Panic when dozing off to to go sleep! Please help!

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cathy3759
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/16/2007 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new here.I have been trying to find help with my anxiety desperately. I haven't slept but 3 hours in 3 days and can't eat and am just so tired of it all.I have had panic off and on for 20 years but the last few weeks it has been uncontrollable and unbearable.I am too scared to take medication of any kind.IT gives me horrible panic attacks even thinking about it. But I think i could handle the day time panic but at night I am scared to try to go to sleep now.Because when I do as soon as I doze I get a weird thought or a panic thought and startle awake.IT only happens when dozing.I can not stand it.IT happens all night.I keep getting advise on how to get sleepy but that is not the problem. I am sleepy I am just too scared to sleep.Now I can't take care of my kids or the house or anything.I just sit and worry about not sleeping.I dread even thinking of trying to lay down and have these feelings coming over me.I can sort of control the day time ones when I feel them coming on but the night time ones just happen and no control and you think I am so tired and try to doze again and the same thing happens over an over until you just get up and are so nervous.Now I am so worn down and tired and not able to eat and barely drinking that I think I may collapse. Has anyone else had this problem and how did you conquer it. There has to be some solution or help.I am so scared I am going crazy.

harry4
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 4/16/2007 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   

welcome

the panic attacks cant hurt you and wont send you crazy, so stop worrying about them

valium type meds will help you quickly and are safe, if you have a fear of swallowing tablets, liquid versions are available, have you taken valium in the past?

many self help books are available on how to cope and recover from panic attacks and phobias

stay with us


recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
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Scorpio7
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/16/2007 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I've experienced dozing-off panic attacks as well, and they're deeply unpleasant. I find they get worse the more I try to fight it (ie try going to sleep) so I'd distract myself by reading or playing Gameboy. Sometimes this lasts all the way until morning. During the worst attack I had I took a really hot bath at 3 in the morning...and it worked and ended up sending me to sleep. I read somewhere that hot baths increase your body temperature, and when the temperature falls after you get out your body mistakes that for the state of deep sleep (where you natural temperature falls as well). 30 minutes after a hot bath is a good window to try falling asleep...hopefully you should be more relaxed so the panic doesn't recur in that time. I'm sorry to hear that you've gone 3 nights without sleep! When you're dozing off, don't think about the panic but embrace the rest (and tiredness) your body deserves. At some point, tiredness will override anxiety so please try not to dread going to bed. Because you haven't slept for 3 days, your chances of falling asleep is much better now than a few nights ago! Or you could try lying down in a location that doesn't immediately trigger panic...like in front of the TV (tell yourself you're just watching TV, but close your eyes if you feel tired).

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/16/2007 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow

I used to have those, too, only mine were a little different. As soon as I was falling asleep, I'd have these weird and very brief episodes of panic. I don't think I've ever shared those with anyone because, for some reason, I was always able to shake them off. If my panic had subsided to the point that I was literally falling asleep, I figured I'd pretty much licked it for the night and would just ignore them. But they did happen and it was weird.

Occasionally I'd wake up with panic in the middle of the night, but not too often. Those were the worse panic attacks ever.

Anyway, my problems and yours are totally different and I'm sorry to go off topic.

In your case, though, I think you have no alternative than to overcome your fear of medication. I mean, if it's lasting all night I'm not sure whatever you do at 10:00 is still going to be effective at 3:00. I really feel bad for what you're going through. I'd speak to a doctor about it as soon as you can.

Scorpio's right. At some point you'll become so tired that your body WILL sleep. I do not, however, recommend trying to fall asleep with the television on. There was a thread on here a while back in which people believed the TV was causing them to have nocturnal panic attacks. Maybe it could help you fall asleep, though...does your TV have a timer function in which it could turn itself off at a predetermined time?

cathy3759
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/16/2007 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
They are just terrifying to me. I just don't know how to cope with them.I don't understand what is causing them as I see nothing you should fear in going to sleep to startle you awake like that.But now I am a nervous wreck as soon as I get near sleeeping time becuase I know they are going to happen. And I am so tired.I have never been a depressed or suicidal person but this has got me scared so bad that I think I am better off dead most times because I see no hope of getting better. The daytime panics are bad and awful and I wish I didnt' have them but at least I can talk thru them and go on but the night time ones are just constant all night.You would think i would run out of adrenalin or whatever is causing it. I have to have the tv on as I have to have some talking in the background and also when I can beg someone to stay up with me I think they would rather watch tv.I don't have the waking in the middle of the night ones.Just the dozing ones.How did you all get better? What did you do.I will try anything.I can not take care of myself or my family and have no energy to do anything during the day and am not interested in eating cause I am scared and worried and think about this all day.KNowing night is coming and I will be scared.

