ll health and stress in last few weeks and now I cannot stop jerking all night. If I try and nap during day I just jerk away over and over. I am doing all the right ‘sleep’ things, meditation, no caffeine, good bed time routine. I had no idea how rare it was to be this serious, and assumed doctors would have an idea how to help but it seems not. They happen all over my body, leaving my heart racing. I almost feel like I’m dying. I am glad your website is here, or I wouldn’t know it was a problem for others. How on earth do you cope with the fatigue? Im trying to get over an illness, and now I don’t know what is the illness and what is lack of sleep!

    • I have the very same problem, and I had to see six (not kidding) different doctors and do a sleep study to get a diagnosis of exaggerated hypnic jerks. That amounted to a prescription for clonazapam, exhausted my health insurance and cost me about $10,000 total in medical bills and lost wages. I still have the problem and the clonazapam works, but there is another you can take that works equally as well without a prescription. It is dispensed by doctors in Japan, Italy and India but in America and the UK it is considered a research chemical. It is called etizolam and can be purchased legally online. An online store I’ve ordered it from is called Top Nootropics in California. It’s about a buck a pill. It is addictive and isn’t approved by the FDA so any choice you make I won’t be held libel, but I find that if I only use it once to three times weekly (interspersed with the clonazapam) the efficacy remains solid and I don’t get addicted to either drug. I only use either when I have to, forgoing them if I can. I too twitch when I try to nap, at sleep onset and through the night when it is bad, and most of the doctors didn’t believe it was neurological; they wanted to treat me for a variety of mental illnesses. You are definitely not alone. Google exaggerated hypnic twitches and see what comes up. Bring that into your doctor. If it doesn’t work, there is an alternative. Best of luck to you.

      • Jo Wright said:

        Oh my goodness, thank you. I know for a fact that this started because I have been so anxious and not sleeping well. I have always had trouble sleeping but over the last few years really looked after my sleep and done really well. I know that it’s happening becuase I’m exhuasted, and I need to be able to sleep to make them stop, but I can’t sleep because of the jerking! I think it will be much tougher in the UK health service, which is brilliant, but you can’t keep seeing differnet doctor after different doctor.

        Just looked at the website you recommended and they only ship in America. But I really appreciate your help.

      • Couple of more medication worked in my case. Currently I’m taking valproic acid (Depakin 300 mg) and it helps. I also used in the past phenibut, also helped. It is sold as vitamin supplement in some countries. I used both them for a long time and developed no addiction

      • Anonymous said:

        Where do you get this? valproic acid (Depakin 300 mg

      • Those would be good alternatives as well. For Joe, their is a reputable UK vendor that sells etizolam called Sensible Seeds. They ship all over Europe. But maybe try the other medications (vitamin supplements) that Alex suggested as they do have less side-effects and are not addictive. Yes, the neurologist told me that the twitches get worse the less you sleep. That is the catch 22; they don’t let you sleep and only sleep will help them to go away. I hope you can find some relief. I’ve been dealing with it for seventeen months now to varying degrees of severity. Take care!

      • Anonymous said:

        Klonapin never worked for me really. Valium in high enough does will knock you out…Totally. But you have a hangover from it also..Go take 10 MG valium, valarian root, zinc and magnesium and a lunesta before bed. That is what I have to take although im quitting valium.

  14. Jo Wright said:

    Hi everyone, thank you al for your help. Went to see my doctor and he prescribed zopiclone, he wasn’t sure it will work and neither am I. He seemed pretty taken a back by what I described, although he did believe me. Mainly because my husband can vouch for the jerks! Edgar, I found a reputable UK store for etizolam but will check out your suggestion too, I’m going to try the phenibut, and teh other suppplements suggested, but I can’t easily/safely get hold of teh other drugs suggested unless anyone has any ideas without a prescription. I feel a million times better knowing you are all here offering support. Hope things aregetting better or all of you.

  15. Jo Wright said:

    Alex, what dose phenibut did you take?

    • I started taking phenibut from 250 mg and then in couple of years came up to 500mg (2 pills) before night. After appr 2 years I switched over to Depakine (valproic acid)

    • Depakine is widely used broad spectrum anti-epileptic medication. Try to google. Ther is a lot of info there

  16. Jo Wright said:

    Hmm, I won’t be able to get it very easily in UK. I’d need a prescription and that would be nearly impossible to get I think. Unless anyone has any ideas how to get it!

  17. Hi All! I just want to report that my twitches have finally come to an end! I had them almost 3 years. Never had I a single night without jerks and they always stopped me from falling asleep no matter how tired I was. I had to use several medication during this time every single night. Last 6 months I took valproic acid known as Depakine and unbelievable but last month I was able to pull out of this! I still occasionally have some twitches but they do not prevent me from falling asleep. I also still have general problems with my sleep cycle (this was I believe the reason where the jerks started) but the absence of jerks now gives me hope I will improve quality of sleep. During these years I made a lot of research and findings that worked in my case. They are summarized below
    -minimize use of hypnic drags to avoid addiction and destruction to natural sleep cycle
    -use drags with focus on treating mioclonus epilepsy with no or little effect on sleep cycle. Valproic acid seems fit this requirement well
    -reduce anxiety during night. This is extremely difficult when jerks starts.
    -do more relaxation, finding good hobby, focusing on people that you love

    Hope my case might be helpfull for somebody here

    Good luck and take care!

    • Alex, where do you get Valproic Acid? I have found Zanax ER has really helped mine. I think this whole now is an anxiety disorder. Seems like you feel the same. FYI mine have went away only to come back months later.

      • Forgot my email

      • As far as I know depakine (natrium valproate) is sold in europe and US. this is a reference treatment in epileptic syndromes. In my case anxiety is to be blamed too. However I took depakine as it does not effect sleep itself, had no addiction and can be used for years with no serious side effects.

      • Is it over the counter? How do you get a prescription?

      • It was prescribed by my doctor. I was diagnosed night mioclonus.

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