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Hypnic jerks when falling asleep

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Maybe

Hi again,

 

when I was lying down to sleep yesterday, I saw some kind of strange lights when I closed my eyes. As if there was lightning inside my brain. It happened every 15 seconds or so.

 

When my body was relaxing and close to drifting off to sleep it suddenly was jerking brutaly for one time. The whole body was rocked. Did anyone every experience the same? I have the feeling that my whole system is just damaged. This was so awful...

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Punarbhava

Hi Maybe.......

 

I've experienced the same thing a few months ago but it didn't last long. I believe, at this stage of WD, your CNS is fine tuning and thus, can start to produce a few new symptoms and/or resurgence of older symptoms that may have left for some time. They are usually short-lived.

 

 

This happens to SO MANY people in any type of psyche drug WD and as unnerving as it feels, trust that your are likely nearing the final phases of WD.

 

 

BTW, I had the same lightning visual effects as yourself (actually a couple of weeks ago) only difference.....my eyes were open. This effect was very bright zig zag light pattern (like lighting bolts) appeared in the top vision field of my left eye and remained persistent for an hour straight. As you know from experience, it can feel very disturbing but I had to remind myself "this is fine-tuning time", it's temporary and it will pass.

 

 

I am experiencing improvements in other areas. For example, I'm able to listen to music more often without feeling frazzled to the max. .........can watch more TV, having larger chunks of time where the anhedonia lifts and I'm able to feel some connection to life, anxiety levels are really coming down, sound sensitivity is improving, skin sensations getting better although I do have temporary flare-ups.

 

Major improvements in digestion. BTW, I was so violently ill for a very long time but now, I can eat just about anything most days with only occasional mild nausea (which doesn't last long).

 

Oh, computer sensitivites aren't as bad. but that's a whole other subject that I will post about.

 

I am focused on keeping my life as calm and stress-free as possible since, I went through too many months of intense stress from multiple sources and as we all know, stress send the CNS into worse WD states.

 

With that said, I now can have a worried thought without instantaneously high-jacking my F&F response to ridiculous levels.

 

 

Please keep in mind that things can improve dramatically after a certain point in time. I've seen this occur for so many people, myself included (during my C/T xanax WD). I'm getting some real good signs and spells going on.

 

 

The fatigue is what's holding me back in a huge way which only makes depression and trauma worse since, I can't engage in much to distract. l've pushed myself many times, but most times, it wipes me out even more (I pay a price). I'm trying to ride this time out. I'm certain that the hot July weather doesn't help matters.

 

However, with that said, I am spending more time outside ......doing some mild yard work in bits and pieces (pace myself). I've learned to take rest time in between mild activities. Some days are better than others but I'm having more okish days. I'm doing better than two months ago and BTW, I was a very severe case.

 

Yes, re: our whole system is damaged as far as I'm concerned. HOWEVER, the damage is repairable. It's repairing each and every day and thus, it is not permanent. I know how rough things are for you at this stage but just hang on for a few more months. I promise .......things will start to come together.

 

Your CNS is like a jigsaw puzzle......trying to find the right pieces to fit into the right places (connect with the other pieces). Eventually all will fit together to form a complete picture. Perhaps this isn't the best analogy but it's one that I use to keep myself focused on in regard to what is really happening rather than how I perceive things when I'm suffering.

 

 

BTW, I'm now 25 1/2 months AD free. You're behind me by a few months. I know it's so hard to keep the faith but be proud that you have stayed the course and continue to do so. Your pay-off will soon manifest.

 

 

Much More Healing to You!

 

 

Punar

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Maybe

As always, your posting is very reassuring and I am very happy that you are feeling better in many regards, Punar :)

 

I am going to send you a huge bouquet of flowers when I am through wd, I promise :D

 

I felt very weird yesterday before falling asleep (a lot of anxiety) but did not have this brutal jerking. The bolts of light were more tolerable as well. I hope that this was a rather isolated incident.

 

Made a blood test and digestive test today, I am eager to get the results.

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Punarbhava

As always, your posting is very reassuring and I am very happy that you are feeling better in many regards, Punar :)

 

 

So glad I was able to reassure. Thank you so much Maybe for being happy for me.

 

 

I am going to send you a huge bouquet of flowers when I am through wd, I promise :D

 

Awww.that is so sweet but not necessary. You just get through this WD and recover......then give back to someone else who is suffering.....reassure them and make them feel a bit safer in this world when you see them struggling through what you went through.

