Sleep should not be this terrifying :(

Since most of my attacks occur in the middle of the night which in my opinion are harder to deal with as your half asleep. Every night I get so anxious at the thought of going to bed so I stay up till early morning or as long as I can to avoid an attack that's how terrified I am. I'm so tired of living this way. I just want my normal life back. Anyone else going through this???

20 Replies

  • Hi Pink, sorry this keeps happening to you. Have you tried a sleep aid before bed to help you relax? I sometimes feel like that, but I try and breathe and pray and if it's bad I take a sleep aid. Also a sleep meditation from an app called "Buddhify" helps me when I feel restless. I hope you are able to rest soon.

  • Thanks for they reply and yes I did manage to get some sleep which was great but woke feeling anxious and even felt anxious a few times after but I would tell myself that it's only anxiety and I will be ok but this doesn't always work. No I don't take any sleeping pills. I'm terrified of medication as I had a severe reaction to cymbalta and then citalopram made my symptoms worse then my dr prescribed me efforex and lazopram but I have not taken either yet :/

  • I recommend taking the lorazepam . I take it to help with anxiety. It takes about 20 min to kick in and it works ! Helps me sleep through the night !

  • I listen to relaxing piano music or a recording that is used to help with anxiety and puts me to sleep :) it works very well for me.

    I don't always get panic attacks as much as I used to, I think because I'm able to manage them better now, but when I do get them, I get them along with sleep paralysis.. so my mind would be awake but I wouldn't be able to move my body at all so you can imagine how frightening it would be to have the heart pounding etc but unable to move!! which makes you frighten even more !

  • Oh wow I couldn't imagine having that ontop of all the symptoms I already have. Sorry your having a rough time but very happy to hear that your attacks have minimized. Anxiety is a terrible thing and I wish I didn't have it or anyone for that matter

  • Hi Pink1181,

    Yeah I know how you feel. I hate the night and dread going to bed, and now even eating is a dread, as something is going on down there regarding air or wind or something, Constant belching, and I don't know where the air is coming from. That's actually what wakes me up and then comes the panic attack, you could set your watch by it. It's so awful. I have been having the attacks for about 2 months, and they are becoming more frequent.

    The worse ones were before I had information and didn't know what was going on. 2 visits to the ER, but they did ECG's and checks and said the ticker was ok.

    I am on the path to treatment, and I've just booked an appointment to see a naturopath to see if she can do something about the gastro. I'm on Nexium and I've heard that does awful things to a stomach, so I hope the naturopath can help there.

    Anyway, this forum is good to chat, I've just joined. I hope you're feeling better, as I know the anguish you're going through.

  • So sorry to hear your having such a rough time. Your about as new to these attacks as I am. I started with them about 4 months ago and have had some pretty bad attacks. What symptoms do you have? What was your worst attack?

    And yes the thought of going to bed shouldn't be so terrifying. I don't want to live like this anymore :(

  • My symptoms are pretty typical, nausea, dizzines, doom feelings flooding in, high blood pressure, racing heart, intense shaking with anything not bolted down and air buy the swimming pool load inflating my stomach. This is really what wakes me up, and then the panic attack sets in, not the other way around. Although I can get an attack out of the blue for no apparent reason.

    I currently also have (or maybe had) a dread of eating and sleeping. So not real great, and still trying to hold work together. BUT, I am. To compound it, I have (mild) sleep apnea.

    I can see a light at the end of a long tunnel though, and that helps. I went to my chiro yesterday and he gives massage. Worth his weight in gold. I felt so good after that. So massage is recommended by me. Psychologist appointment coming up as well as naturopath.

    I think all this is just a sign that my body is saying something to me, like: 'get your act together, mate or I'm gonna make you pay for what you've been doing to me!' I'm sure paying, and I'm getting my act together.

    I have recently found that the air is coming from sleeping with mouth open, so I got a chin strap which holds the mouth closed. HUGE difference. I didn't get the air anymore and since read some good articles on the importance of nose breathing, especially with regards to anxiety, and healthy living generally.

    Absolutely worth a look:

    I was trialing a cpap machine for the sleep apnea, but I think I might not tolerate that due to stomach inflation.

    All these ailments go together to create one big bucket of writhing anxiety. You have to fix them ALL. I think good quality and good quantity sleep means life or death and gives us the power to fight this demon better, so that is my main focus.

    My worst attack was only a few nights ago, with the cpap machine on. I did have the chin strap on too. Well, that thing blew my stomach up like a balloon (it's an auto preesure, too) although I didn't know what was happening at the time. Severe nausea, bloating, panic. Walking, pacing, breathing, no good, I was certain it was a heart attack again. Better get up to the ER again. So I presented far more panicky than I did a few nights before, so they took me in quick. ECG again, heart monitor, obs - BP over 200, docs, nurses, discussion. All ok, just another panic attack and by 7.00am was feeling ok, but extremely drained to the max. I don't think that will be repeated, since I now have knowledge of this demon, although the attacks can still come, I feel I have a lot more control over them.

