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Old 08-09-2007, 01:46 PM   #1
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Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Hello everyone, first of all let me thank you all for your contributions on this website !

I have a terrible problem, which started developing in the last few months: powerful adrenaline surges/jolts, immediately after falling asleep. More exactly: i'm going to bed, i'm starting to fall asleep and, during the second in which i'm losing consciousness and i'm drifting into sleep, bam, adrenaline jolt, heart racing, rapid breath. Let me add the fact that i'm not having any nightmares, night stresses, "bad" thoughts before going to sleep. Sometimes, this goes on for the entire night.
As a medical background, I had "normal", daytime, anxiety attacks from about 1yr ago up to about 7 months ago These sleep time anxiety attacks started about 3 months ago and became EXTREMELY serious about 3 weeks ago. Now, I'm desperate because I cannot get any rest during the night, I cannot do my job, I'm like a vegetable all day long, always dreading the moment when I'll have to go to bed. Besides, I'm VERY scared about what is going to happen to my heart, since I'm sure that all these episodes of adrenaline surges combined with falling back to sleep are going to damage it.

Probably, I'll go to see a doctor, but I'm very curious to know if anyone ever had these kind of symptoms and, if yes, what was the problem and how did they solve it ?

Thank you so much !

Last edited by ms_mod; 08-09-2007 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Read all of the "Sticky" posts at the top of this board as to why part of your post was removed. Ms_Mod

 
Old 08-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

This sounds to me like sleep apnea. When you get into a pattern of not sleeping it can cause the anxiety and panic you are experiencing.

See a doctor and get a check up. You need your sleep!

 
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:28 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Strange night...I dont post much but had to reply to 2 posts tonight. I get the same thing, sometimes I will fall asleep for 5 minutes and then wakeup like this.

I dont have an answer but if your symptoms are as bad as mine, I feel for you.

 
Old 08-09-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Could be hypnic or hypnagogic jerks and the rapid heartrate ect.. comes from the scare they can give you,I may be misunderstanding you when you stated "jolt" but I'm speaking of a entire body jerk at the onset of sleep.That's my only guess? Do some research on it.

Last edited by hyper79; 08-09-2007 at 08:12 PM.

 
Old 08-10-2007, 04:10 AM   #5
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Thanks for all your replies.

I reasearched the hypnic jerks and I can say for sure that it has nothing to do with my condition.

I tend to think that it is sleep apnoea, except one thing: after a few hours, the adrenaline jolts/wake-ups will end and I tend to (finally) go to sleep. After they have ceased, I (usually) sleep without any other problems, until I wake up (sometimes, I get another jolt or two during this sleep period). The only problem is that I wake up terribly tired and with a small but constant headache in the morning.

Moreover, in order to clarify the simptoms, so that everyone will be able to understand them: I am in bed, drifting to sleep, losing consciousness. In that exact second I get an powerful adrenalinic jolt/surge, as if something scared the hell out of me (except that there is nothing to scare me, I'm perfectly conscient of that). It is only a somatic reaction (skin tingling, heart racing, in some severe cases, I tend to run away from bed, exactly a "fight or flight" reaction), but in my mind I know there is nothing to be afraid of.

Anyone heard about these simptoms ?

 
Old 08-10-2007, 04:19 AM   #6
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by stackzone View Post
Strange night...I dont post much but had to reply to 2 posts tonight. I get the same thing, sometimes I will fall asleep for 5 minutes and then wakeup like this.

I dont have an answer but if your symptoms are as bad as mine, I feel for you.
Something exactly like this. It's the fourth night when I have these feelings and I'am already a wreck. I cannot think straight, I tend to forget things, I'm constantly tired. I feel like a broken machine. I really have to see a doctor, but unfortunately, I live in the Czech Republic, where people like waiting and standing in lines, they like it with a perverse pleasure. I called my MD and told him it's an emergency. He asked me to come for a check-up on the 21st of August. I rest my case.

