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Old 11-20-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 22
lege009 HB User
Re: Extreme electrical/spasm feeling in stomach upon falling asleep

Hello. Let me start out by saying I'm sorry you are going through this. I have zeroed in on a few things that might help you. 1) just last week I had a sleep study and it was determined I have severe sleep apnea only in REM sleep. This seems a likely cause for this sensation because these shutting down episodes seem to happen when im dreaming. I will go from a vivid dream to complete darkness and a feeling that I'm about to die. Doc says when I stop breathing in my sleep, my body sends an emergency signal to wake me up.

If you can afford it, I would suggest seeing a sleep doctor and maybe getting a sleep study. You will be attached to an EEG during the test and it can tell if you're having any seizure activity as well. You can also have these sensations just as you are drifting off to sleep. If you are REM sleep deprived, like patients with sleep apnea are, you're body tries to go right into rem sleep as soon as you drift off (rem rebound sleep). It is this deep sleep where your airways are most vulnerable to collapse. 2) benzodiazepines. Have you been prescribed Xanax or klonopin to help you stay calm through this all? I was on Xanax for 10 months before I decided to come off of it. I did not taper off properly, and these electric shock/jolts are commonly reported in benzodiazepine interdose/tolerance withdrawal. 3) Magnesium. This has helped with a lot of these jolty type feelings/heart palpitations/shocks. I still don't know if these jolts are heart related, but it seems to help. 4) always fight you're way out of them. I have never let the sensation take me. It literally feels like I'm shutting down and I usually violently shake myself awake. I wouldn't recommend laying back and letting it take you. Who knows what could happen.

Overall I would say sleep apnea might be the best place to start. I am 21 and never snored so I thought the sleep study was going to be another meaningless test with no answer like everything else. But obviously I was wrong. I am trying to get used to my new cpap machine and will let you know how it goes. The Idea is that if your body keeps a steady flow of oxygen, your brain doesn't panic and violently wake you up. Cpap isn't fun nor attractive, but it beats feeling like you're dying.

Please let me know if this helps you at all. I am interested in hearing how you progress. I will say, we are both still alive after a long time of these. If they were fatal, they would have killed us already. I would also recommend avoiding benzos at all costs. The withdrawals are horrible and are responsible for a lot of strange symptoms, especially when no other diagnosis can be made. I would avoid sleeping aids in general until you find out if you have sleep apnea or not. Sleeping aids make your airways collapse even more. Let's keep in touch. We will beat this.

Last edited by moderator2; 11-20-2012 at 03:59 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website