 

 

I felt very weird yesterday before falling asleep (a lot of anxiety) but did not have this brutal jerking. The bolts of light were more tolerable as well. I hope that this was a rather isolated incident.

 

so sorry to hear this. Believe me, I do understand how upsetting this all is ESPECIALLY when we are so far off the drug. It is mind-boggling to say the least.

 

I too was getting a resurgence of anxiety at the stage you are at and it was deflating, especially since, I thought I was showing signs of improvement. Like you, I was experiencing anxiety at bedtime as well. I'd be dead tired but as soon as I hit the pillow I could feel the cortisol starting to dump into my system (not in panic attack proportions but enough to be uncomfortable). Many times, I had to get back up for awhile and then try going to sleep again a bit later.

 

Again, this was another piece of the brain puzzle that had to get sorted out in it's own way and in it's own time. I'm having far fewer such episodes and the one's I am having are so insignificant compared to a few months ago.

 

BTW, glad to hear that the jerking was not present and that the light bolts were less intense. Forgive me if I mentioned this before (can't recall) but many people can experience a long and hard wave just before they turn the corner. It's like a whole bunch of symptoms are working themselves out for the final time before they disappear and/or significantly descrease in intensity and then healing becoming more linear from that point forward.

 

It's like the brain throws one last confused long fit before it finds it's balance (so many pieces of the puzzle trying to snap into place). This could by why the jerking and light bolts effects have appeared at this time. There have been so many such stories on the benzo forums that I draw upon since, AD WD is very much similar. color]

 

Made a blood test and digestive test today, I am eager to get the results.

 

 

hope all tests come back okay.

 

Punar

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Maybe

I am feeling a lot better since Saturday, when I started into the holidays. Hope the down time will help me a lot :)

 

Definitely will I help others through the rough time when I am recovered. I can cope well with wd when I feel ok, so I won't have any trouble coming back to reassure others.

 

My days are currently up and down a lot, so it is hard to speak of a real wave where I mostly felt awkward for weeks. Changes by the hour momentarily. We will see hope it developes.

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Punarbhava

I am feeling a lot better since Saturday, when I started into the holidays. Hope the down time will help me a lot :)

 

 

somehow I missed this post.

 

 

Holiday time will be good for your CNS. Hope you are experiencing some noticable improvements.

 

 

Definitely will I help others through the rough time when I am recovered. I can cope well with wd when I feel ok, so I won't have any trouble coming back to reassure others.

 

 

BTW, just for clarification purposes, you do deserve to go live your life once you're recovered. I plan on doing so. In fact, I have to clean up years of accumulated chaos and destruction, compliments of multiple psyche drug WD's, not to mention I will have to become employed again. Consequently, I won't have as much time to engage in the forums. However, we can write about our progress, as it occurs, write a recovery story and then pop back into the group from time to time to reassure others that recovery does occur.

 

 

 

My days are currently up and down a lot, so it is hard to speak of a real wave where I mostly felt awkward for weeks. Changes by the hour momentarily. We will see hope it developes.

 

 

I was very much the same at that stage of WD, although I did experience waves on top of what you have described. While I'm not symptom free at almost 25 3/4 months off, I'm experiencing some significant improvements. Things feel so promising at this point. I believe you will experience a large degree of relief in a few more months.

 

 

Punar

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Maybe

Heh, I should not have written that I have no waves...seems one hit me at the start of the 2nd week of my holiday. Very weird head symptoms today as well as disbalance and movement sensitivities. How I hate this crap. It feels as if the whole cns is just one big "damage".

 

It is kinda weird, but I am feeling aggression towards my body that it is not able to heal properly. Sometimes I just could punch it for making me feel that bad.

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Claudius

It feels as if the whole cns is just one big "damage".

 

It is kinda weird, but I am feeling aggression towards my body that it is not able to heal properly. Sometimes I just could punch it for making me feel that bad.

 

I understand, sometimes my anger also directs to myself, not only because the repeated mistakes of going CT but also that the still torturous symptoms just do not go away, despite a very good therapist and tons of time... I am now approaching the 4 years point! And still unable to work and feeling pretty sick most of the time.

My therapist has been very supportive but today he said for the first time that he has a deadline in his head, if I make no further progression until Spring 2012, his advice will be to quit the sessions.