 
Old 08-10-2007, 05:53 AM   #7
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

I think I know what you're saying and have felt this many times when almost asleep.I have head surges and sometimes it in my chest ,like you say,like you were suddenly frieghtened by something with the tingling body and rapid heartbate etc. I sometimes would actually feel like this shock sensation and then the tingling and all the other.Of course typically when this happens i'll jump up out of the bed wondering what the heck is going on.I think it may be stress related and or panic/anxiety,which by the way,people can have anxiety/panic attacks during sleep.Before all this started had you been under some stress? No doubt you are now but what about before the onset of these symptoms? That is a while to wait to see the doctor but if you cant get in any sooner then just make sure you go even if this thing stops before then.Always best to have things checked out instead of assuming anything.I can tell you though that if its the same thing ive been through this has happened to me many times over years and im fine.Maybe the doctor can give you something to help you sleep ...you could call and explain to him that you are unable to sleep and its effecting your job.

 
Old 08-10-2007, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

True, the last 3 years have been the most stressful of my life, I lost both my parents, I moved to a completely foreign country, changed life, changed career, everything. I'm certain that I'm still under a great deal of stress. A psychiatrist told me the same thing, that it might be only the mind reacting to stress. He prescribed me Esprital (Mirtazapine, also known in US as Remeron), one pill of 30mg, in the evening. This is supposed to be an antidepressant, dopamine agonist, with a sedative side effect. I'm a little bit reluctant to take it, though, since I am not 100% sure that it is not a somatic (physical) problem and, if it were to be something wrong with my breathing or my heart, I wouldn't want to be stoned and suffocate in my sleep. Has anyone succeeded in treating these simptoms of mine with psychiatric medication, anxiolytics, anti-depressants etc.? If yes, which one ?
Any other ideas ? All new infos will be greatly appreciated !

Last edited by ms_mod; 08-10-2007 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 08-10-2007, 01:43 PM   #9
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Dear john, (LOL I always wanted to write that)

anyways I could have been holding the key board while you typed your post.
I have the same thing..everything you mentioned and how you stated it happenings also when.
this past tuesday night had it. lasted a couple of hours..then weds night it happened again..like you prob do; I calmly try to think of positive things..I have to do this over and over until it stops..yes wedesday night was worse and I had to get up and walk around a bit, get a glass of milk, drink it slowly then went back to bed turned the tv on and put it just loud enough so that I could maybe drift off to sleep and to have something REAL to listen to.. .went to bed around 11 and the last time I looked at the clock it was 2:30 am..my heart was going nutz. it was like I felt the whole bed shaking! I told my self it was my cat at the end of the bed scatching at a flea..I rared back my foot to give him the boot an it was not the cat..wasnt even in the room! arrrggg..anyway I had been taken Trazodone 50mg and had ran out a few days before this stuff started again..so it now being a weekend I half to wait until monday to get the refill. I have a new doc appointment on aug 15th and I am gonna bring this up to him about how bad it got and see what he says about it. but to let you know your not alone and the trazodone does seems to help me lots and helps me sleep to. GL and best wishes for you!

 
Old 08-10-2007, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

oh yeah and 2 weeks ago I had an ekg done and my heart was fine..just so you know.


cheers!

 
Old 08-11-2007, 12:41 PM   #11
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantell View Post
oh yeah and 2 weeks ago I had an ekg done and my heart was fine..just so you know.


cheers!

Same here, I did 2 EKGs in the last 8 months, both of them read a perfectly healthy heart. So healthy, in fact, that the doctors congratulated me, especially since I'm a smoker. I'm gonna do a cardioechography (echography of the heart) in 2 weeks, but I think I already know the result: a fine heart.
I'm 90% convinced that it's all in my head, a totally psychological matter. I treied to rule out any effects from the different substances, so I experienced a day without coffee, cigarettes or Subutex (as a result I had some noticeable withdrawal symptoms), but in the evening I noticed absolutely no improvement.
Anyway, last night things were way better, had only 30 minutes of surges, as a result I slept for 17 hours (it seems that I really needed the rest) and today I'm really rested. Keeping the fingers crossed for tonight.
Thanks for telling me about Trazodone, it seems to be similar with what I have (Esprital), they are both tetracyclic antidepressants, I'm gonna give it a try and see what happens. What dose are you taking ? Did you experience any side effects worth mentioning ?

