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Old 09-15-2006, 03:56 PM   #1
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Can this be anxiety or health related

For the past few years I have been waking up in the middle of the nite with elevated blood pressure, pounding heart and sweats. Some say it's an anxiety/panic attack - can this happen even when I don't particularly feel stressed. I do have a stressful life with a 90 y/o dad and mom and kids, well I don't have to elaborate.....but worried that this waking up with these symptoms could be something more sinister. It used to happen less frequently but lately it's been occuring like every few weeks, and this week it happened at least three times. My dad was in the hospital and it didn't happen then. When things calmed down, that's when I had some problems. Can this be? It's nervewracking to awaken in the middle of the night feeling like this. When it happens I reach for a small amount of Xanax which quiets me down and eventually the b/p and racing heart goes down a bit. Help!

 
Old 09-15-2006, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Can this be anxiety or health related

Wow, the EXACT same thing just happened to me on Wednesday night into Thursday morning! I had gone to bed kind of early on Wed. because I was tired. So then, I was sound asleep when all the sudden, for no reason that I could possibly fathom, I was woken up out of a sound sleep with a pounding heart and sweats and like....basically a full blown panic attack.

Now, keep in mind, I'd had this happen before, and I too take a xanax and it usually calms me down enough to get me back to sleep. But for some weird reason, this time it set me off even more. I go so freaking panicked out of my mind, I swear I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance. My pulse rate was close to 120 by the time I measured it, but interestingly enough, my blood pressure was pretty low at about 128/75, if I recall.

Believe me, I've spent a lot of money going to docs and getting tested for a lot of stuff, but nothing ever came up as being wrong. It sounds like you have a lot of stress in your life, from what you posted. And if you're at all prone to panic attacks, then it's very highly likely (and probable) that you're just having a panic attack in your sleep that is waking you up.

I started really thinking about it alot after I had this happen this past week. And after reading some posts on here and doing some reasearch on the internet, I came to realize that the reason why this happens is because, in a dream state, your subconscious mind starts to deal with all of the stress from your day that you were pushing out of the way during the day. Basically, when in a relaxed state from sleep, your mind is free to wander and start tackling these issues that plague us during the day. So if you're at all prone to panic during the day, it's possible to panic at night, too.

And then I started really thinking about it some more for myself, and I realized that this is what is happening. Believe me, I know EXACTLY how you feel, because I have a tendency to worry and think something is terribly wrong. But I'm telling you that you are having exactly the same symptoms as me and I haven't been able to find anything medically wrong. The root cause that I keep coming back to for myself is anxiety.

I don't know how to combat it or to stop it from happening. I just know that this is panic and it happens to me sometimes. And I do find that when I'm particularly stressed about something during the day, it seems to carry over into the night when I'm attempting to sleep.

I really hope this helps you. If nothing else, then at least you know that someone else out there suffers from exactly the same thing and hasn't been able to find a medical reason for it. I don't think it's terminal. And I can say that now while I'm rational. But if you caught me when I was in the middle of a panic attack, my mind would be telling me something totally different because that's how my mind works when I'm panicking.

 
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: Can this be anxiety or health related

Bracelet.....thanks for the kind words. My biggest problem is that I have a home blood pressure monitor and when I feel bad I take my pressure and see how how it goes and that is a major stressor too at 2 am. I just know that when I get a certain feeling the b/p and heart rate is sky high. What do you take to calm you when you wake up feeling like I feel. Like I said, Xanax, just 2.5 mg has helped. Last nite I also noticed that my stomach was in knots. It's just so annoying. And it's sad to read that someone else is experiencing this. I wish we had answers. I try to relax but given the problems of life it's just not that easy. Again, take care and thanks. Hope you sleep tonight. I hope I do too.

 
Old 09-16-2006, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Can this be anxiety or health related

Sounds like Nocturnal panic attacks.........they come on when your sleeping and yes you can be stressed subconsciously and not even know it, and Nocturnal Panic attacks are just your bodys way of letting you know.....because it seems whatever problems we have that we dont solve at a conscious level our minds find a way to solve them at night.

 
Old 09-17-2006, 09:34 AM   #5
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Re: Can this be anxiety or health related

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolasmom
What do you take to calm you when you wake up feeling like I feel.
I usually just take a xanax and hope for the best. I'm trying to limit the amount of xanax I take because I know it's habit-forming. So I only take it when I wake up with the racing heart problem.

Usually, it helps, because xanax also makes me really sleepy. And I also do the deep breathing thing where I just force myself to breathe as deeply as possible. It's not easy because when I'm panicky, I get really short of breath, but I force myself to breathe deep and it sort of calms me down a bit.

 
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