And because I tried all kins of therapy and I have most confidence in this man, that will leave me on my own. I really fear that there is a percentage that do not heal from this and I belong to that. And it is not doomed thinking, I had so much confidence in getting better after learning from PP about WD and making progress in some sense... but I feel my motivation to hang on and start a new life is deterioting now.

I try to cling to the last sparks of hope to hang on and I do not want to traumatize my mother by ending it all... but I really feel at the end of the rope. Sorry for ranting...

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Punarbhava

Heh, I should not have written that I have no waves...seems one hit me at the start of the 2nd week of my holiday. Very weird head symptoms today as well as disbalance and movement sensitivities. How I hate this crap. It feels as if the whole cns is just one big "damage".

 

It is kinda weird, but I am feeling aggression towards my body that it is not able to heal properly. Sometimes I just could punch it for making me feel that bad.

 

 

It's pretty impossible to like any of this journey when one feels so damaged. Believe me I truly understand how you feel.

 

We become alienated from our mind, body and spirit in a huge way. The only thing that kept me connected to the painful process is the realization that HEALING WILL OCCUR IF I ride out the storm. Our bodies ARE healing properly. I know it doesn't feel like it but the fact is, every system within the body is working hard to bring you back into balance.

 

I also tried to envision my CNS as working over-time (for my ultimate, long-term benefit). This thought kept me committed to the riding out one day at a time.

 

Not an easy feat though, as you know. The journey is long, tiring, discouraging, painful and downright torturous for many of us but there is NO WAY you will remain at this current level of suffering. At some point, things WILL ease up.

 

For me, it was the 25 month mark. While I'm not symptom free and have a ways to go, life is becoming easier and I expect to see even more progress in the coming months.

 

BTW, I'm not attempting to minimize your frustrations. Believe me, I completely understand your feelings.

 

I know you will hang there. You've come this far. You only have a bit more to go.

 

 

Much More Healing to You!

 

 

Punar

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Maybe

@Claudius:

I can absolutely understand your frustration. I cannot even comprehend how I will be able to go on if nothing has changed in two more years. I just hope that you did see improvements in a way that you are at least out of "hell". Still more than 6 months till spring 2012, do not think about it before it has arrived. Who knows if the next 6 months won't see you improving much more.

 

@Punar:

It is just so unbelievable to have hope in recovery if there were only minor improvements during the past 12 months. I still cannot understand how I could feel close to normal for around 3 months!! last year and then go down in flames again, just because I did some stupid acupuncture. That's really a joke.

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ladybug

I know people have experienced these jerks on and off, but has anyone experienced them consistently for a long amount of time? I have had these jerks every night for almost a year now. I am still on Paxil though. Is this really a sign of healing or a sign of a damaged CNS? They are torturous for me and I would think they would have gone away by now.

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Maybe

Hello Ladybug,

 

because you are still on Paxil, I would not call it healing or damage, it is more a malfunction of your system as a side effect of Paxil. The jerks could be gone when you are finally off Paxil or some time after.

I haven't had any jerks for months now. They will not stay permanently.

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Barbarannamated

Would this be myoclonic jerks? I just read something about that w serotonergic drugs, but can't recall the specifics.

I began having severe bruxism and TMD shortly afte starting Zoloft (sertraline) in 1993 which I later learned is a side effect of SSRIs. It was treated w mouthgaurds, attempt at braces, and Klonopin qhs. Of course, it took no time at all to become dependent on the benzo and now, almost 20 yrs later, am still on. Although I am not on ADs any longer, I still wake w very sore jaw, neck, head if I don't take Klonopin. I can't take generic--does not work for me.

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Shanti

The twitches in my fingers and toes don't bother me, they kind of feel good in a weird sort of way. What gets me is the jerks when they happen in my chest or my stomach. I can't stand that. I found that sleeping on my stomach helps, but naturally it starts to hurt my neck sleeping on my tummy. Since I tried a brain supplement for a couple days my jerks came back full force. Now I know what people mean when they say they're sensitive to supplements.

 

I get the lightening flashes too. They only started when I started to taper.

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Shanti

Is anyone else experiencing the jerks in the chest area? That really freaks me out. It feels like my heart is jerking. I know it's the "jerks" because everywhere else on my body is going through it. I almost went to the ER last night because I was thinking I might hurt my heart with these jerks. But I took another remedy and it calmed down so I slept okay the rest of the night.

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Shanti

I read that Calcium is one of the best natural remedies for jerks. I'm going to try taking one Tums a day and see if I can handle it.