fdmcall
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 4/16/2007 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
i know EXACTLLY what you mean, right now my anxiety has been pretty high lately. mine gets worse with the less sleep i get. and like you i have the same feelings when going to sleep, i jump, i jerk, i scare the crap out of myself. wheni get this bad i take a xanax about 1/2 hour beofre i goto bed. i have learned through my own experience that lack of sleep and anxiety dont go well together. get somethingto help you relax and help you sleep. i promise you it will be one of the one things you will look back on and say "i wish i would of tried this sooner". later Francis

cathy3759
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/16/2007 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
but will xanax take away the startle thing? I am beginning to lose hope that it will go away ever and I can't live llike this..I am scared of meds.I actually went to the hospital yesterday but the dr refused to give me anything except blood pressure medicine.I haven't even taken that yet.

fdmcall
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 4/16/2007 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
it will take the "startle" thing away for sure. like i said i know what your talking about, its anxety and lack of sleep. it will take the edge off and help you fall aslleep faster and have a good night sleep. and the less sleep you get will just make it get worse.  i used to be scared to take anything. but i look back now and dont know why and how i went for so long without that little bit of help from meds, you dont have to do it on your own.

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/16/2007 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd just like to concur that a lack of sleep always made my anxiety worse, too. You're in a vicious circle. I do think some kind of med would be in order if you're feeling as bad as you say you are. There are people who are against drugs and recommend CBT instead, but how long would you have to do CBT before it was so deeply ingrained as to help you while you're dozing in and out of sleep? Not sure. I wish you luck...in my opinion, this is definitely something you need to talk to your doctor about.

cathy3759
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/17/2007 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I went to the dr today. I haven't seen one in several years.He wouldn't prescribe xanax .he prescribed a sleeping pill called rozerum and blood pressure medicine and lexapro. Well lexapro I am scared of and it takes several weeks to work. Rozerum I don't think will help me as I am already sleepy.Just have panic attacks and weird thoughts when dozing. I just dont' know.I can't think straight anymore.He did do blood tests since I haven't eaten he could go ahead and do that right away. I did ask to see a psychiatrist but the one he recommended is not available until OCTOBER!!!

Ocean&Sun
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/17/2007 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Cathy,

I too am afraid of drugs but i take a very small dose of Lexapro (5 mg...I cut a 10 mg) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder to prevent panic attacks.  It actually makes you kind of sleepy so its good to take it at night. I used to be afraid to sleep at night.  Now I just have faith that my body needs sleep and I try to ease my mind and not  fight it.  I don't always fall right to sleep but it is easier than fighting the sleep.  Your body needs it and you must nurture your body or your anxiety will get worse.   


cathy3759
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/17/2007 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ocean.how does the lexapro work for you? How long have you been on it? I am terrified of it.But then I am terrified of everything and it is getting worse.

Ocean&Sun
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/17/2007 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Cathy,

I have been on the Lexapro for like 3 years.  Honestly it worked really,really well for a while.  It takes a few weeks to help with the actual anxiety but it will probably help the sleep for you soon.  Now I think I need to increase my dose or change to something else.  I have had virtually no side effects.  And usually I have side effects (or at least I always get scared) and stop medication before I give it a chance.  I am always afraid of medication too and have so many fears.  I am on here b/c my anxiety has recently been increased substantially which is why I think i need to increase my dose.  I have chronic fatigue and when it gets bad my anxiety increases.


abc123
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 4/17/2007 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been having panic attacks recently and was just prescribed Xanax. I started to have an atack this afternoon and took my first Xanax immediately. I felt normal within 10 minutes and my mind was perfectly clear - no side effects.

Really dumb solution, but I've been going to bed watching cartoons or something equally mindless and just seem to drift off to sleep. I'm 30, but whatever works, right? I won't talk about the early morning problems, though.

