(If this is better suited for IMHO, mods please move).
I have been experiencing what I’m going to label as “kinda severe” hypnagogic jerk/jolting awake. In my cursory research, it seems this term is more associated with falling asleep.
That is not what is happening with me.
I fall asleep normally and sleep through the bulk of the night fairly well, but I will rouse anywhere between 4-7 am, and depending on when I need to get up, will want to snooze. What happens from that point on is this:
I usually have mild to severe nightmares, typically about really mundane things like relationship fights or losing track of someone/something to a distressing degree -OR- just full on apocalyptic end-of-the-world nightmares. In any case, every 10-30 minutes I will jolt awake. This “jolt” is difficult to explain, it feels like my body gets tense as if shocked, and I awaken quickly, usually slightly out of breath and my heart rate has spike. It’s an immediately alarming sensation, even tho everything is ok. The jolt is not associated with any actions in the dream, so it’s not like I’m falling and jolt awake.
This seems to be, according to my [again very cursory] research, described as a hypnic jerk. It just seems odd it’s coming at the end of my sleep cycle instead of the beginning.
At first I thought it could be sleep apnea, and the sudden jolt is me finally gasping for air. But I’m not SUPER out of breath, and I feel more like the physical jolt startled me, raising my heart and breathing rates. My fiance doesn’t report any stopping of breathing, but I do snore a little occasionally.
It really sucks because this shallow sleeping means I remember all my dreams, and I really can’t tell you what a dick my brain is to me…only bad dreams and usually really digging into an emotional nerve. I woke up feeling flat out depressed this morning even tho I’m really happy in my daily life. I can typically shake the feelings by mid day.
What is this, and how do I pursue it? Right now it feels almost silly to bring up with a doctor, considering there’s a pandemic. “Sometimes I get sleepy-spooked! Let me take up your valuable medical time!”