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Shanti

I had the jerks last night, in the heart. And I do not like that! I got up and resorted to taking a Xanax and went back to bed. I didn't have any trouble after that. I really don't like taking Xanax, but I really was afraid it's hurting my heart. Hopefully the Calcium will work.

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Shanti

Sorry this seems to be my temporary journal lol. It's just such a troubling symptom that I haven't found a good remedy for. I didn't have the jerks at all last night, and I just tapered down from 20 mg to 17.5 yesterday. I started having the jerks even before I started to taper in August, at 40 mg. I wonder if my body is sensitive to the serotonin so when I dropped it brought relief of the jerks.

 

I just edited this to add that the reason I suspect that I'm sensitive to serotonin is that I read jerking is a symptom of Serotonin Syndrome.

Edited by Shanti

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squirrel

Hi Maybe. I have also experienced the white lights in my head when I am lying in bed with my eyes closed sometimes accompanied by a loud bang ! pretty weird .

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Skylark

I don't know what this is, but when I'm falling asleep, I'll suddenly jerk awake as if something happened, but nothing did. No nightmares, either. It's a violent seizing up of my whole body. A bit like falling and catching yourself. Getting more frequent. Anybody else have this?

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legan

Two months off . I had it and for the last 10 days it disappeared. Now my head is shaking lol.

 

I think you shouldnt put prrssure in your nervous system . Dont try to have sex or ejaculate . whever i did masturbate . I foubd my self jerking after .

 

Try milk . Milk works great for me .

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coldturkmama

It happened to me a lot....almost like a seizure. So weird!

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Ydgully

Hi could be a "sleep start" or "hypnic jerk" , babies have them too , somthing to do with systems in the brain changing ready for sleep . Pretty normal i think , i have them sometimes.

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Petunia

I don't know what this is, but when I'm falling asleep, I'll suddenly jerk awake as if something happened, but nothing did.

 

I went through a stage in early withdrawal when this would happen while I was trying to go to sleep at night. It stopped after about a month. Then it would happen if I tried to take a nap during the day, that went on for a lot longer, I gave up on daytime naps because it was impossible, but my ability to go to sleep at night improved quite quickly. I had problems staying asleep, but the jerking awake while trying to go to sleep didn't last long.

 

There's some discussion about this symptom in this topic:  Sleep problems: That awful withdrawal insomnia

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DaddyCee

yes I have had a similar experience when either being put on to the Escitalopram drug or when cutting down or stopping it. I'm now over 2 years off and can say that I don't have problems like this anymore.  I also had problems catching daytime snoozes when I was first off from the meds, but this has got considerably better over time.

 

Namaste,

 

DC.

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ladybug

They are called hypnic jerks. While people who have never taken meds can have them, they can become much more pronounced in WD. No doubt another symptom of a sensitized nervous symptom.

 

I had them quite severely for several months and then moderate for some time after that. Mine lasted all night and made it impossible to sleep (or nap) so I resorted to a very small dose of Xanax to get sleep every couple of days. I also found that Magnesium Glycinate made them worse so if you are taking that type of Magnesium it's something to consider.

 

The good news is that in time they went away and even though I'm still tapering I rarely get these jerks now.

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Skylark

Thanks, everyone. Sorry for the delayed response. I've been struggling badly the last few weeks. My taper was rushed and very messy, and I was on multiple drugs from age 13-22, so I'm sure my situation might be different from some of yours. Ladybug, what a slow and disciplined taper! I got scared and tried to cold turkey from 80 mg of Paxil. NO!

 

Anyway, I'm dealing with the original "symptoms," which are mostly caused by trauma, grief, and other very concrete reasons for "depression." My problems were extreme to begin with. Adding drugs to a recovering child's brain was disastrous (and monstrous, but that's another story). Now I also have the fallout of the drugs and WD, and my brain still trying to deal with the original problems...yeah, it's so hard I'd be dead if God if ever left me alone.

 

I'm seeing a new counselor tomorrow, though, and praying this works out and that I'm onto the road to recovery at last. I started seeing her just last week, and it's been a tremendous help, but things have been really rocky.

 

I'm not having this symptom, but I've been thinking that food might be the cause of its return. Food affects me strangely these days, sometimes restarting WD symptoms, years later. Too much sugar, for example, does not help me.

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greenwell3977

Hi All.   I got off Wellbutrin 6 weeks ago (and serzone about a year or two ago).  The last few nights I have had really bad hypnic jerks literally every time I fall asleep.  I am worried this will continue for a while.  I am only able to sleep an hour or two each night due to the shaking.

