Sleep-Related Movement Disorders: Hypnic Jerks
Purpose of Review
Hypnic jerks represent a benign physiological phenomenon of sleep, which must be differentiated from other sleep-related movement disorders and epilepsy. A comprehensive review of hypnic jerks is presented with emphasis on recognition, physiology, evaluation, and treatment.
The recent edition of the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-3) has classified hypnic jerks as a sleep-related movement disorder under the subheading isolated symptoms and normal variants. Although generally benign, there have been increasing reports of excessive hypnic jerks in neurological disorders such as Parkinsonism, migraine, and brainstem lesions and children with neurologic disorders. Recent research identifying changes in the polysomnogram has led to a better understanding of the physiology of hypnic jerks. A variety of different motor patterns have been described; however, the origin and physiology of hypnic jerks remain enigmatic.
Hypnic jerks represent a fascinating phenomenon of sleep; however, additional studies are needed to clarify their physiology and origin.
KeywordsHypnic jerks Sleep starts Hypnagogic jerks Sleep-related movement disorders Myoclonus Physiology
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Robyn Whitney and Shelly K. Weiss declare no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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