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Thread: Just as I'm falling asleep I wake up heart racing, disorientated and panicked

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Just as I'm falling asleep I wake up heart racing, disorientated and panicked

    Does anyone else get this?
    I don't suffer from panic during the day anymore, but as I'm falling asleep I'll suddenly jolt awake, heart beating so fast and feeling disorientated and like I'm going to die.
    It's bloody awful!
    It takes a while for my heart to calm down - I've had it for years but lately it feels worse and as I'm getting older I wonder how my heart can cope - plus my nerves.
    I wonder if it's sleep apnea?
    I dont snore and normal weight etc ... or is it just straight out panic?

    Anyone else get this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    15,642

    Re: Just as I'm falling asleep I wake up heart racing, disorientated and panicked

    Yes..but I just ignore it and go back to sleep.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Re: Just as I'm falling asleep I wake up heart racing, disorientated and panicked

    Yes, and same as Pulisa, I do my best to ignore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Re: Just as I'm falling asleep I wake up heart racing, disorientated and panicked

    Quote Originally Posted by tan235 View Post
    Does anyone else get this?
    I don't suffer from panic during the day anymore, but as I'm falling asleep I'll suddenly jolt awake, heart beating so fast and feeling disorientated and like I'm going to die.
    It's bloody awful!
    They're called nocturnal panic attacks. 99% of mine happen at night, and have done for 11 years..

    These attacks feel worse than the daytime ones because there are fewer distractions..

    I can calm things down in situ mostly now, and I do this by deep breathing (which shuts down the fight or flight response) but occasionally I still have to get up and walk the adrenalin off or go and do some light housework until I feel calm enough to go back to bed.

    The worse thing you can do is to stay there panicking about those normal bodily sensations and symptoms..

    You're not in any danger, it's just that your brain thinks you are and has slapped on the fight or flight.

    Breathe and distract your thoughts or get up and move about..

    No point getting tested for SA if you don't snore..

    So, what I would do is to go through everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) that you ingest, body and mind during the day. Every little detail. Note the times you have your last meal or drink. Do you drink caffeine? If so what time is your last drink (bearing in mind that caffeine has a half life of 4-6 hours. In more sensitive people (such as those who suffer with anxiety) you can increase this time.

    What do you do before bed? Do you read or watch TV? If so, what kinds of books and shows? Dramatic ones?

    Do you look at a screen prior to going to bed? Not a good idea generally but especially with anxiety because it is stimulating..

    Your heart will be coping just fine. It just feels weird because you're at rest when it starts banging away. I became so sensitised with my anxiety that any slight change in light or room temperature would trigger a panic attack. As would the slightest sound (if my good ear was cocked lol). Also, those anxious thoughts we put through our mind in the day have to get sorted at night and we get anxiety dreams which can trigger the stress response..

    I had my first nocturnal PA 11 years ago and my heart's fine..
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