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737515 tn?1252556023

Panic Attacks waking me up??

I seem to be having panic attacks in my sleep. I wake up suddenly about 2 hours after I fall asleep in a complete panic. My face is numb and tingly and it is hard to breathe. My first thought is "oh my god this is it im dying.. and nobody is going to find me im all alone in this apt!"--- obviously a panic reaction..

My question is.. is this normal of someone who has suffered anxiety there whole lives to just now suddenly start to develop these kinds of panic attacks at night??

Is there anything to stop them..
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi.  Anxiety's the pits, for sure.  Please read all the threads.  I know, it will take a long time, but you can find some good information, and learn how others are coping, and, mainly, it ain't gonna kill ya!  Some questions:  Has anyone told you that you snore?  Does it take forever for you to "get your head screwed on right" after you wake up?  Are you so groggy that you even have trouble walking steadily for a little while after waking?  Are you never refreshed when you wake up, never eager to start the day?  Do you ever wake (during the time when you're supposed to be sleeping) feeling the sense that you were lucky to wake up or that somehow someone was trying to connect with you mentally to wake you up?  Or dream that you needed to wake up?  Someone in a dream shouting at you to wake up?  Are you sleepy off and on during the day?  If you answered any of these questions with a yes, google sleep apnea.  Try to determine if you have enough systems to discuss having a sleep study performed.  Study low blood sugar (hypocglcemia) and adenal insufficiency, as well as candida, or systemic yeast infection.  All can cause the symptoms you mentioned.  In what physical positions do you sleep?  Could you be numbing yourself by your position?  Chiropractic manipulation might alleviate the numbness.  Try eating a few bites, 3-6, not a lot, of protein just before bed, to help stave off hypoglycemia.  Try some calcium & Vit D with the protein.  Of course, the anxiety may be causing what you're experiencing.  But good eating (no junk, no sugar, no processed foods, etc), pure water, high quality vitamins & minerals, and an effort to build up your adrenal glands and prevent the blood sugar cycles that are excessively low, coupled with your meds (or maybe some day without them) may make your anxiety recede to the point that you don't much notice it, except in circumstances that would try anyone.   You may have this forever, but how you deal with it determines whether you have it, or it has you.  When any other condition bothers me, I go ahead with whatever I'm doing.  It is extremely difficult to get into the habit of treating anxiety the same way.  Our fear feeds more anxiety feeds more fear feeds...  It becomes a beast, getting bigger and bigger, but only if we let it.  Read about it.  Talk about it.  Joke about it.  Talk TO it when it happens--just make sure no one is around to think you're talking to yourself!   Make fun of it.  Bully it.  If you go through the motions of being bigger than it is, it finally begins to be less intrusive, at least most of the time.  Read the threads and anything else to become better educated about anything that might affect you.  Good luck!  Tell us what works for you.
737515 tn?1252556023
I actually stopped eating right before bed and stopped all caffeine use and i ahve seen a big improvement
i think i do need to see a chiropractor though because i still notice some numbness when i wake up.
I do not snore and I was unable to answer yes to any of those questions.
I think mine is related to my diet.

I have learned to talk myself out of it as well which definitely helps :)

thank you for the reply. :)
Avatar universal
Well i had my first anxiety attack about a month or so ago.  I was just sitting at my computer talking to friends on msn when all of a sudden i felt realy i'd just stopped myself from fainting, felt light headed.  I just shook it off as some random thing but then it started to get worse.  My hands went numb, my chest muscles felt as though they were tightening up i thought i was having a heart attac which, of course, made the anxiety attack even worse.

Phoned for an ambulance, they sent a paramedic and it rook him about 45 minutes to calm me down.
Ever since then i seem to get them maybe once a week, like i had one today.  Me and 2 friends were in the pub and one of them brought me a pint of Guiness, i spent 5 minutes drinking it and i hadn't even reached half way down the glass before i felt anxiety sweeping through my upper stomache.  I find that i have to talk to people and the only way it'll go is if they're making me laugh, forgetting about it, taking my mind off it.

About an hour ago i was trying to sleep and just as i dozed off BAM that same feeling sweeps through me like a burst dam.  I hate it so godamn much i really do.  I'll feel it starting but i can usually fight it off if i try, but about 15 minutes later it'll start again.

I know that i have a drink before i go to bed so that i don't have bad dreams or dream at all or wake up and hiluscinate but tonight i've not had one so maybe that's the problem i don't know i just wish there was a way to stop them because i hate them so much :(
Avatar universal
i've usually had these panic attacks through the night when i'm not feeling well usually with a cold and my temperature is high but lately i've seemed to have quite a few and it really freaks me out and puts me off from sleeping.
sometimes it feels like an object is it my hand n it freaks me out i really hate what is going on :(
Avatar universal
Hi.
The following is a general response which I posted to another thread which may throw some light on your condition and may give you some measures  to try which may be of help.

My condition take either of 3 general forms as described below (I've named them simply Types 1, 2 & 3).

