The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

Tired Of Sleeping Alone - My Sleep Starts Story

My husband sometimes won't sleep with me anymore because my sleep starts or jerks scare him. We have a full-wave waterbed and he says that my jerks create huge tidal waves that practically wash him right out of bed. I get so stressed out about it that I think that I am trying to control or resist falling asleep and thereby intensify or increase the frequency of the sleep starts/jerks. He's frustrated and I was beginning to worry that something was really wrong with me. But now I know that I'm not really "sleeping alone" with this thing. ;) Maybe I can get my husband to read this site and convince him to give me a massage each night to help me relax. Whatever works, right???

I have always experienced these jerks for as long as I can remember, but they didn't wake me often. Now, they are quite frequent and my husband says that they happen throughout the night sometimes. But the stress has increased in my life with recently buying a house (a 100-year old DIY fixer-upper), my mother's sudden unexpected death, and my kids just entering their teens. I am 45, a school bus driver, mother of 2, and rarely get more than 6 hours of sleep each night. I read in bed (a chapter or 2) to help clear my head of all the stuff that I need to do tomorrow or didn't get done today. I have stayed up all night before to get caught up, but it happens less often the older I get.

I will experience the terrible sensation of falling and hallucinate slipping, tripping or missing a step on the stairs. Then I violently jerk my whole body, even my arms are up in front of me to brace for the perceived fall. Afterward I lay there while my heart pounds wildly from fright until I finally settle down to sleep again. This is always when I first start to fall asleep. My husband says that I do not wake when it happens during the night. He has spoken to me to find out if I'm OK, but I do not answer. He has observed me during these episodes and says that I am not experiencing sleep apnea (thankfully).

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for listening.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Hypnic Jerk Experiences.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.