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Hypnic Jerk Spiritual Meaning: What Does Having A Hypnic Jerk Mean Spiritually?

Even if you’ve never heard the term “Hypnic Jerk,” chances are, you’ve experienced this phenomenon. If you’ve ever felt yourself drifting off to sleep only to feel your body twitch with involuntary jerks, then you know from firsthand experience what Hypnic Jerk is.

What you may not know is what it means when your body goes through this involuntary series of twitches that preclude sleep. Perhaps you thought something startled you. Perhaps you felt it was Divine Intervention, waking you from sleep because there is some business you have to attend to.

While Hypnic Jerk has scientific explanations, like everything affecting the body and mind, there is also spiritual and energetic significance to this experience. Once you understand the spiritual meaning of Hypnic Jerk, you’ll be better able to understand your body’s process of spiritual growth and evolution.

Understanding Hypnic Jerk:

It’s important to understand that Hypnic Jerk is completely involuntary. No one controls which muscles will twitch or when this phenomenon will occur. If your spouse chastises you for waking them because of Hypnic Jerk, remind them that, like hiccups, this is something your muscles do without your conscious control. Yes, just like Hiccups, Hypnic Jerk can set in seemingly randomly.

In addition to muscle twitches, someone who experiences Hypnic Jerk can also produce the feeling of falling and is sometimes associated with a dream that you’re falling. You may feel as if you’re falling out of bed, or lose your sense of space during the episode.

It can feel as if you are startled awake when you experience Hypnic Jerk as well. In addition to the uncomfortable feeling of falling, you may feel a bit disoriented to realize upon waking that it had just been a dream. Especially since many times, people don’t realize they had begun to fall asleep. They may still feel partially awake or in very early stages of sleep.

Spiritual Meanings of Hypnic Jerk:

Just as the body and mind are connected, so too are all physical phenomenon connected to deeper spiritual meaning. The same is true of Hypnic Jerk. Though Hypnic Jerk is the physical sensation associated with falling it is not the same as having a dream about falling. Sometimes both phenomenon overlap, and so it’s important to discern whether you dreamt of falling or had the experience of physically falling, or both.

Some believe Hypnic Jerk as a physical sensation of twitches and falling has a spiritual connection to ancestral experiences of needing to be vigilant during the night. For those who subscribe to this belief, it is thought that an ancestral memory of sleeping on insecure, elevated surfaces for protection and the cellular memory of threats from predators, lead to the body “remembering” the fear of falling as a protective measure.

Hypnic Jerk or Falling Dream?

Sometimes Hypnic Jerk occurs in tandem with a dream of falling from a high place. Though technically, these are not true dreams as they don’t occur in the REM sleep state and are more closely related to hypnogogic visions or dreamlike visions that occur as you are falling asleep. Some believe that experiences in this important transitional state are associated with intuitive awakenings.

This is because during this phase, your conscious filters and doubts are inhibited, and it is easier to connect with subconscious wisdom. Similar to the process of being hypnotized or in a trance, in this state of mind, ideas and epiphanies can rise to the surface from your subconscious.

Interpreting Hypnic Jerk Experiences: What Does Having A Hypnic Jerk Mean Spiritually?

Hypnic Jerk Spiritual Meaning

Spiritually, there are several meanings for Hypnic Jerk. One is that the sense of falling symbolizes a descension from status or fear of losing ground. You may be insecure about your career or relationship. You may fear a proverbial “fall from grace,” and the experience of a Hypnic Jerk helps you remember that even if falling is the worst-case scenario, you can still become liberated in the process.

Another way to interpret the falling sensation is in a positive light, as in the sensation of a free fall as a reminder from the subconscious to let go. You may be encouraged by your intuitive wisdom to let go of control through the sensation of falling as you’re transitioning into sleep.

The message can be to surrender control. Even if you fear experiencing a loss of security, status, wealth, or love, Hypnic Jerk as symbolic of falling can also indicate you will be free of worry once you let go of control. These experiences can be a reminder that control itself is an illusion.

Some worry that Hypnic Jerk can be a sign of alarm. This likely stems from the belief that falling or dying in a dream will cause physical harm to your body if you don’t wake up. This is a belief that is not scientifically substantiated, however some fear that because the Astral Body is wandering while the physical body is asleep, that any changes to the physical body could “sever” the connection to the Astral Body.

As such, some believe Hypnic Jerk is related to the Astral Body trying to leave the physical body to explore the realms of dreams and intuition and being brought back to the physical body in a strong way. Some will say their Astral Body “slammed into” their physical body causing the Hypnic Jerk experience.

Supernatural Interpretations of Hypnic Jerk:

Some believe Hypnic Jerk relates to interaction with the realm of Spirits. As you fall asleep, you are more suggestible and open to your connection with Spirits. If a Spirit is trying to get your attention, the time to strike is in this transitional phase. For this reason, some people believe that Hypnic Jerk, particularly the muscle twitches associated with this experience, are caused by a spirit trying to get your attention.

Some may feel as if they’re being “awakened” by a ghost or spirit. Because of the startling nature of this experience, it is often associated with malevolent spirits trying to scare you. Yet others believe that the spirits can be playful or nefarious, but that the experience of being startled by their energy leads to Hypnic Jerk.


Whether you experience Hypnic Jerk as a sensation of falling, muscle jerks, or both, there’s no need to fear. Whether you hit the ground before waking or not, you will be alright anyway. Yet it’s wise to pay attention to this phenomenon. Hypnic Jerk experiences can indicate psychic awakenings and connection with the spiritual realm. It can also indicate your body preparing for Astral Projection. This phenomenon can also have spiritual connotations associated with the need to let go and allow things to happen in their own time.

Featured image: karin and the camera via Flickr cc2.0

Angela Kaufman is a Certified Intuitive Consultant, Psychic Medium, Intuitive Empowerment, Life Coach and an LCSW. She is an amazon published author and was Featured on several shows like Discovery Channel’s A Haunting, Echoes from the Past (2007) 14 Degrees: A Paranormal Documentary, Tune In to Wellness Today with LisaMarie Tersigni, and Empowering Entrepreneurs with Melissa Carter as well as numerous radio interviews. She is the author of Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down - Unleash the Power of Your Inner Tarot Queen and also co-authored three books on metaphysical spirituality (Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch | Wicca What's the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions | The Esoteric Dream Book; Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind). Angela regularly conducts workshops, the Inner Queen coaching program and loves writing articles, that blend social criticism with spirituality.

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