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Old 08-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #1
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Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

I've had anxiety disorders for years and periodically go through stages where I can't sleep. Every time I start to fall asleep I'm jerked awake as though by a sudden kick of adrenaline. I try to lie there deep breathing but nothing seems to help. I'm so scared I'm going to die in the night because my heart is beating so fast or that I'll never be able to sleep again. I'm so scared.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

I am sorry this is happening to you. I get this when I am really anxious, but I feel like I stop breathing. I am always so scared to go to sleep because I think I am going to die. It is a terrible feeling. Do you take anything for anxiety?

 
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

Gosh I have been going through this also. I am going through a really stressful time and I do not know how much more I can take. I just get these rushes sometimes during the day also where I feel like am so out of control. Will this ever end? I need help also.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 05:29 PM   #4
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

Sorry to hear that you guys have it too but nice to know I'm not the only one. I take something called Valpam on an as needs basis (all the time at the moment!) but I've got Lexapro sitting in a drawer waiting for me to have the guts to start it. i'm so scared of side effects considering what a terrible state I'm in now. I'm so sick of anxiety! I've had it for 20 years!

 
Old 08-31-2008, 10:50 AM   #5
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

I had this too when I first started on Paxil. Are you on any antidepressants?

 
Old 08-31-2008, 09:15 PM   #6
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

I'm sorry you are suffering from this. I have the same symptoms, except that with mine I get jolted awake and my heart starts to race and I have numbness all over. I usually get up, put on some tv and try to think of anything other than the scary experience. I also take xanax when this happens and it really helps, although it takes about two hours to start working.

This is hard to do but try to relax when this happens, it's just your nerves messing with your mind and body.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

You should learn to relax. I know it sounds simple, but make it a ritual every night to relax your body and mind. Try taking a warm bath, ask your b/f or hubby if you have one for a massage. Try giving yourself a foot and hand rub. I jerk all the time before I fall asleep, but I'm normally asleep enough not to notice. Your awake enough to notice because your anxious. There's nothing wrong with that too. If you can't sleep, don't sleep. It won't kill you, the worst it will do is make you tired the next day. When you finally relax your body will sleep. Don't worry. Sometimes when people are anxious they can't fall asleep until the morning when they finally give up on trying to sleep.

 
Old 09-02-2008, 10:59 AM   #8
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

I have similar problems - I actually thought I had damaged the part of my brain that lets you sleep in a moment of the highest anxiety! I laugh to myself about that now...if that was true, how come the sleeping tablets work? Ha ha ha.

I agree with trying to relax. But I would also say you need to learn how to do it...the better you get at it, the better nights sleep you'll get. Be realistic with your goals, and notice the improvement. I'm no expert - in fact I'm a novice but the other comments are true. Relax yourself before bed, and you'll notice the improvement if you stick at it. Reading a book works for me, as I find the TV stimulates my mind again, but its horses for courses I guess.

Above all, please, please don't be afraid of the meds. It's good to be aware of the side effects, but don't let that be a barrier to making you feel better long term. Most antidepressants have the same kinds if side effects, and can make you feel a little worse before you start to get the benefit (say the first week or so). But being aware of this helps you ride it through. Some people get no side effects at all, and those that do it practically always subsides after the first couple of weeks, once your body becomes used to the medication. It's only a very very small percentage that get serious side effects, and that's essentially an allergic reaction.

Sincere best wishes.

 
Old 09-02-2008, 02:10 PM   #9
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

For some reason my anxiety has gotten so bad it's been affecting my sleep. For some reason i can't sleep on my back, if i do i have what feels like an anxiety attack in my sleep, and wake up not being able to move. I think it's sleep paralysis, but why would it only happen when i sleep on my back?

Also i can't remember the last time i had a full nights sleep. Like DEEP REM sleep, which is like 8 hours. I always sleep, then wake up a few hours later, then have to fall back to sleep. It also takes me hours to get fall asleep, i'm jealous of those people who lay down and are out like a light minutes later!

Not getting a good nights sleep also has to be terrible for people like us with anxiety.

Last edited by Lourage; 09-02-2008 at 02:11 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2008, 10:19 PM   #10
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

Quote:
i'm jealous of those people who lay down and are out like a light minutes later!

Yes but if you read the sleep apnoea board someone said that people who fall asleep within 15 minutes of lying down have sleep apnoea! I don't know how true that is though.

My husband falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow and i'm fairly sure he has sleep apnoea.

I went to my doctor and he gave me xanax to take before I go to bed and for the first couple of days that i'm on the lexapro. thanks for all your replies.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 05:59 AM   #11
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

Craig 1974, I don't think it's funny because you thought you'd damaged the part of your brain that let's you sleep. At one stage (a few years ago now) I felt like I'd never sleep again. I literally couldn't seem to sleep. I thought I would have to go to hospital and they'd have to give me a shot to put me out. It was crazy and horrible. Our brains just torture us sometimes.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

The more i think about it too, the more i been waking up in the middle of the night! Last night i went to sleep at like 1 am and woke up at 5 am, feel back to sleep then woke up at 8 am. I WANT TO SLEEP ALL NIGHT FOR ONCE lol.
Isn't it terrible how anxiety manifests itself into anything you think about it enough? Like for example chest pain, thinking you have a tumor. Now with me it's not being able to sleep, and my anxiety seems to have created a alarm clock in my brain that makes me wake up randomly throughout the night, from worrying about NOT getting enough sleep, if that makes any sense lol.

I tried tiring myself out during the day, getting up extremely early, hoping to fall asleep earlier, but to no avail. I even quit all caffeine months ago.

 
Old 09-04-2008, 06:05 AM   #13
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

Apologies for making light of it. At the time I was very scared indeed. I agree that sleep deprivation make matters worse.

If it's of any help to you, my doctor prescribed me Zopiclone, and they work very well.

 
Old 09-04-2008, 10:33 PM   #14
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Re: Help! Can't sleep - keep being jerked awake

Craig - I wasn't having a go at you about it or thinking you were making light of it - I was actually saying 'I know what you mean!' and a couple of weeks ago I could have laughed about the fact that I'd once thought it too (that I'd never sleep again) until it happened again!!!

 
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