Type 1
These episodes tend to happen when I’m in a deeper sleep, in the middle of the night, and probably don’t last any more than 10 seconds (however, they are very traumatic and upsetting). They can happen once or a number of times during an affected night:
From dreamless sleeping, I suddenly become aware but not awake as such. This awareness is focused on a feeling of something being really, really wrong. My semi-conscious interpretation, at that instant, of this feeling may be, for example…. ‘I’m not breathing!’... or… ‘I’ve swallowed my tongue!’… or just simply… ‘I’m actually dying this time!’ (note, none of these interpretations are actually true). So, adrenaline/panic kicks in and I struggle to awake properly.  Previously, I’d end up literally jumping out of bed in desperation. Latterly, I’ve trained myself, sometimes, to stay in bed and just breath or count until the awful feeling subsides.
Soon afterwards, I settle down again, though badly shaken, and usually return to sleep perhaps 10-20 minutes later.

Type 2
These episodes tend to happen when I’m in a lighter sleep at any stage of the night. They are less upsetting but in some ways more problematic as they can occur more frequently throughout the night and thus seriously disturb quality of sleep:
From dreamless sleeping I simply suddenly jerk awake with an abrupt inhalation or gasp. These occurrences tend to leave me somewhat shaken but more just annoyed. I normally go back into a light sleep quite soon afterwards.

Type 3
This type tends to happen in the middle part of the night and can happen in conjunction with ‘Type 2s’. It can last for a number of hours.
It comprises a general and unpleasant state of disorientation and confusion where the distinction between being asleep and awake is very blurred. This would be accompanied by much tossing and turning.

So that's my condition. I've engaged various doctors and consultants to try and diagnose the problem but none have come up with anything. As part of these consultations I've carried various blood tests, examinations and overnight sleep studies (fully monitored in a hospital setting). None of these have shown anything untoward and have generally left the doctors and medical staff scratching there heads. That said, the sleep studies did confirm that the waking episodes, that I describe, are real. However, apart from waking suddenly with accompanying rapid heart beat (from the panic), the sleep studies have shown that there is no disruption to my breathing or any other physical issue. Thus, among other known sleep conditions, I do not have any form of sleep apnea.

So no diagnosis, explanation or possible solution whatsoever from the conventional medical fraternity.

So over to chance! That is to say, by chance, I discovered some time ago that completely avoiding gluten in my diet pretty much solved the problem. Consume any gluten containing product and sure enough the problem would occur that following night. Avoid all gluten, I would sleep fine. So I adopted a totally gluten free diet which worked well for a number of years. However, sometime ago, I started experiencing the various episodes (as described above) even when avoiding gluten.

Back to the drawing board.....because, purely from my own observation, this condition seemed to be linked to diet, I researched this further and decided to try adopting an Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet. You might want to look this up....but basically it's a very strict diet avoiding all grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, nightshades, refined sugars, alcohol and any processed food at all. This diet is informed by the latest nutritional thinking (though not conventional medicine) behind various autoimmune conditions. As you might appreciate this diet is very difficult to follow but if I follow it strictly it works and I sleep just fine (I do seem to be able to adjust the diet somewhat to my needs, e.g. I can eat regular potatoes and tomatoes (both nightshades). Given the alternative for me - guaranteed very traumatic and debilitating sleep disturbance (not sustainable in the long term at all) - I try my best to follow the AIP diet, though it does take major readjustment to lifestyle, eating, etc. By the way, generally speaking, the less I adhere to the AIP diet the more I experience the episode types described above, particularly the 'type 2's....and vice versa. On another positive note, adopting this diet has also had other health benefits for me including increased energy levels, weight loss, muscle mass, etc.

As you might realise my dietary solution to my sleep condition is quite similar to that advocated by sonic 12. Heretofore, given the nature and success of adopting the AIP diet, my inclination is that my condition is some form of autoimmune condition which has generated hypersensitivity to a whole range of food groups and manifests itself as I've described. There is more and more evidence linking the gut and gut health with both the immune and, perhaps most interestingly, the nervous system....is this the route cause of my condition, I wonder? Anyway, I read with interest sonic 12's account of his or her research and his/her conclusion that his/her (similar) condition is to do with adrenal fatigue....perhaps this is behind my condition as well. In particular, I am curious about the possible role of stress with my condition, though I have not been able to figure out any patterns in this regard.

Whichever way, I think, between myself and sonic 12's experiences, people with similar  undiagnosed sleep conditions have at least some (not easy but possibly very worthwhile) options to explore and to try out. Any feedback to this forum,  concerning success or otherwise, by anyone trying these approaches, I'm sure would be very useful to this community.

Finally I should say that, obviously, before one goes down the approach that either myself or sonic 12 have adopted it would be important to rule out more obvious, potentially dangerous, sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea with a medical consultant or physician. By the way, you might also find apathy or even  resistance to these dietary/lifestyle approaches to the described sleep conditions by the conventional medical fraternity....but given the complete lack of any alternative suggestions by my consultants and doctors and the success that myself and sonic 12 have had with these dietary/lifestyle approaches then maybe they're worth a try.....even just trying for a start a gluten free/low processed food diet.

Hope this is of some help. P.
Avatar universal
Try getting into aerobics or dance classes , if that is possible, it really helps in making you feel great. We all have to enjoy what we have now.
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