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The following is a 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).
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.
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.
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 to someone