Being woken up by a series of electric shock sensations in various parts of the body is one of the most unpleasant symptoms middle-aged women experience. They can occur on the back, in the arms or legs, and even pierce through the head. Fortunately, they are harmless and usually do not indicate a serious medical condition. Learn more about the most common causes of the electric shock feelings in the body during sleep.
The Causes of Electric Shock Feeling during Sleep
There are various reasons for why electric shocks during nighttime hours happen, including:
During menopause, hormonal imbalance might cause electric shock sensations throughout the day and night due to rapid shifts in estrogen levels. Moreover, women who suffer from other menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or night sweats, report that they often induce electric-like shocks during sleep.
Certain sleeping positions
Certain positions during sleep might cause the vertebrae to put temporary pressure on the nerve, triggering a series of electric-like stabs in the back, neck, or extremities. Occasionally, women might suffer from certain age-related chronic back conditions, such as a slipped disc or spinal stenosis, whose pain can be more pronounced in horizontal positions.
Stress and anxiety
Long-term stress and anxiety are known causes of electric shock feelings in the body during sleep. At night when our bodies relax, the mind is very vulnerable to overthinking and being bombarded with intrusive thoughts. Those anxious thoughts and feelings are believed to over-activate the nervous system, causing a miscommunication between neurons and resultant lightening-like jolts.
Certain medications to treat depression, anxiety, and migraines have been shown to trigger electric-like shocks, especially in the head. Women can experience them during the day and while sleeping. Ironically, their discontinuation might also trigger this symptom.
It is more common in women than men, and it often causes pain and electric shock sensation during sleep, which in turn, disturbs the sleep cycles, increases fatigue, and makes women more prone to depression, cognitive problems, stress, and anxiety.
Other diseases known to cause this unpleasant symptom might include:
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Should I Be Worried?
It is understandable that a sensation of electric-like jolts during the night fill most women with fear, decrease the quality of their sleep, and increase their fatigue. Although in some cases they might signal a more complex underlying disease, which requires a prompt medical attention, most often these electric shock sensations are not dangerous.
If you feel that interrupted sleep is taking an increasing toll on your daily functioning, ask your doctor to help you treat them better. Also, electric-like stabs accompanied by abnormal symptoms such as severe pain or vision problems should be reported as soon as possible.
Sometimes a good quality orthopedic mattress in addition to meditation or yoga can help prevent anxiety, lessen the shocks' occurrence, and guarantee a good night's sleep.
However, long-term relief will be found in treating the underlying cause, which is most often hormonal imbalance in menopausal women. As such, if you have trouble managing menopausal electric-like shocks during sleep, click on the following link to learn more about natural and effective electric shock sensation treatments that may help you achieve the beauty sleep you've been yearning for.
- Blows, W. (2002). The Biological Basis of Mental Health Nursing. Routledge: New York. Available from Google Books.
- Koroschetz, J. et al. (2011). Fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain - differences and similarities. A comparison of 3057 patients with diabetic painful neuropathy and fibromyalgia. BMC Neurology, 11, 55. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-11-55
- Neuropathy Action Foundation. (n.d.). Neuropathy 101. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from http://www.neuropathyaction.org/neuropathy_101/signs_and_symptoms.htm