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Stephanieann

Waking up with a panic

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Does anyone else ever suddenly wake up at night with a panic? My heart isn't racing but it feels like a whole load of adrenaline just gets dumped in my system and wakes me up. I am having the hardest time trying to find something to help me sleep! It's like my sleeping part of my brain is broken. 

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Hi Stephanie. This happened to me for years before I started Clonidine. I barely slept before finding this forum. My doctors treated me for insomnia, but nothing helped. When I read about others experiencing the same issue I knew it was adrenaline surges. I started Clonidine which is a BP med that works by blocking Norepinephrine (adrenaline) and it was amazing to finally sleep.  Sometimes people use a pure beta blocker like Propranolol, but this didn't work for me. Sorry you are experiencing this, I understand exactly how you feel.

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My daughter is having a hard time with her adrenaline levels, too, but one thing that we have added to her benzos is melatonin.  It sounds innocuous, I know, but when you add it as an adjunct, it helps.  If I rattled off everything she takes to make her body work, most people would sleep for a week!  She doesn't!  Just thinking out loud...  Hope you feel better soon!

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I have sudden wakefulness with panic, feeling of doom, heart racing, dizziness, nausea and sweating. It happens several times and week and worse if I am anxious about something. I am often dreaming when it happens, too. 

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On 11/10/2016 at 8:43 PM, Stephanieann said:

Does anyone else ever suddenly wake up at night with a panic? My heart isn't racing but it feels like a whole load of adrenaline just gets dumped in my system and wakes me up. I am having the hardest time trying to find something to help me sleep! It's like my sleeping part of my brain is broken. 

I do, and even with clonidine. Have you had a sleep study?

My airway is poor and I sometimes go into shallow paradoxical breathing. Could be something to investigate. NE rises in apnea episodes.

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Yes, I used to have this so often. I would wake up with a surge and my body would be freaking out. Usually accompanied by bowel movements, tremors, rapid heart rate (of course), horrible anxiety/panic, etc. I do have panic disorder and anxiety, which I believe are a direct result of having to much adrenaline/norepinephrine in the system. I would get these in high school as well, and my mom and I thought they were just "panic attacks." I still have cycles of them sometimes, but they are fairly rare for me now, thankfully. I have always had vivid dreams and nightmares, too. I hope you get some relief soon. It's hard to get out of the cycle when you go to bed dreading what will happen.

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I have this, too. I hope we can test for it and get it treated. I'm always getting out of bed for the day at 2, 3, or 4 am because I'm positive I won't get to sleep while those feelings are occurring. Melatonin, Benadryl, and valerian root separately haven't gotten me to sleep through them. This is one of my biggest issues. I'm not anxious and have great sleep hygiene and a CPAP. It's hard to get to sleep with the pounding heart in the first place and once it wakes me up, I'm done. 

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I had a sleep study done as I was stopping breathing and then gasping for breath. The study found nothing of note. I was snoring so heavily and as I have had polyps in the past, in my nasal passages, I decided to get a nasal rinse. It was the best thing I ever did as after using it twice daily for a few weeks and then once or twice a week, the snoring stopped and I could breathe much better. I use it now and again if I get a bit bunged up or if I have a cold. 

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I've read that can be due to hypoglycemia. Try eating a good amount of clean protein before bed to stabilize your blood sugars. I had this happening between 2 and 5am, eating a small piece of chicken or salmon or handful of pumpkin seeds about an hour before bed made a huge difference.

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