It is well established that sleep is a vital sign of good health. Without adequate sleep the ability of body to function properly is impaired. Sleep related complaints are most common in humans. Many people suffer from insomnia, difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in staying asleep or too early awakening in the morning.
Twitching is an involuntary movement of muscles which can occur at any time and even while sleeping. It can be temporary for few seconds or it can recur persistently. If it is a sporadic phenomenon, no treatment is required, but if sleep twitching occurs recurrently it may be an indication of some medical problem.
What Causes Twitching While Sleeping?
Twitching can be of different types such as muscle cramps, tics, myoclonus, and tremors. It is important to identify the type of twitch during sleep to address the problem. There are several reasons of twitch, but few are commonly associated with sleep. Some persons may find simple change in sleep routine may cure the symptoms if it is related to alcohol or medicines.
- One of the reasons is restless leg syndrome. It is a sleep disorder where involuntary muscle movements occur during sleep. It is the creeping sensation in the leg which exhibits in the form of twitching.
- Periodic limb movement disorder is a disorder where the jerks occur for fraction of a second. Patient may have disturbing sleep due to this problem, as a result in the daytime the patient feels tired and listless.
- Many people experience hypnic jerks or sleep starts. This condition is considered to be normal phenomenon. It occurs when the person is just transiting from being awake towards falling asleep. The involuntary muscle spasms last for fraction of seconds. It may also occur in people who are more anxious and stressed or in people who have irregular sleeping habits.
- REM related twitches are not uncommon. The person does not move when he is in REM cycle. During this period of REM, the brain waves, heart rate and breathing is irregular. While sleeping the body enters in the REM mode of sleep and irregular nature of body functions may trigger twitches.
Home Remedies To Stop Twitching In Sleep
The first step to stop sleep twitching is to approach your doctor. After detailed medical history and examination he may recommend sleep study to determine the exact underling reason for the problem. Sleep study is a technique where several devices are used to study movements of body during sleep which also includes sleep twitching. Once monitoring of sleep is completely understood, it becomes easier to treat the condition.
- If the cause is restless leg syndrome a warm shower will help to reduce the symptoms. Rubbing a balm or pain relieving cream on legs before going to sleep is effective in reducing the incidence of twitching during sleep.
- A daily mild exercise is beneficial in dealing with the problem of sleep twitching. Walking, jogging or swimming or playing sports in ground often helps to reduce episodes of twitching of muscles at night.
- Sleeping regularly at same hours often controls sleep twitching. Also avoiding alcohol before going to bed plays an important role in alleviating this discomforting symptom.