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Hypnic Jerks

No, Not that kind of jerk. You're nodding off in class, suddenly your muscles twitch and you're wide awake again. What causes these sudden muscle contractions?

A professor standing in front of a chalkboard

Photo: Indiana Public Media

Hypnagogic myoclonus, or what is otherwise known as a hypnic jerk, is a normal part of a body's transition from being awake to being asleep.

Adam Schweigert

is the Online Director for Indiana Public Media (WFIU/WTIU) and has been with WFIU Public Radio since the fall of 2003, previously serving as Director of Multimedia Initiatives, Music Director and Arts Bureau Chief. Adam has been involved in the creation and production of Kinsey Confidential, Earth Eats, Artworks, Muslim Voices, and A Moment of Science (video). He was born in Akron, Ohio, received degrees in music composition, music theory and oboe performance from Ohio State University and attended Indiana University for music composition and computer music. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his dog Sydney.

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