 
Old 08-11-2007, 02:51 PM   #12
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

your very welcome john. no side effects with the trazodone 50mg..which is really good for me because I cant take just any meds with out some kind of horrible side effect on me!(found that out pretty quick)

I also take propanolol because a few months back (around feb of 07) I came down with high bp..never had it before but during the same time I was haveing very scary panic attacks and ansiaty attacks..not knowing what it was I finially broke down and went to a doctor..thank goodness! I really thought I was loosing my mind and I was sooooo tired! and scared.. I cooped myself up in the house and would freak out if someone knocked on the door! (I would hide in my own home) how crazy is that? LOL

anyway my blood pressure is back down to normal and every night before bed after supper I take one trasadone and sometimes one flexerill..I still get up in the morning stiff and bone pain but whether I remember sleeping at all I know I did get some rest. (not that 100% refreshed morning feeling) sometimes its like I dreamed having an attack in my sleep but cant say for sure..although its a strong feeling about it. until it wakes me up from a dead sleep I will think possitive thoughts!

The doc told me my last visit with her that if I needed to take two trazodone that it would be ok to do so. I have not done this yet..I hope I never have to and eventually get control of what ever is causeing (stress) these attacks.
The flexerill (muscle relaxer/pain relief) is 10 mg ...I take only if I really need it..(I know there is times when I do but I dont take it. it really dont seem to touch the bone pain I have but, taking it at night before bed with the trazadone does help with the jumping and jerking stuff.

I also smoke..had to give up my fire water! cant bring myself to stop the smoking just yet.

oh and if you start hearing things and seeing some strange pink elephants (seeing things was at night trying to go to sleep during a panic attack) its still all apart of this nasty condition..dont let it get that bad (like I did) before finding out what works for you.

I hope I didnt get side tracked and missed answering one of your questions..I tend to go way around by laura's house before coming back to the point.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 08:42 PM   #13
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Re: Anxiety/panic (?) attacks/adrenaline surges during sleep - PLEASE help !

it seems this is an old post and maybe you don't read here anymore but just in case....i found this by posting those same symptoms. these are new to me. maybe a month or two (actually it seemed to start when taking Ritalin, but continued after weaning....i think maybe the Ritalin just made me AWARE of what was already happening in my sleep...which i suspect is APNEA...i don't know yet)...anyway, start to fall asleep and this feeling like a wave of electricity (which i can only sum up to adrenaline) surges up through my spine and feels like it goes up into my brain (SCARY AS HELL!!!) i jolt awake.....tell myself it's just a dream or anxiety.....go back to sleep. again and again it keeps happening until FINALLY i fall asleep for the night.

funny thing is, i used to be one who hit the pillow and fell asleep and barely moved. now, i twist, toss, turn until the covers (ones not on the floor) are twisted around me. i wake up achy, drained and weak.

the best sleep i get is in the wee hours, which are unfortunately the last few i get before i have to get up which means i get almost no good sleep.

i've always had sleep issues, but now it is worse than ever.

i used to have 6-10 crappy hours of sleep now i get 3 - 6 crappier hours of sleep.

it's affecting my whole life. i have little ones to care for. i have an autistic, very active, four year old boy. yet i have the least energy i've ever had to function.

if you, or anyone here, has found the answer, please share.

i'm pretty desperate as well as scared (heart attack, cancer, dying right now, etc. feelings all the time at night).

anyway, not to comiserate, just to share and hope to find hope!

oh, and funny, you are from the Czech Republic, i'm from the US....goes to show you our humanity is universal

Last edited by footnotes; 03-30-2008 at 08:46 PM.

 
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