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Alaska

Wake Up In Fear, Are These Addrenal Surges?

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I have been waking up within the first 1-2 hours from sleeping in a state of fear or worry. When I wake up, I feel overwhelmed and my heart feels kinda funny. I wouldn't say my heart is racing. It takes a few minutes to calm down, then I am able to go right back to sleep. But, this can happen again the same night 1-3 times. Usually in the first few hours. Most nights it doesn't happen.

I have my bed elevated about 12 inches at the head of the bed. Been doing this now for half a year, not sure if it helps. I should also note that I have a history of sleep walking my whole life (brother and Mother also). These are not my normal sleep walking because I am aware... well not completely at first as when I first wake up I'm out of it wondering why I'm so frightened.

Is this what would be considered an addrenal surge? I wondered if I may also be having low blood pressure and because my bed is elevated, my body wakes me up to do something about it. I'm also sure that my history of sleep walking is part of this. I remember somebody posting that they had these surges every time they elevated the bed. Just wondering if this symptom could help the Doc figure out what's going on with me a little beter.

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I get this too occasionally. I think they are adrenaline surges. If I'm stressed or over do it during the day they seem to happen more.

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I also get that. Mine is a feeling of over whelming dread, sadness, and fear. I think it is from me starting to faint in my sleep. My BP gets very low when I sleep

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I'm also very low BP when I sleep. Wake up panicked, sweaty, heart sometimes racing sometimes just pounding hard, sometimes feel like I wasn't breathing, also feels like my body goes thru a forced exhale - when it's supposed to be inhaling. It stinks to wake up this way but the good news is - despite this happening to me for several years I seem to always wake up.

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yep me too....definately adrenaline surges.....sad to say but now I am used to them...they happen so often........not a BP thing for me I have high levels of catecholamines so I am sure thats what sets them off :(

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Guest Alex

I believe they are adrenal surges. I used to get a lot of them before being diagnosed and starting on meds. I sill get them - not as often though.

It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone in this, but at he same time I'm sorry to hear others go though them.

Does anyone experience some mild shaking (particularly of the legs) with these episodes?

Relax, I have the same feeling that I wasn't breathing sometimes. I wonder if this calls for a sleep study?!

Bren, could it be a bad dream that sets them off? Some drs call them "night terrors" and say that they can happen to anyone. (I wonder if those said drs get them too...)

Alex

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Hi Alex

My specialist thinks its definately because I have high levels/ high sensitivity of adrenaline (I also have high cortisol) in my system all the time and my receptors are not functioning properly to get rid of it. I was diagnosed with high levels on baseline (lying down) and standing during my tilt test. Although I know if I am awoken suddenly that sends my system completely overboard into an episode..... :( but bad dreams dont help the situation thats for sure ;)

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Two years ago I woke up not breathing... this was before all the other symptoms. I always wondered what happened. I actually did have a sleep study, but I'm not too sure about the accuracy because with all the wires hooked up to me and the video camera on me, not to mention the stiff hospital bed, I didn't sleep well at all. It wasn't my "normal" sleep. But, he did diagnose me with sleep arousal disorder. I started clonazapam and that helped and I had one of the better weeks I have ever had. But, then I gained tolerance and had to go up in dose. Then I gained tolerance again to that higher dose. Finally, I thought this can't be the answer as I will just become addicted to the stuff and not be able to get off of it. I do notice I sleep better if I exercise during the day. Sleep seems to be such a big factor for a lot of us! Wonder if really that is why exercise works so well... maybe it's not so much the increasing heart size and blood volume, but that one sleeps better at night?? Just a thought. I wonder if I should ask the Doc for alternative sleep solutions to see if I improve.

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I can't exercise much at all....gets me more wound up and symptomatic....but I was also diagnosed with exercise induced urticaria.....goes to show how completely unique we all are :)

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This used to happen to me all the time....I now sleep with a Cpap and Klonopin, and it doesn't happen as often. I had tachycardia and sleep apnea, and I would also wake up sweating, too, so it was a combination for me...

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Yes, I also get these and I agree they are adrenaline surges. My doctor helped me understand them by explaining that normal people while sleeping also have a release of adrenaline which is gradual and begins somewhere around 2am. In a normal person the very slow release of adrenaline over the course of several hours is what helps a person wake up gently around 7am.

For those of us w POTS our dysregulated system doesn't release the adrenaline gradually- I dumps all at once like a dump truck manufacturing this "trauma" that makes us wakeup in a panic with palpitations and a feeling of fear.

I get them during the day too at times when I'm really symptomatic.

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I'm also very low BP when I sleep. Wake up panicked, sweaty, heart sometimes racing sometimes just pounding hard, sometimes feel like I wasn't breathing, also feels like my body goes thru a forced exhale - when it's supposed to be inhaling. It stinks to wake up this way but the good news is - despite this happening to me for several years I seem to always wake up.

That's been my exact experience this week. :/ My heart rate gets down into the 40s when I sleep; I don't know about my blood pressure.

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Guest Alex

Hi Alex

My specialist thinks its definately because I have high levels/ high sensitivity of adrenaline (I also have high cortisol) in my system all the time and my receptors are not functioning properly to get rid of it. I was diagnosed with high levels on baseline (lying down) and standing during my tilt test. Although I know if I am awoken suddenly that sends my system completely overboard into an episode..... :( but bad dreams dont help the situation thats for sure ;)

thanks Bren.

my cortisol levels tested fine, so did my metanephrines, but I guess I have a high sensitivity to adrenaline, or my body doesn't regulate its production and/or its release properly.

Bad dreams on top of that = recipe for disaster.

Best,

Alex

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Guest Alex

Yes, I also get these and I agree they are adrenaline surges. My doctor helped me understand them by explaining that normal people while sleeping also have a release of adrenaline which is gradual and begins somewhere around 2am. In a normal person the very slow release of adrenaline over the course of several hours is what helps a person wake up gently around 7am.

For those of us w POTS our dysregulated system doesn't release the adrenaline gradually- I dumps all at once like a dump truck manufacturing this "trauma" that makes us wakeup in a panic with palpitations and a feeling of fear.

I get them during the day too at times when I'm really symptomatic.

Makes perfect sense. If only understanding them would help getting rid of them.

I get them during the day as well Kelly. Sorry you struggle with this.

Best,

Alex

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I was getting these adrenaline rushes in the early morning, but like Kim I am now taking Klonipin and it helps. I still wake up at 5:30 though. Seven would be much better.

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I was getting these adrenaline rushes in the early morning, but like Kim I am now taking Klonipin and it helps. I still wake up at 5:30 though. Seven would be much better.

I wake up early, too, so sometimes I take an Ambien, too, when I'm very tired. That's what I had to do for my sleep study, the second time. I didn't sleep enough the first time around. :) It does wear one out :rolleyes:

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