Twitching is a very common symptom at night. Firstly, some twitching is normal. Some people have a little bit of restlessness with their legs in the evenings, which can be considered as normal as long as it is not bothersome. It is certainly very normal to twitch at the start of your sleep, and these twitches are often dramatic, and can disturb your bed partner, and typically occur during the first half-hour of the night’s sleep. Some twitching can occur with dreams, and younger people tend to have more dreaming sleep, and hence more twitching.
People tend to twitch more if their sleep is disturbed, often for general reasons such as stress, discomfort e.g. back pain, an active mind, inadequate exercise, inadequate bright light exposure, etc.
What would be considered abnormal is where there is a lot of twitching as a result of laboured breathing or snoring (sleep apnoea spectrum), or associated with repetitive disturbing dreams (Parasomnias), or twitches that may be so dramatic that people can lash out and hit their bed partners (Parasomnias).
Other people have a condition called restless legs during the day, and the restlessness which is evident at night is called periodic leg movements syndrome (PLMS). Usually it involves the legs moving, but sometimes body twitches and arm movements are also present. Some people only have restless legs at night.
In general, try to work out whether it is disturbing, or if it may fall into the normal spectrum. If not, talk to your general practitioner. The sort of things that a sleep physician would look at it is the amount of stress that you carry into your night’s sleep, light exposure during the day, adequate exercise, not overdoing stimulants such as caffeine or cigarettes, and then vitamin D blood levels, iron studies in women and possibly thyroid function, basic general blood tests for anaemia and kidney function, and possibly a sleep test.
I hope this helps!
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