    Quite surprised too, this morning woke up, managed a few hours of reasonable sleep, no air this time, no nausea, no bloating. Had a little breakfast, still feeling ok. Headed off, I usually get to a Maccas well before an appointment (customers) to do some work, so I don't suffer traffic... you know...stress..and get to appointment on time. Thought I'd risk a bacon and egg mcmuffin, hash brown and coffee, which has been so normal all my life. Although I was worried I wouldn't keep it down, so far I have and with no nausea!

    I feel you need to do something to allow you to sleep well and not be terrified of it, this is so important in fighting this thing. But I understand. I'm there too.

    Nice talking with you, I hope you can be feeling better soon.


  • Petet thank you so much for getting back to me. Just when you think you have it so bad you hear someone's story who has more going on.

    I can't even imagine. Have they determined what is causing your stomach to inflate so much like that?

    I will deff take a look at the link you sent me I'm willing to learn all about any breathing techniques

    I can't believe how much my life had changed since first attack. I'm always so terrified of everything now. I'm scared to exercise to sleep to take any kind of pill scared to stress too much as it will bring on an attack.

    Even afraid to be intimate as I'm scared something may happen :(

    My dr tried me on cymbalta which I had a severe reaction to and ended up at the hospital but they couldn't find anything then she prescribed citalopram which seemed to be working for the first few days then it started making my symptoms worse so she then prescribed me efforex and lazopram but I have not yet tried them and not sure I'm going to.

    I have started this self help program called Attacking anxiety and depression by Lucinda Bassett I'm on week 2 of the program and it seems to be helping some so lets see what week 15 will bring. Hope it work for me. I feel as if it's my last chance. Since my first attack my lil girl and I haven't been home much as I'm afraid to be alone so we've been at my parents. I just want to feel normal again. Thanks for listening.

    Donna :)

  • Hi Donna,

    'They' haven't determined, but I think I did. We thought at first it was the cpap machine, and it may be. I'm scared to use it again for fear of that happening. But it kept happening even as severe, after I stopped using the cpap. So, I'm going....what the!! More googling..... hmmm what's this? mouth breathing...not very good for you at all, in fact, very bad for you. So I used the chin strap I had with the cpap and went nitey nites. That chin strap kept the old trap shut all night so I wasn't mouth breathing and gulping air. So I slept better. But still a way to go.

    I've read more on that site, the link is for. Really good stuff. And I took the free test. That was an eye opener! Well no surprises, really.

    Yes, our lives change with this demon. They shouldn't but they do. Mine too has changed. I may have a few more afflictions than you, but I don't think I get so terrified anymore. Oh, I'm not out of the woods by any means yet, though. And, I think all my afflications are inter-related, so they are really just one, I think.

    I've had a few valiums, which can be good, but I try to limit them. The doc has put me on Zoloft, but I've only been on them a couple of days. Apparently you don't see an effect for a few weeks. We'll see.

    When you say you've started a self help program, I think that is good. I don't think we can totally leave it up to the professionals to get us out of this. Even with their help, WE are the ones doing all the work.

    Actually, I've heard very good reports about a Kinesiologist near me. I might try that too. I just want these attacks to stop. But I see this as a wake up call too, to get better.

    I've seen good reviews of that book by Lucinda Bassett too, I wish you well with that. Probably be a few hours before you read this... I'm guessing you're in the States, I'm in Australia. Bit of a time difference till darkness falls. It's so cold here to, we're in the middle of winter, that doesn't help.

    Take it easy.


  • Hi Peter

    No actually I'm in Canada and it's summer here :) which should be a good thing but with this anxiety I haven't really been able to enjoy it. I'm afraid to do anything. I have developed health anxiety. First I thought I had a brain tumor then something wrong with my heart then it was my stomach and now were back to the heart. My heart will race, beat hard, palpitations, chest pains it affects my sleep some nights.

    I've had 3 EKGs 3 sets of complete blood work done even hooked up to a heart monitor while at the hospital for a few hours and everything came back normal but I'm not convinced.

    Don't you know your not suppose to google any health issues lol

    As it only freaks you out more.

    Well for me anyways it does. I think that's why I'm so bad right now :(

    Yes I'm enjoying my program and fingers crossed it works because I refuse to live this way.

    Time to grab some breakfast and a shower. I will send you a message a little later. Hope your doing good :)


  • Peter not Petet. I'm so sorry :)

  • Hi pink :-) yup sometimes hate going to bed as that's when things happen especially if I'm home alone. Lol had a bad attack tonight and the other half is home (rolling my eyes) he's supposed to be there for me? He turned over and went back to sleep dammit. I'm used to dealing with these attacks on my own. It's why I come on here I find it really calms me down :-) hope you got some sleep

  • Hello again Evey

    That's too bad you had a bad attack I'm sorry :(

    And yes he is suppose tone there for you supporting you. I'm so blessed to have amazing parents who talk to me during an attack but it's still scary as hell.

