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Sleep attacks.

SlickNick

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
1,094
#1
Somthing curious has started to happen to me two weeks ago. Everytime I went to bed, that is during normal night times, I would drift off to sleep, suddenly awaking a few seconds later, and I would gasp for air, and my heart would beat extremely fast. This caused me to panick, and I could swear that I had an out of body experience. This has been happening on off for the last two weeks. I would fall asleep, the waking up in a panic, thinking I am dying, and it would continue like this untill the early hours of the morning where I then just fall asleep and sleep right through. Now because of all the lack of sleep, I am extremely lethargic during the day, today more so.

I did a quick search in Google, and came about a forum where there are quite a few other people suffering from this little problem.

Look here:
http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=8931&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

They call it a sleep attack. Check what this first person has to say:

sleep attacks!! panic/death sensations whilst drifting off!

i posted about this problem before,but it didnt seem to be a popular thing,but i still really suffer from it.so wondered if anyone who aint read it suffers from it? because iv had it for a while now,iv gotten used to it,i dont panic from it anymore,and dont feel it in the day,i happens some nights,when i go to sleep,il wake up after 5/10 seconds of sleeping and have a crazy kind of panic sensation were il GASP for air and my nerves will go crazed,it only lasts about 3 seconds but its not nice.when i wake up from it il sometimes see things,like my ceiling will sparkle,i briefly saw someone floating above my wardrobe.it will happen about 3 or 4 times then il go to sleep,but it wont be a full sleep,my mind wont fully switch off,it will go on a crazy dream-all-night mission.iv had the strong dream problem for bout 6 years,were you wake in the morning feelin like crup,cus your mind hasnt properly rested,but this sleep feels different,like i havent dreamed all that much,iv just been anxious whilst sleeping.which has caused me to have a crap nights sleep.
The first time i was having this problem it enduced my panic attacks,because when i wake it feels like i died for about 10 seconds,like my spirit exited my body and BAM it came back into my body,hence the breathing,i was gasping for air because i had stopped breathing,i could feel my heart suddenly kick back in because it had stopped.id get out of bed after the first time it happend,really really believing that i had just died,then id feel it afterwards,when i was thinking 'oh my god,i just died'like it was trying to knock me out and kill me,then i started panicking cus of it,and i didnt know what panic attacks were either,which scared me even more!!! i hope someone understands this,not that i wish this on someone,but it would make me feel better to talk!
love you!
Now I would like to know, is there anyone here on this forum suffering from this, or whom have suffered from it, and how you got over this? It seems this lasts quite a while, and might never go away :( I don't know what started this, the only thing I really changed in my life was giving up alcohol (lol) maybe I should start drinking again. Some people say that it helps when you have a few drinks, then you just nod off. I dunno. I hope it goes away.
 

SlickNick

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Joined
Oct 4, 2005
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1,094
#3
Apparently the doctors will give you some druks, and if those druks don't work they give you even more druks. Maybe one day I'll go see the doc, when I feel like taking a days leave. At least I now know that I won't be dying.
 

BCO

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Joined
Dec 17, 2004
Messages
13,215
#4
Better to get prescribed meds from the doctor than to self-medicate with booze, methinks.
 

The_Unbeliever

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Apr 19, 2005
Messages
103,205
#5
^^^ what he said.

Also, do go to a sleep clinic, they'll be able to check whether you're stopping breathing or something like that.
 

SlickNick

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Oct 4, 2005
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#7
The part of gasping for air, they say this is caused by the panic attack that one has. It is sort of like fainting, where your body gets you heart back into it normal rhythm of beating.

I guess I should go to the doc, it's just that I hate doctors. All their prodding and poking.
 

SlickNick

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Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
1,094
#8
I looked up the apneas. I don't think I suffer from this (thankfully).

See here:
http://www.newtechpub.com/phantom/faq/osa_faq.htm

Those seem rather hectic. I have heard myself snor, as lately early in the mornings, when I am the only one in the office for an hour, I'll catch a quick nap. I would then wake myself up with snoring, as my desk is in a corner, and it does echo a bit :)
 

HvRooyen

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Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
475
#9
A few possibilities come to mind:
Sleep apnoea
Panic attacks
Arrhythmias, possibly related to REM sleep.
Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea
Pulmonary emboli
Hypnagogic hallucinations
Gastroesophageal reflux

I notice some of the members on the forum you visited found that cutting down on their drug abuse improved matters. I wouldn't trust their judgement too much.

My advice: Go see a doctor.
 

SlickNick

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Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
1,094
#10
A few possibilities come to mind:
Sleep apnoea
Panic attacks
Arrhythmias, possibly related to REM sleep.
Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea
Pulmonary emboli
Hypnagogic hallucinations
Gastroesophageal reflux

I notice some of the members on the forum you visited found that cutting down on their drug abuse improved matters. I wouldn't trust their judgement too much.

