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Sleep Disorders Message Board

Sleep Disorders Board Index


My insomnia is a strange phenomenon. Some nights, I can just tell, it's going to be a rough time falling asleep. Other nights, I may feel more confident, but then end up spending hours and hours before finally falling asleep. I have no idea why it differs and what the magic formula is on the nights that I do fall asleep quickly. Some nights, I have anxiety attacks when I go to bed, and of course, there's no way I'm going to fall asleep while in the midst of one of those. It's that old heart-racing like the OP asked about, except I haven't fallen asleep yet.

Most of the time when I go to bed, I am physically tired. But I do not always feel sleepy. But, sometimes, even when I'm sleepy, this strange thing happens. I am comfortable, relaxed, not worried about anything, and sense that I am about to drift off....then something (I'm not sure what) jolts me awake. Then the heart racing. It's almost as if I've heard a loud sound, or someone has touched me, but neither thing has happened. Other nights, I just feel plain wired, no matter how exhausted I am and I have to go into my husband's room for a back rub to get me a bit more calm before I attempt sleep again. (Just a back rub, nothing else!)

Usually, after a rough night, I am a total zombie the next day. I can't do much of anything at all and am not motivated to do so. When the number of these type of nights start to accumulate consecutively, you can imagine how useless I am. I wouldn't dream of driving, and I start to get pretty desperate to sleep, almost depressed. After several nights, it is tempting to just load up on the meds to induce sleep, but I resist the urge because I don't want to OD. I just have too much living to do, because it takes me twice as long to get things done because I'm so tired!:)

Lately, I've been going through a change in medications for nerve pain, and I suspect that my severe insomnia flare-up has been due to the abrupt stoppage of one med and the start of another, along with trying some NSAIDs that apparently aggravated my sleep.

I still experience the heart racing/jolted awake thing in the middle of the night if I've fallen asleep without my mask or if it's slipped off (rare). But it races when I've had those spells of being close to sleep and being jolted awake.

I remember when my apnea was diagnosed, I was so afraid I was going to die in my sleep before I got my CPAP machine. But a good friend of mine, who had also been diagnosed and treated for apnea, told me that God didn't lead me that far just to take me. I took great comfort in that.

I wish the weight gain thing was simple....most of the meds I've taken over the years (and continue to take) have contributed greatly to the weight problem. If I take something too stimulating (to help boost metabolism), sleep suffers. To help sleep, the metabolism suffers. Just can't win.

To all of you who are suffering these kinds of episodes, I feel for you. I also urge you, if you haven't already, get yourself to a sleep specialist or pulmonary specialist to get checked. Even if you don't have apnea, you might have some other problem that could be serious enough to require treatment. And you might feel more rested as a result!

Blessings to all,

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