    What happened during your attack the other night? What were your symptoms? And how did you cope?

  • Hi again pink:-) I woke up in a sweat I thought I was having a stroke or something..... Fast pulse, dizzy head, sweats, felt like I was going to pass out...all from being asleep... How did I cope? Played games on my phone and came on here to try and help others... Always helps to calm me down knowing others are there and I'm not the only one suffering

  • Awe I'm sorry to hear. That was a rough attack :(

    Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night to turn over and your heart starts pounding?

    I agree coming on here seems to help me as well. I like to know someone else has the same symptoms as I

  • Hi Donna,

    There is a certain comfort knowing others have this affliction. Not that you'd wish this upon anyone, mainly because you can talk to each other and the other understands what you're going through. Also, I think the more we talk, the more we can be certain that it is JUST (I stress JUST) this horrible panic attack anxiety, since we've all got very similar symptoms.

    I'm finding that I hold a lot of the anxious energy in my stomach area, if I can relax that, I find relief. I am learning to control it better now. But I wish I knew why I am not just like I was three months ago, It makes no sense. And why can't we just switch it off? After all, we both know there is no REAL danger, there is no real bear in the woods.

    I'm also finding that I almost have to learn to breathe again. Seems strange, but it appears that the nervous energy is causing me take shorter, shallower breaths and this is no good. Apparently that can lead to hyperventilation, which is adding to the wind.

    But I find the more information, the more you know it's JUST anxiety, the LESS power you are giving it. Easy to say, but remember, I have it too, I'm suffering just like all of us here.

    I went through the brain tumour, epilepsy, heart attack, stroke, everything else I could think of syndrome. I wonder if that makes us hypochondriacs too! I don't think so in this case. I think if it were any of those, I would know by now. I don't think any of those just come and go like this does.

    I take your point about Googling every symptom or cause. It can sometimes lead to an attack, and it might've for me too. The doc says not to. I went in to see my doc the morning after the last ER episode, where they gave me the report on discharge and electronically sent it to her. In the waiting room I had an attack and was controlling it. I said to her, "aren't you going to take my BP?" She said, "no, we have that under control, and I told you to stop doing yours at home". Anyway, after some chit chat, the attack calmed right down.

    I think, in the wee small hours, after waking up, it's been more good than harm though, and I found this site. I am sleeping a little better now.

    Anyway, how you doing now?

    Also, Evey, I feel for you too, re the other half. It's tough for all.


  • Hello Peter

    How are you doing?

    I have to agree with you on the whole comfort thing. I find this site very helpful and really does help to lift my spirits. It helps me to know there's others out there with symptoms like mine.

    I was having a rough night and morning so I spent hours on here this afternoon then did some of my program. Helped a little.

    I like how you said it's JUST anxiety and it won't hurt us. It can't but we sure do suffer with it.

    Do you know how much I hate this ugly thing called anxiety. Both my sisters have went through it and I never understood exactly what it was or how it can make you feel or affect your daily routines till I had my first attack and wow that was scary not that everyone since isn't but the first one your not sure what's going on and you think your dying.

    My sisters keep telling me I will not always feel this way it will get better but right now I don't believe that at all.

    Oh believe me I wish there was a light switch because I would turn that thing off and super glue and duct tape it so it never came back on lol

    Yeah I hear ya mine is in my stomach and chest and I think I'm just learning how to kinda relax to relieve some of the tension.

    And yes googling every little symptom and cause can most certainly cause an attack it's made my attacks worse more intense. When were you at the ER :( and really you were checking your own bp at a home? How often? But if I had all the stuff to check myself out I would lol but I also don't think that would do me any good likely cause more severe attacks.

    I'm doing ok I guess. I'd be better if the dizziness would go away completely and if I could sleep better :(

  • hi everyone , I'm sat here now terrified of going to bed , staying at parents & told my partner he has gotta stay too my stomach is starting to gurgle yet feels so stiff date not move my ears are popping this is beyond me is this really anxiety or ha e a I got a real health problem I need checking out. My problem I took a diazepam over a week ago one before that , feel I can't go to toilet properley & my stomach area feels right is this anxiety or ibs even get back ache I'm

    Absolutely shattered but beyond fear to sleep any ideas anyone to sleep relax :-) Binkynoo :-(

  • Yes i am no matter what i do i cant get sleep at night at all you think about it and thats it up all night i dont want to take sleeping pill every night +_thay dont work on me dont know why like i over power them fills like im going mad with no sleep

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