Has anyone experienced the sleep deprivation side effect that feels like your brain is shutting down / dying right as you drift off?

I've experienced anxiety and insomnia on and off for most of my life, I'm just a high energy, high stress person. I can usually manage it with exercise and deep breathing. However, I had this experience back in college during periods of peak stress, and I've starting experiencing it again. For the latest experience, I recently went 5 nights getting ~3 hours of interrupted sleep per night at most. By Day 6, I starting having horrible pain in my brain (not like a headache, but what felt like deterioration or failure). When I attempted to go to bed that night, as I was drifting off, I had a sensation, with absolute certainty, that my brain was shutting down and I was dying. It felt kind of like a computer crash that just fails. I immediately fought sleep to struggle against it, but I then had trouble with basic functions after (opening my eyes, seeing, moving my limbs, breathing) for at least 30 seconds to a minute. It happened again a couple of times that night before I was able to finally fall asleep. It's such an awful, scary, final feeling, I literally thought I was going to die. Has anyone else experienced these exact symptoms?

2 Replies

  • I have experienced really bad sleeping issues, suffered from insomnia... That feeling was really bad, it effect my work, my normal life, my health everything... My doctor suggest me taking AMBIEN (ZOLPIDEM) generic pills, it really work... I do some morning exercise a well, it helped me a lot...

  • Ow yea love I have them regular, they are scary mine feels like an electric shock sensation or like I've just been dropped from a height. Then you jolt up with a feeling of pins needles or shaking and gasping for air. Also get sleep paralysis where I'm awake but my body is pinned down last a few seconds, always happens when im drifting off or when I cat nap ie waking up falling asleep for a few hours waking up and sleeping again. Its called sleep apnea. I feel your having sleep problems which can cause this, also happens during the day if I've not slept at night and I have an hour in afternoon. This happens to me when I'm over stressed or if I have things on my mind. What I do is I make a list of things on my mind or what is causing me stress, put the priority ones at the top and work through them 1by one as many as you can do in a day tick them off as you do them I promise you will sleep better, and the attacks will stop, then when or if it happens again do a list and repeat one by one, you'll see the pattern as to what it is thats causing them. Honestly it is working for me, its your body telling you it's mentally and physically exhausted, they are the most scariest experience I've ever had, your not dyeing I've had them years. I wish you well xxx Mandy 😉

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