 

Is this normal for someone who got off an anti-depressant?  Should I go to a sleep doctor?  Should I take any supplements?  Should I be worried?  Or will this pass?  Thanks.

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Wellbutrinsucks

Hi  @greenwell3977. I had the same jerks for several weeks several months after I got off of Wellbutrin too. They only come

back very rarely now. How are you now? Are you still dealing with them? 

 

It can can be a common symptom of getting off of AD, as I have read around here. The two most popular supplements to try are magnesium and Omega-3, though some say it made their problems worse, but you can try them at a really low dose and one at a time to see if they will work for you.

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greenwell3977

Hi @Wellbutrinsucks

Thank you for your response.  I am doing a little better now.  I was getting the jerks every night and barely sleeping at all.  The magnesium seemed to help in the beginning but I wasn't getting deep sleep since it's sedating and my hunch is that the magnesium just made things worse in the long run.  So I stopped taking the magnesium.

 

Today, I still get the jerks but not as often.  I am trying to attack it by working on my stress and anxiety. 

 

The jerks are one of the worse things I've had to deal with in my life.  Hopefully they don't come back too often.  I'm glad to hear they don't come back too often for you.

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Wellbutrinsucks

Yeah I know the feeling @greenwell3977. It was so terrifying and I barely got a few hours of sleep a day, if any. I’m thinking of trying magnesium for muscle twitches and hopefully it helps, because that has been the most distressing and enduring symptom of this whole ordeal that started last June.

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teePeer1

Dear All,

I am currently on 10 mg of Paxil and occasionally use lexotanil (6-7 times a month in very small doses). My basic issue is an SSRI induced sleep disorder and hypnic jerks (with ocassional bouts of depression that makes me weepy). But My jerks are  MY CORE ISSUE.  They occur cyclically (mostly at sleep onset) and worsen during my periods. Sometimes, they keep startling and waking me all night. I have made good progress in a year but I still have to use lexotanil (a benzo) as needed. On 20 mg of paxil, I did not need to use a benzo for two months, but since I want to taper off my AD eventually the jerks returned when I reduced paxil. My jerks  are, however, less vicious than before but some nights are still terrible (snorting, heart palpitations, sweating...) However, in this situation in which I use a benzo 6-7 times a month (0.25 mg to 1.25 mg depending on how bad my jerks are), how should I taper off a benzo? Or should I wait to get off Paxil first? I understand benzos are very addictive and this can backfire or I can get kindling effect so I am very confused how to move further. I want to move forward cautiously. And would very much appreciate an advice from fellow sufferers. I tried Vitamin B 12 and melatonin (these supplements don't suit me. I also use probiotics for my intestinal issues that occurred because of tapering)

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manymoretodays

teePeer,

I've moved your post here, as well as copied it over to your main introduction page......which is here  teePeer1

 

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Jakebob

Hello Everyone! I seem to be suffering from this hypnic jerks. I was on 30mg paroxetine for about the last 3 years. I started tampering in January 2018 and completely stopped taking it after 7 months in August 2018. After 3 months since the last dose, I started having more often sleeping problems. It usually was panic attacks and irritation during the night, but I also had this hypnic jerks in my entire body. I feel them in my eyes, my head, my chest, and my legs and toes. They happen during the day, but they are worse during the night. In some rare cases, they might feel actually quite pleasant. During the night time, they are a nightmare though.

 

On 2/21/2016 at 7:13 PM, Skylark said:

when I'm falling asleep, I'll suddenly jerk awake as if something happened, but nothing did. No nightmares, either. It's a violent seizing up of my whole body. A bit like falling and catching yourself. Getting more frequent.

This seems to be exactly what I'm experiencing. What's even stranger is that the last night that I had them I was pretty relaxed, didn't worry too much and they were as strong as never before.

 

I'm on 15mg mirtazapine for about 4 years now. It always helped me to fall asleep but now I have to sometimes increase it to 30mg. I was taking supplements like lutein, omega 3 and magnesium but when my problems with sleep started I stopped all of them. I think in a few days I'll start with either omega 3 or magnesium. One at the time and see if it helps or makes things worse.

 

On 7/10/2011 at 9:04 AM, Maybe said:

when I was lying down to sleep yesterday, I saw some kind of strange lights when I closed my eyes. As if there was lightning inside my brain. It happened every 15 seconds or so.

It happens to me too from time to time. 

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