My advice: Go see a doctor.

That is quite a scary list you have there. And lol @ the Bold stuff. I don't do druks. Maybe one night every two or three or 7 years, for a hectic party in CT. It is true what you are saying, I won't take their word for it. However there are two or three non drug taking individuals on the forum that suffers the same.
 
Last edited:

Aphrael

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Aug 17, 2006
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1,110
#11
I used to have these "dreams" where I'm lying on a flat surface which I cannot see or feel. Then this surface tilts and I get the impression that I'm going to fall off. That's when I would panic and wake up suddenly, breathing fast.

As I said, it doesn't happen to me any more and I'm not sure how I got over it, but it was almost like getting past a fear. I got myself to understand that it was only a dream and nothing would happen to me and would think about flying, or something positive before going to sleep.
 

Bondizzo

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Jun 11, 2005
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1,336
#12
I've experienced exactly what you talking about, It doesn't happen anymore though, when it did I never panicked though and I got quite use to it, it also happens like when you dreaming about falling and you wake up at the last second, I think all it means is that your life is unstable at the moment or something like that, a doctor cant help you for this as its more of a spiritual thing I guess
 

HvRooyen

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Aug 14, 2006
Messages
475
#13
The phenomenon described above where people feel as if they are falling - usually just as they fall asleep - is a normal phenomenon called sleep myoclonus. It is related to the passage into deeper sleep. Likewise, recurrent nightmares may also be normal (although they may reflect underlying stress).
It becomes a diagnostic problem when it is more pronounced and associated with severe sleep disturbances and / or other symptoms. Unfortunately the causes can be related to just about any system in the body.
I am not saying that the SlickNick necessarily has a serious problem, just that one should be careful when self-diagnosing from web forums.
 
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martin

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Jul 25, 2003
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3,274
#14
I occasionally suffer from sleep paralysis, also known as night terrors. Check out the symptoms on the two articles, it might be what you're experiencing. I can't recall whether I experience a shortness of breath but the waking up in a panic bit sounds very familiar. It's really scary stuff.

My mom also suffers from this occasionally. Both of us tend to spend way too much time in our thoughts and I suspect stress triggers our night terrors. I've noticed that my mind doesn't always 'shut down' properly for a good night of sleep when I'm stressed.
 

SlickNick

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Oct 4, 2005
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#15
I see where you both are coming from. I've been having the falling dream all my life, and it doesn't actually bother me anymore.

I am not a very spiritual person, infact I get nauseas hearing about religeon, or when someone tells me that g0d will bless me. My life as far as I know is perfect, although I do want more toys to play with.

I must say though, that after a good yoga session I just pass out at home, without having these sessions. The night before last was a good night, and nothing happened, only last night I had it again. It's an on/off thing.
 

Alan

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Sep 30, 2005
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61,342
#16
The part of gasping for air, they say this is caused by the panic attack that one has. It is sort of like fainting, where your body gets you heart back into it normal rhythm of beating.

I guess I should go to the doc, it's just that I hate doctors. All their prodding and poking.
Well when I was sick I had that same problem. I'd just wake up gasping for air. It was like I stopped breathing and I'd semi wakeup knowing that I wasn't and then I'd suddenly jump up fully awake trying to get air. Not pleasant at all.

I only had it about a dozen times and haven't had it years. At the time it was far down my list of problems so I didn't take to much notice of it. The docs didn't have a clue what was wrong with me:rolleyes:
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
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#17
:eek: this is scary stuff you talking about!
reading the comments i also would have thought maybe panic attacts ....
funny that a person could experience such a scary feeling...
what about sleeping tablets?
 

SlickNick

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Oct 4, 2005
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1,094
#18
I occasionally suffer from sleep paralysis, also known as night terrors. Check out the symptoms on the two articles, it might be what you're experiencing. I can't recall whether I experience a shortness of breath but the waking up in a panic bit sounds very familiar. It's really scary stuff.

My mom also suffers from this occasionally. Both of us tend to spend way too much time in our thoughts and I suspect stress triggers our night terrors. I've noticed that my mind doesn't always 'shut down' properly for a good night of sleep when I'm stressed.
I had a look at those two, and fortunately I don't suffer from that. I recall reading about sleep paralysis before, it is a scary thing. I know my colleage experienced it once.
 

SlickNick

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Oct 4, 2005
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1,094
#19
Sleeping tablets would work, I know that if I take four of my allergy tabs, it knocks me out, and I sleep perfectly, I'll just be going through the allergy tabs quite quickly :)
 

thisgeek

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Apr 22, 2005
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3,372
#20
It sounds like you're stopping breathing when you sleep (apnea), except unlike an OSA sufferer who only "micro-wakes", it seems like you're becoming fully awake.

The best thing to do would be to contact a sleep lab and speak to a neurophysiologist. You will probably be able to get a recommendation from your GP.
 
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