T Nation

Twitching Before Falling Asleep


I thought this was only me, but then someone else posted that it happens to him too, so I'm opening it up to a larger audience.

Ever since I started to train seriously, I often twitch as I'm relaxing into sleep. It's not painful, and it's not even uncomfortable but it's odd: I'll be relaxing, nearing sleep and then various muscles will suddenly jerk. I figured this was just part of the recovery process and since it doesn't happen TOO much have simply been ignoring it. But now I wonder if it's a signal I'm not getting enough of a particular nutrient or that I'm doing something I shouldn't (or not doing something I should). I'm somewhat older --48 -- but in good health.

Does this happen to anyone else? And for you with more experience than I in training (which is most of you) -- is this something to be concerned about/should I be doing anything about it?


It means you're not getting enough protein.

I'm kidding, of course.... no idea.


Happens to me too. I've nearly punched myself in the face a few times. No clue what it is.


This happens to me if I really run dowm my CNS. I found it happened most often after doing a program like EDT or after oly lifting.


From Ask.com:

Myoclonus is a term used to describe the jerking or twitching of a muscle. Healthy people experience myoclonus on a regular basis and it can also be the symptom of an underlying medical condition which requires medical attention. This involuntary muscle movement can take a wide variety of forms, appearing in any muscle in the body at any time, depending on the underlying cause of the myoclonus.

Some examples of normal myoclonus include hypnic jerks, which often happen as people are falling asleep, and hiccups. This type of myoclonus is not a cause for concern, although it can be startling or irritating. People can also experience random twitches and muscle spasms which are not associated with a medical issue. An athlete, for example, might twitch after a heavy workout, and sometimes the nervous system experiences a random glitch which generates a twitch for no apparent reason.


I've had the hypnic jerks, which are weird, but also had a different twitching. Turned out I wasn't getting enough protein. If I start to feel leg muscles wanting to get restless, I drag myself out of bed and get a protein shake. Works every time. It only happens after a hard workout.

What's your diet like?


I'm trying to lose a bit more weight...thanks to the holidays, I'm about 207 now. I need to get down to 199, and would like to get to 195. I'm 6'3". My aim is 2500 calories a day; I have at least one protein shake per day and eat yogurt/milk/cheese/nuts every day. I think I'm getting enough protein, but you never know...and having another shake every day won't hurt.


In my case, I'm eating a pound of ground beef, half a pound of pork, canned chicken, canned tuna, salad with hardboiled eggs and 4 protein shakes a day just to gain anything at all. Any less than that and I can't sleep - toss & turn endlessly. Don't know if that's excessive, but that's what I need.

You mentioned yogurt, milk and cheese. You're not sensitive to dairy, are you?

I may not be the best person to advise you on losing weight, since that seems much easier for me than other guys.


Try a teaspoon of mustard. It works for me when the legs start to jerk.


I thought everyone twitched occasionally whilst getting to sleep. Personally I dont think its got anything to do with training or health. I think its just normal.


I twitch now and then. I happen to slap myself in the forehead one time. It happen real quick and was a loud slap. Man it woke me up real quick. Now I place my hands under the pillow or pin the arms so its away from my head so it won't happen again. Also I keep the hands away from my wife's head. She might end up with a shiner in the morning.lol.


This happens almost every night to me, usually only once right before I first go to sleep. I think its normal for people who lift.

On an aside, 6'3" 195lbs is really freaking small. Do you have a work or training goal that you need to be that thin for?


I have been doing this for years, wife tells me it is the only way she knows that I am asleep. I have yet to see any clinical studies on upper body movement. Now there are a ton of studies on RLS (restless leg syndrome) which has a lot of similarities.

What pisses me off is to when it actually prevents me from falling asleep. I already have issues with insomnia and I will almost be asleep then start twitching. Happened last night, I really dont think I fell asleep last night.