Stephanie
Dx: FMS/CMP/DDD - 2 ACFs with more to follow, scoliosis, mis-aligned pelvis
Rx: Cymbalta, Soma, Zanaflex, EC Naprosyn, Ambien CR, Norco 10s, Percocet 7.5s, Buspar, Xanax, Loratidine (for pain believe it or not), Seravent, Albuterol, herbal supplements and vitamins, Lidocaine injections, Botox injections, and something new with each appointment.


freezinginAK
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1052
   Posted 4/17/2007 11:10 PM (GMT -7)   

   I know this may seem odd but for years I have been having P/A's at night and have ripped my sheets apart from them but now I tend to injoy the nightmares and have found that you can control what is happening in these nightmares by trying to stay with it (so to speak) by playing the game and will find that you really do have control over them in the long run. I have gone though miny things in my life that are much more worst then nightmares and do deal with flashbacks but they will not hurt you and you most play the mind games on them yourself to win

  Cowboy up



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Post Edited (freezinginAK) : 4/18/2007 12:20:27 AM (GMT-6)


cathy3759
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/18/2007 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for trying to help.I am still not sold on the Lexapro although I might try xanax if I could get anyone to prescribe me one.I am just so tired and so dreading the nighttime and trying to fall asleep. It is so miserable. The daytime is miserable too but like i said I can at least talk my way halfway thru it but when you are dozing your subconscious mind takes over and you have no control. So I see no solution and that scares me. I can't take care of kids or home or anything else feeling this way.I have tried to find a therapist in my area but it is hard.Someone recommended magnesium to me and someone recommended L-theanine? Has anyone tried those?

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/18/2007 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you taken your sleeping pill, yet? I'm not familiar with it but it just may depress your neurological system enough to stop panic attacks. As for lexapro, I know some people on it and they've done quite well on it. Getting your blood pressure down may also help to dissuade panic attacks.

Cappy
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/18/2007 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
I know how you feel...at the end of a long day, all i want to do is realx and go to sleep and thats when i start to shake and have difficulty breathing... this is new to me (only started a month aog), i was scared to take meds, but i take half a xanax and it helps ALOT...i also try to alter my thought process... for ex... when i lay down i start to think of a happy time (my last vacation) or about something that i am looking forward to (graduation)...while i dont want to lie to you and say that it helps all of the time, it does work sometimes. I hope this passes soon for you! please know that you are not alone!

angels7113
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/11/2007 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I see some of these posts and think, gosh, that is exactly what i am thinking. I am 27. I havent barely slept now for three days, and i feel i am going insane. I have occasionally had problems in the past falling asleep but usually was able to get to a normal schedule a day or two after that. THis last episode is almost going on a month. I have not had a normal nights sleep since then. I have gone to the doctor and they gave me xanax which helped at first but now hasnt been helping, i think my body is getting used to it. I've been trying to cut down a bit on using it but not sure if i should or if i should go ask for a higher does (i take .5mg) or switch to someting else. I even took an ambien last night and i woke up after 3 hrs sleep. I feel im going crazy, i tried a relaxation tape last night and it helped me relax but still i couldnt not fall into sleep. I am now desperate, i have never been a depressed person but am slowly becoming one because of my lack of sleep. Today i feel like all my body organs hurt because of lack of sleep. Has anyone, had this problem and switched to another med that worked? I tried to take some trazodone my doctor perscribed but that only made me depressed the next day and didnt always work. Please Help! Also if this goes on another night does anyone know if you can go into the ER and they put you to sleep somehow? I am that desperate.

angels7113
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/11/2007 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I see some of these posts and think, gosh, that is exactly what i am thinking. I am 27. I havent barely slept now for three days, and i feel i am going insane. I have occasionally had problems in the past falling asleep but usually was able to get to a normal schedule a day or two after that. THis last episode is almost going on a month. I have not had a normal nights sleep since then. I have gone to the doctor and they gave me xanax which helped at first but now hasnt been helping, i think my body is getting used to it. I've been trying to cut down a bit on using it but not sure if i should or if i should go ask for a higher does (i take .5mg) or switch to someting else. I even took an ambien last night and i woke up after 3 hrs sleep. I feel im going crazy, i tried a relaxation tape last night and it helped me relax but still i couldnt not fall into sleep. I am now desperate, i have never been a depressed person but am slowly becoming one because of my lack of sleep. Today i feel like all my body organs hurt because of lack of sleep. Has anyone, had this problem and switched to another med that worked? I tried to take some trazodone my doctor perscribed but that only made me depressed the next day and didnt always work. Please Help! Also if this goes on another night does anyone know if you can go into the ER and they put you to sleep somehow? I am that desperate.

