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Old 12-21-2018, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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nocternal panic attacks


Lately I've been waking up with a gasp. At first I don't know where I am, I just feel doom. I realize I'm not breathing, and have to tell myself "breathe!" I feel like I'm standing on a cliff and just about to fall over, my insides have those intense butterflys, like when you're in a too-fast elevator. Heart pounds. I might be hot, I might be cold. I'll fall back to sleep pretty fast because it's the middle of the night and I'm exhausted, but I'll wake up a couple more times before I can either sleep through the rest of the night or I become too afraid to go to sleep and get up and spend the night watching movies.

I'm usually OK during the day. I go to therapy, meditate, take my rx.

Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep. It happens, and it's hard to combat as, well, you're unconscious and not really in a place where you can use your cognitive skills!

It was way worse when I still drank.
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Old 12-22-2018, 06:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've made a couple lifestyle changes that have changed my sleep patterns and lessened these events. No caffeine late in the day, melatonin, lavender oil under my nose or in a diffuser. Most nights I sleep very well now. I wish you the best, it's rough when our sleep is interrupted.
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's how my panic attacks started when i was a kid - at night. A few things that help me now are, of course, being sober(!), no screen time half hour before bed, i cut waaaay back on caffeine - just one small coffee in the morning, no sugary foods before bed and managing my stress during the daytime. The last point is a huge one for me because i believe my propensity for night time panic attacks is because sleeping is the one thing i cant distract myself from. I HAVE to relax and calm down in order to sleep and that's when the hideous replay of my day starts in my head either consciously or just held as tension in my body.

One thing i would recommend while you are in bed is to tense up each muscle in your body individually, hold for a second then let it go. I start from my toes and work my way up. If you really get into it it will have you feeling like jelly!

I also wear earphones when im sleeping and listen to meditation music. If i wake up in the night freaking out, then having it already plugged in and Playing helps me.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've definitely had these...much less now that I've done things to get my overall anxiety under control, but I used to have a very hard time falling asleep and also waking up multiple times at night and the night "terrors" too. Or the almost falling asleep and waking up in a terror feeling as well. Avoiding stimulation and sugar/caffeine/food in general a couple hours before sleep seems to help in addition to all the other things I do in general for anxiety.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Panic Attacks

I going through one major one now I am too scared to sleep and for some reason I cant sleep eventhough I should be dead tired after no sleeping last night the going for a 7km jog I dont what is happening I cant think positively without sleep I know my life in upheable its a mess at the moment, maybe the result of spending xmas eve and day completely alone and this is the aftermath. I am still shaking eventhough I took some left over valium it does not seem to kick in.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sidney, I hope this passes and you come to moments of peace and calm today.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Holy crap! I thought I was the only one!!! It's always when I'm about to fall asleep, I wake up gasping, and I have emetophobia (fear of vomiting) so I always wake up thinking I'm about to vomit. It's more annoying than harmful for me at this point, and being sober for almost 7 months and back on an inderal before bed has made it much less common. I'm sorry others suffer from this but it's awesome knowing I'm not alone!
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Old 02-29-2020, 11:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You are not alone Donnylutz. It's bloody scary.

Improving for me now that I've stopped drinking.
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