Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Body Stretching while sleeping (Page 3)


January 18th, 2016
I have the same situation for the last couple of years. It's an actual night mare for me. I hope some one can answer why is this happening. I keep stretching aaaallll night.
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replied January 31st, 2016
full body stretches wake me up & recall dreams too loud
My body goes into these mandatory full body stretches 3 or 4 or 5 times every night and they wake me up but then I can go back to sleep. I am remembering way too many of my crazy dreams when I awake. And sometimes I feel like the volume is turned up way to loud in my dreams. I'm guessing my brain is having a hard time just doing the normal sleep stuff but I haven't told my doctor yet. I am about to tell her but I don't want to be on any drugs. Wondering if hypnosis, diet, yoga, acupuncture, chelation therapy, or deep tissue message might help?
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replied February 29th, 2016
I would recommend regular exercise and yoga!
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replied May 14th, 2016
When you guys say "stretching your legs" do you mean you point your toes and tense the calf and hamstring muscles as tight as possible? Because that's what i do. I'm not sure how long i've been doing it but its affected my ability to exercise. I have shin splints that don't go away. I've tried physical therapy for a year and had no luck. I think its likely due to this tensing of my calves at night. I sometimes catch myself doing it but can't stop it.. I also have the awful symptoms you get from over exercising such as irritable, moody, restless, constantly needing to drink water. The thing is i'm not even overexercising. I'd go for a quick slow 30min bike ride and the next week or two i have these awful overexercising symptoms. I feel like punching a whole in the wall for no reason. I literally can't do any form of exercising. I only do upper body workouts because i don't tense that part of my body. If anyone can relate please let me know. More importantly, if anyone has a cure/advice for this i would really appreciate it.

I have considered sleeping on my couch where it's not long enough and therefore i'm not able to point my toes and stretch/tense them. I'm also going to be taking magnesium supplements and possible doing some epson salt baths alone with daily meditation. I really hope i figure this out and wish all of you the best of luck.
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replied May 17th, 2016
I thought I was crazy when this started happening to me, but I am glad I am not alone.
For the past few weeks I have been waking in a full body stretch where all of my muscles tense and release. I also clench my jaw very tightly as well. This happens as I am turning over in bed, and continues several times from about 4am until I get up. The muscles in my legs have become extremely sore as a result, and I am feeling exhausted during the day from lack of quality sleep.
The only thing that has changed for me is I started taking thyroid medication about two months ago. I wonder if that could be a factor? I am probably also in need of a new mattress.
I have tried doing some yoga and taking magnesium before bed, but so far it has not made a difference.
Has anyone been to the doctor and had a diagnosis? I am scared that this could be something neurological. I have made an appointment with my doctor to discuss the problem. Does anyone have anything that they have found to help lessen these episodes?
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replied January 1st, 2017
Hello, has anyone figured this disorder out yet? I notice a common thread of recent injury, surgery, inactivity or change in exercise routine. Since I have compromised respiratory function, wondering if possibly caused by carbon dioxide buildup in our systems due to all these various reasons. As a possible solution, I will be trying different sleeping positions that increase my oxygen exchange and very gentle exercise / movement more often during the day. Would be interested in hearing other's outcomes and updates.
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replied February 10th, 2017
You mention sleeping positions. My involuntary stretching in my legs happens routinely when I sleep on my side. Sleeping on my back does not trigger it. It also seems to be triggered when I move in bed from the side position. I've been exercising heavily for about 4 years, and it only started about 3 months ago, but it happens every night now, several times a night. I'be been thinking of stopping exercising for a while to see it that eases the stretching, but I'm really reluctant to stop.
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replied February 20th, 2017
when i don't exercise, i get it. when i do exercise, i don't.
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replied February 20th, 2017
I suffer from this from time to time as well. I highly believe it is anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety and panic disorder for a lifetime. The days where I don't leave the house, sit around and don't exercise are the nights I struggle with constant involuntary stretching. When I exercise daily or go out salsa dancing/come home exhausted, it doesn't happen.
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replied April 7th, 2017
I've been sleep stretching for as long as I can remember. Didn't think anything of it until I had a back injury and thought the stretching was contributing to said injury. However, I finally went to a sports physician (after 4 years of not getting anywhere with physiotherapists with my back injury) and he told me that because I'm hyper-mobile, (way more flexible than most people) stretching in my sleep is actually a good thing*. It still wasn't a good thing to do when I was injured, so I did what I could to prevent stretching during that time. I was told that in general it doesn't contribute to injuries or cause them. Obviously this is one physician's take on it and for my specific circumstances... but I guess if you know you're hyper-mobile, then maybe don't sweat it.

I notice a lot of people mention pain associated with sleep stretching. I get calf and foot cramps occasionally, but it's nothing I consider seriously bad.

*I'm not a dr and can't adequately explain why sleep stretching is good for those with hyper-mobility, but I recall my dr saying that it was to do with the fact my joints are loose and stretching during sleep helps create an equilibrium with my muscles (or something??) I don't rightly know, but it was really good to hear from a dr that it's not highly unusual, or in my case, abnormal.
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replied February 12th, 2018
Full Body Stretches
I am experiencing the same issue of full body stretching, this happen early in the mornings before waking up or it just wakes me up. It seems it started right after I changed back to sleeping on my sides. I was sleeping on my back with a pillow under my legs due to the fact that I was waking up with my low back hurting every morning. I don't take any meds only vitamins. I am 53yrs. It also seem that most of here are around the same age. I going to try sleep on my back and see what happens.
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replied March 7th, 2018
Body stretching while sleeping
33 now, and I've been having the same issue for roughly 7 years now - starting in a particular stressful period, during which I also got nerve damage from being hit (my body - not in a car or anything) by a motorcycle. I've also long had migraines (since I was about 12, but only treated in the past few months). All combined (stress + migraines + nerve damage), I've just assumed there's a neurological element to it.