Lana7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/11/2007 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I used to have horrible panic attacks and anxiety and now they gone. I'm against all medications and taking them when I really needed, that's why I asked doctor to give me something what I can have only time to time, so he recommended Xanax and I'm really happy about. It was always in my bag (I felt secure when my capsule in a bag) and when I felt anxiety I took one tab under the tongue - works fast, you won't feel tranquilized, it is very light in small dosages. With time I needed them less and less.. And now I'm walking around without my pills and feel good! It's a long process, but you can do it! I was searching on Google and found this site and someone recommended me book "Hope and Help for your nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes - this is very very good book, she is so positive and really helpful! I've read couple of more books, but this one was the best to understand how anxiety and panic works and how to coop. Don't be afraid from it, observe your self when you are anxious and find why at this moment you feel anxiety.. nothing found? your nerves are bluffing - ignore them. Take a book, do something, go somewhere, just ignore them! I learned how to ignore and my panics stopped!

Sleep is very important to human body, all cells getting renovated when your organs relaxed, and if you can't get to that stage maybe you have to try some sleeping pills - just for a short time! Or, as some people recommend - take a warm shower, I used to place my feet in hot water (because I was all trembling during attacks). But.. you can't go to sleep because you don't feel like sleeping or your thoughts not letting you to sleep? When I got my heart broken I didn't sleep for 3-4 month, maybe few hours at night! I'm still alive :-) So, don't think much about! If you have problems - you have to try to resolve them first, if this is from anxiety - try some herbal tea, some natural remedies, if not - ask doctor to give some relaxing/sleeping pills, they are all with reversable effect - if you will stop it any time, there is no harm so don't be afraid to try. From my side, I did some stretching (yoga like) exersises, nothing fast and jumpy, just slow nice stretching before you go to bed - your muscles will get some oxigen and you will feel better. And, maybe you try CD or hypnosis, check Amazon.com, they have reviews for everything, can read what's good and what's not, or maybe some love-story book will help you to take your mind away? you have to try, just don't panic - there is nothing wrong with you! Maybe 70% of all people been there at one point.

Good luck!

Lana7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/11/2007 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I see that you couldn't get prescription for Xanax... See, there is a trick. If you complain to doctor that you can't sleep ONLY, he will give you sleeping pills. Tell him that you having panic attacks, Xanax works really fast and good for panic attacks. Tell doctor that you don't want to take any long time meds and rather have taking on time to time basis. Or go to another doctor.. Xanax could be in 0.25, 0.5 and 1mg. Smallest dose is not dangerous, but really helpful, ask doctor for 0.25 at least to try for few weeks. You may take 2-4 depends on attack if it is really bad, usually 1 tab is helping me when I feel strong anxiety.

Best. Lana.

Chuckle.xxx
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 624
   Posted 5/12/2007 4:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I used to get panic attacks just as I was dozing off to sleep but it only ever happened when I was having too much caffeine befoe bed - coke was the worst!
I really hope you start to feel better soon :-)

katekate888
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 5/16/2007 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
As I was getting (dreading)ready to go to bed tonight, i thought i would go on HW to check out if anyone else has problems falling asleep. Im so glad i read this post! I feel that for the most part i have my anxiety under control except for when it comes time to go to bed. all those feelings of craziness come out and i feel like im falling apart. my stomach sinks and i know im never goin to get to bed. My doctor put my on lunesta and boy it has really worked great but i stopped taking it because i felt that maybe i was becoming too dependant on it. now im back to square one!!! i guess this post may not be the most positive, but i just want you to know that your not alone on this one. i think that for A/P sufferers, night time is usually an unpleasant time, though many people would probably agree that you can change things if you really believe you can. i hope this helps. I will pray for you (as well as all) that we may fall asleep pleasantly!

ChristianWithHope
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 5/16/2007 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
kate - trying hard not to have anxiety is the stuff that panic is made of. ESPECIALLY at night. At night you abandon yourself to sleep - it's a time of profound vulnerability. You're unconscious after all - someone could sneak up on you, put a knife in your heart and you wouldn't even know it! You're subconscious pokes you as you sleep reminding you that you've let your guard down - and then you remember how screwed you are and BAM - you're instantly wide a awake in a state of pure terror!
I used to love taking naps on a Sunday afternoon - then I developed anxiety and I could no longer - I'd come roaring out of a light sleep with a gasp - as though I'd fallen asleep in a pool of water and in a moment of utter exhaustion inhaled. Now I can once again enjoy a wonderful, relaxing nap - ok with the fact that I'm no more or less in control that before. I don't like the lack of control - but I grudgingly accept it.
Have you seen a psychiatrist? I'm so grateful that I was able to overcome the fear long enough to let the medicine heal my wounded brain.
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