Twitching or jerking is involuntary, sudden movements that can occur anytime, including while a person is sleeping.
Involuntary twitches can be troublesome while a person is awake and the problem can interfere with sleeping patterns in some cases. Identifying the type of twitching occurs during sleep is important because it can help the patient find a viable solution to the problem.
Sleep myoclonus happens at the onset of sleep and it is a problem in the first stage of sleeping.

One person may say that they are twitching or jerking during sleep when they are having muscle spasms. Several medical conditions can lead to involuntary twitching while sleeping and it helps to recognize the type of twitch in order to track back to the possible cause. Some may find that simply changing their bedtime routine can alleviate the symptoms, especially if the twitching is caused by alcohol or medication. The sudden jolt of movement immediately awakens the person, which makes the experience jarring, if not disturbing.

If the movements are sudden and severe, they may disrupt sleep enough to cause excessive daytime sleepiness, memory problems, or even depression due to sleep deprivation. For PLMS, doctors may prescribe anti-seizure medications, sleeping pills, or narcotic painkillers, the same drugs that are used to treat restless leg syndrome.

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