The movements aren't necessarily involuntary (I can choose to not move, but resisting results in this dull soreness that, while not "painful", is miserable and annoying), but definitely very impulsive. It's not necessarily "bad" to me, though. My movements can get very specific, down to very exact muscle locations (that otherwise aren't really pushed in every day life - and I'm pretty active - typically hiking, with moderate climbing and lots of swimming during warmer months, 4-5 miles per day, upwards of 20 mile on free days - so my muscles are definitely active during the day), and tend to be extremes. I'll bend my wrists and ankles all the way in one direction, then all the way in the other - as far as they can go, hold them there, then do the opposite - completely unnatural ways that you wouldn't typically move them during a normal day. I'll move my fingers in seemingly random ways, but in doing so I can feel different muscles in the palms of my hand stretching and relaxing. I'll pop my ankles and toes, then sort of flex the arch of my foot, the ball (at my big toe), the are on the other side (near my small toe), the area opposite my arch - sort each specific muscle area, kind of in a circular pattern (start with one - usually my arch or ball - then rotate through them and circle back). I do basically the same with my butt/glutes and hips/lower back (including the muscles right around my lower spin). During the day, I can't really pinpoint movement to ONLY one of these very specific points of specific muscles, but when my body "takes over" at night, I can... I can stretch one part of my glutes, then shift it to a part less than an inch away - the movements become very specific and focused.

I go between stretching my legs/back out completely to being curled up in a ball, with my arms completely contorted and my wrist - extremely bent - pressed hard (the pressure is another impulse) between my chest, knee, and chin at the same time. And my biceps, forearm, shoulders, calves, etc... all go through similar impulsive flex and releases. And all of these motions (wrist, ankle, fingers, toes, glutes/hips/back, legs, shoulders, etc...) are independent (often 3 or 4 of the above happening at once), but seemingly inter-related in this full-body motion.

It doesn't wake me up, though - that's the difference. I basically go through this when I first lie down to fall asleep, and after a while - 10 to 30 minute or so - I suddenly just feel completely relaxed, have a little hypnic jerk (which relaxes me even more), and fall asleep. Then I wake up and go through similar stretches, and I'm fine when I get up.

So it's not necessarily a problem for me... if anything, it's actually very relaxing (though prior to this, I seemed to feel relaxed and fall asleep fine without all that). But I still wonder what could be going on, as it's very curious - I filmed myself once, and with the spasms and rapid finger movements, etc... it looked like I was having a seizure (but I'm completely aware, and can stop it at any moment - albeit I'm very uncomfortable and can't sleep if I do). But when I go through the motions, afterward I feel very calm and completely relaxed (and no teeth clenching or anything... if anything, my jaw becomes so relaxed it's basically wobbly).

I don't have insurance and can't afford a sleep study or any real treatment, but I do know my iron levels are fine. My B12 levels have a habit of being wonky, but even when I supplement B12, I still have this issue. Haven't tried magnesium supplements, which might be worth a try. But I've been trying to figure this out for years, and other experiences here are the closest to what I've experienced - though again, I don't wake up to stretch, and it ultimately results in me feeling completely relaxed (with each stretch, I can feel some sort of relief - relief of pain/"stiffness" I didn't even realize was there during the day... even feeling this pleasant tingling sensation through my spine). So maybe it's kind of different than most of what's described here? But still these frantic, impulsive stretches/movements that I'm not consciously controlling (I can choose to move or not move... but if I choose to move - and I have to if I want to be able to fall asleep - then my body just kind of takes over the specific movements). But I always wake up feeling like my muscles are more relaxed than at the end of the day before... so it seems almost like my body taking over to "heal" itself??? I don't know, it's tough to describe.
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replied April 20th, 2018
Experienced User
All replied here are very useful, as the issue is wide spread
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replied April 23rd, 2018
I am victim of human research without consent. Criminal harassment. Part of it is sleep deprivation and subjected to noise acoustic weapons which is used by local policing units tainted food unauthorised access to my property. After 2 years of being put through this i to am now having the night leg stretching but I have also been put through induced fake dreams. Organised crime goes on more than anyone knows. MK ULTRA
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replied April 27th, 2018
I am 38 year old female and I also have this problem and I dream heavy while doing so ill wake up stretching and I'm not sure what's causing the issue I also have severe headaches when I wake up I am in good health and exercise daily and swim so I could use some advice please my eye Dr thinks it is neurological because I have other conditions as well please help
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replied May 16th, 2018
I'm a 42 yo female and this sleeping body stretching has happened to me 2x in my life. First time was after surgery, I couldn't control the stretching at the sake of causing pain to myself at anytime of the day and night. Now is the second time. I just started 3 new meds and within 24 hours I was doing it again. Stretching in the middle of the night and while awake in the morning. It is the same uncontrolled stretch. At this time it feels good just aggravating! I am now thinking meds. My surgery was over 5 years ago and I had no issues from then to now.
Thanks
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