Feeling like I "forget" to breathe when I'm falling asleep!

I'm a 28 year old female, and I have struggled with anxiety ever since I can remember. I was diagnosed with panic disorder, and the last three years I had a prescription for xanax, but having it there as back up helped more than anything, and I went a very long time without an attack at all. I recently moved to a different state, and I cannot find a single doctor that will write me a prescription for .05 (or lower) of xanax. This is the first time in years that I've gone without it. Again, I had a script for 10 .05 pills that lasted me a year or longer, so it's not like I'm addicted to them by any means. Anyways, as of lately I've been having little bouts of anxiety during the day due to a lot of different factors that have been causing stress for me. Over the years my anxiety has taken on many different forms (loves to keep me on my toes!), so I'm terrified about what's happening now... I've convinced myself that I'm dying. When I lay down to go to sleep, as I'm dosing off I get this jolt of panic like I forgot to keep breathing. It's almost like that feeling you when you've held your breath for too long, and it's like a shock of adrenaline goes through you. I checked my pulse, I mentally wasn't too freaked out (yet) and I even did the fingernail check to be sure that I was, in fact, still getting oxygen. For over an hour I was in and out of sleep, and always waking to thinking I wasn't breathing. I eventually fell asleep, and didn't die like I was sure I was going to. Does anyone else experience this? Is this just another form of anxiety? I've had sleep paralysis before, but this is not like that at all!


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5 Replies

  • Hi your not alone I suffer from anxiety but I'm on medication now sertaline 100ml it's helped me took a while to kick in I got that symptom your talking about its another anxiety symbol I'm afraid so don't worry about it I'm here if you need to talk

  • Sounds like you are so high strung that your body has to try extra hard to relax for sleep. The more you worry about it the worse it gets.

    Relax sweetheart you are fine.

  • I do the same thing all the time. I was up at 3am today for the same reason. I wish I knew how to relax and not worry about it!

  • Thanks everybody! Last night I made sure I did some extra breathing techniques and I did some stretching while getting ready for bed... definitely seemed to help some, and I was shocked when I woke up because I didn't even remember falling asleep! Hopefully I can keep it going.

  • Hi AshCash and welcome to the forum...Moving out of state is always a high stressor, so I'm not surprised anxiety is creeping back. Not being able to have your security blanket of "10 Xanax" is not helping. Rationally, I'm sure you know you are not dying and that anxiety is putting that thought of unrest in your mind. What you are experiencing is very normal for someone wound up like a top so that when your body finally does want to chill out, it does it in waves. Don't forget, your brain is always active while you sleep. It remembers your fears and worries of the day. As your body starts to relax, your sub conscious goes into high gear causing you to wake up in a jolt. I have been through everything you have at one time. It is not dangerous, it is your over sensitized nerves sending extra adrenaline. Your breathing is done automatically, it will not fail you. Using deep breathing and relaxation before going to sleep does help in assuring you a good night's sleep. You will be okay. Continue using the forum for support and comfort. x

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