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Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

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Old 09-24-2006, 03:00 AM   #1
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Shazza68 HB User
Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

Hi everyone

Just wondering if any of you who suffer panic attacks wake up in the middle of the night with them. I woke up so frigtened last night. It felt like my heart must have stopped or that I had stopped breathing, cause I woke with such a start and could not get my breath and my heart was totally racing. I bolted straight up and ran dizzly to phone in case I had to call an ambulance (which I didn't have to after I calmed down. Maybe I have sleep apnea? What ever caused it, it was so frighting.


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Old 09-24-2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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nikigrl8883 HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

thats happend to me at least 3 times a week

Old 09-24-2006, 03:51 PM   #3
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CircusSquirrel HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

It could be a nighttime panic attack if you're prone to panic. Sleep apnea is more common in overweight people, especially men, but it can happen in others. If you're a normal to only modestly overweight woman, you probably don't have sleep apnea, though. I have had similar experiences at night, it is very scary. It seems that everything is scarier at night!

Old 09-24-2006, 04:59 PM   #4
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nikigrl8883 HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

oh by the way i am not overwieght at all so it can happent to you if your skinny i wiegh 110 and have never been overwieght

Old 09-24-2006, 06:16 PM   #5
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Countrygirl1 HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

Something like that is really scary! When it happened to me, I ended up being referred for a sleep study. I was diagnosed sleep apnea and now use a CPAP. Although sleep apnea is more prevalent among those who are overweight, I know individuals who are not overweight and still have sleep apnea. Now, I am not a DR nor do I play one on television. I would just encourage you to seek medical advice if this continues to happen.

Old 09-24-2006, 06:51 PM   #6
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bocana HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

I've had this off/on for 20 years. I usually get up and turn on the water faucet, which calms down my breathing and anxiety. (somehow the flow of the water calms me down).

I swear it works! (At least for me). I've had it so bad that I would be unable to breathe.

Old 09-26-2006, 10:19 AM   #7
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lylone HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

Hey all,

When my anxiety is at its worst, I have bad dreams and wake up freaking out with the high heart rate and etc. The mind does crazy things and I am sure it does it even more in REM sleep. I usually take a .25mg xanax and I am fine. I have also started to walk on a treadmill before dinner so when its time for bed I am dead tired. it has definately helped me and my sleep. I am also overweight and weight loss does wonderful things to the body. 15 pounds down and many to go!

good luck,

Old 09-26-2006, 12:12 PM   #8
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LynnB. HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

Yep, it's happened to me as well, and it's really a terrible thing to wake up in the night in the middle of a panic attack, which I think is what's happening in these cases.
The last time it happened to me I was about 8.5 mos. pregnant, hugely pregnant. It was one of the worst ones I'd ever had, causing me to walk around quickly, saying "help me! help me!" over and over in a panic, just trying to break the episode. My poor husband was trying to calm me by holding me in his arms, which is what I DIDN'T need, so I was just pushing him away and trying to stop it myself. My heart was racing so wildly I was afraid for the baby.
Gross and nasty nighttime thing to have happen to anyone!
BTW, I've just signed on to this board. I've suffered anxiety and panic attacks since I was 20, I'm now 42. I think they're under control quite well, but there are still situations that'll set one off. If I'm honest with myself I'd have to say that since the arrival of my son 3 years ago the panic attacks are under control mainly b/c I haven't put myself into situations anymore that'll trigger one.
Sorry for the long post!

Old 09-27-2006, 12:26 AM   #9
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Digirb HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

I agree with Country Girl. You should see a doctor in case it's sleep apnea. I had the same problem and wound up with a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Since using my CPAP machine (for 3 years now) the waking in a panic with my heart racing has not happened again. Oh, and you can have sleep apnea when you do not snore and when you are not overweight.

Old 09-27-2006, 01:39 AM   #10
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elnino HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

About 10 years ago, I took a medication, had a reaction to it and, ever since then, I have suffered from the types of symptoms that you describe. Specifically, I will wake up suddenly (it is almost always between 12 and 2am) and, at times, it has felt as though either my heart has stopped beating or I have stopped breathing. I went to the doctor and have had a battery of heart-related tests performed and everything has always checked out OK. I am 36 years old and am very thin. In my case, these events of waking up are almost always followed by a severe panic attack and, on numerous occasions, I have circled the hospital emergency room in my car at around 2am. I have not been getting them recently, however, I feel that drinking very cold water helps and, if that fails, I would take a half a pill of Valium.

Old 09-27-2006, 04:14 AM   #11
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tnmomofive HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

I have woken in a panic like that too but I totaly agree with others that id go to the doctor make sure its not sleep apena which can be treated so dont worry my friends husband has sleep apena.

Old 09-27-2006, 10:25 PM   #12
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mim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

Same problem, I did sleep tests b/c already was on depression and anxiety meds and it came back that I had obstructive sleep apnea. I may eventually have the surgery, but I understand that it can grow back. ALSO, my doctor was recognizing my anxiety was not being as well controlled as it should, so I take Klonopin at night. I have not had one of these episodes since and that has been a HUGE relief. I am not afraid to go to sleep anymore!

Old 09-28-2006, 10:40 AM   #13
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BlueSteam HB User
Re: Woke up like I had stopped breathing.....

For the most part my anxiety attacks are under control, but many, many times I have woke up feeling as though my heart has stopped, and can't catch my breath for a moment. As a result~~~I end up having an anxiety attack, which I try to get under control right away by just laying there and taking a few deep breaths. It seems to only happen when I lay on my back. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I must have sleep apnea (never been diagnosed--keep forgetting to mention it) But, after doing a lot of research, I'm sure that's what it is. I'm 38, female and not overweight. It does make me a little afraid to take anything at night that might knock me out--and make it harder to get things under control. I'm not one to talk --but it should be checked out by a doc no matter what you weight.

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