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Definition of Hypnic jerk

Hypnic jerk: The common normal phenomenon of jerking awake, usually accompanied by a feeling of falling, just as one is drifting off to sleep. Also called a sleep jerk or sleep start.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24816
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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