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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Panic attack during sleep

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Author Topic: Panic attack during sleep
horsefly
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Has anyone had this before? Feels like a panic attack which wakes you up from your sleep. I already take magnesium before bedtime so I don't know what else to take. It's only happened a few times. Does this correlate with a particular infection?
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LymeLogged
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Every night between 2 and 4 I wake up really anxious and shaking. I get up and walk around for a little while, take 1mg of Klonopin and go back to bed.

But yeah, I wake up in a moderate panic attack every night.

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steve1906
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Panic attacks are VERY, very common with Lyme Disease - Do a search like> (Panic attacks & Lyme disease)

There are a couple of things you can try to reduce your chances of experiencing panic episodes while sleeping:

1. Music

Listening to relaxing music can help you fall asleep faster than simply lying on your bed in complete silence. Music will help you relax your mind and stop focusing on your conscious thoughts. Alternatively, you can try listening to a white noise machine instead of music.

2. Relaxation

Basic relaxation exercises can go a long way in helping you sleep better. I like to practice conscious breathing whenever I have trouble falling asleep as I find it helps me calm my mind.

3. Exercising

You dont need to do a lot of exercising every day to sleep better. Some simple lifestyle changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator will do you a lot of good. Its amazing how a 20-minute walk outside can do wonders to clear your mind and help you sleep better at night.

4. Avoiding alcohol and coffee

In many cases, alcohol and coffee have been found to be the cause of panic disorders in people. Gradually decrease your intake of coffee and avoid taking it in the afternoon if you want any chance of sleeping at night. If you drink a lot, try to cut back on alcohol and take notes on the quality of your sleep to learn what effects it has on it.

5. Stress management

As I mentioned earlier, nightly episodes of panic happen when there is a lot of stress and anxiety repressed during the day. Learning how to manage that stress will help you get rid of your problem.

6. Therapy

If your panic or anxiety attacks become a problem in your life and you feel like you cant solve it by yourself, dont be afraid to consult a professional to help you with your issue.

Panic attack or sleep apnea?

Panic attacks happening while youre sleeping can bear some resemblances with sleep apnea, a disorder where the person stops breathing during sleep for a small period of time. While the symptoms of sleep apnea may look like the symptoms of a panic attack, doctors agree that the two disorders are unrelated.

--------------------
Everything I say is just my opinion!

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Lymetoo
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Someone mentioned that it could be a drop in blood sugar, so maybe you could try getting up and eating something??

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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LymeLogged
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"Basic relaxation exercises can go a long way in helping you sleep better. I like to practice conscious breathing whenever I have trouble falling asleep as I find it helps me calm my mind."

That's exactley what I do while I'm waiting for the Klonopin to kick in. I just focus on counting my breaths.

It was suggested by my LLMD that it might be low blood sugar, but I've tried protein drinks before bed to no avail.

I've found nothing that prevents it from happening. Eating in the middle of the night doesn't help me.

Funny thing is I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and never toss and turn. It's sleeping through the night that's my problem.

I also find that I'm shaking when I wake up in a panic like that.

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horsefly
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Thanks for all your help everyone, all your advice is great. Never thought of blood sugar dropping. I also don't think I have addressed Lyme well either so that may be one of the problems. I have mild sleep apnea but was tested a while ago. Sorry that some of you can relate. It's not nice to experience that.
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ESG
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used to happen to me all the time - would wake up with my heart racing, so scared. It is definitely a distressing experience and you are not alone.
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horsefly
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@ESG-so it went away with treatment then? Everytime I get something scary I feel like it's here to stay.
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gingerlm0101
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i've had these episodes...awful...it actually felt like a freight train comming starting at your toes...i was getting these at night and day..my dr. still doesnt beleive i have lyme so she just put me on more drugs...i'm done...now i'm just not sleeping..i do not drink or do drugs...so i walk around the house for hours until it goes away...all the lights on because i'm panicked...sometimes i cant shut the shower door...i'm glad to know im not crazy...
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Keebler
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-
Yes, likely from infection but can also be from liver overload, adrenal exhaustion, heart stress or exposure to certain triggers in food or environment.

Be sure your LLMD is made aware at your next appointment - or if it after some support methods it does not improve - ask if you can converse by phone until time comes for your next appt.

What helps (in addition to addressing infections, including parasites):
---------------------

Be sure you are getting between 1,000 - 2,000 mg of a good magnesium in DIVIDED doses, 3 times a day.

Calcium and other minerals need to be balanced with that.

L-Taurine and Fish Oil, in addition to your current magnesium

HAWTHORN Berry Extract to help settle the heart.

Be sure Liver support is good - and

Adrenal support, for sure. Panic Attacks can be from adrenal exhaustion.

-----------------------

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/89790

Topic: NATURAL SLEEP & ADRENAL SUPPORT

===============================

Additives in the thread below can cause panic attacks. You probably are clear of additives but, just to be sure:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=029690;p=0

Excitotoxins; MSG; Aspartame; & "Natural" Flavors
-

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'Kete-tracker
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Re: "Everytime I get something scary I feel like it's here to stay"
horsefly,
I had all KINDS of scary things happen while I was under treatment... waking up feeling truely lost, awful heart skips (sometimes just as I was falling asleep), insomnia- like I have NEVER had before (or since), "brain zzings" where my thoughts would just "change channels" & I couldn't remember what I was thinking about, a pain in my rib that just wouldn't quit, migrating muscle tightness in my abdomen... on & on.

FOR-tunately, nearly EVERY thing cleared up with continued treatment. I just have some occasional muscle twitches & forearm fuzziness in the middle of the night, or in the very early morning.

All the important things- my "vitals"- are totally back to normal.

It all "correlate[d] with a particular infection" in My case... LYME!

There's many good days ahead, if not for awhile. Hang in there! [Smile]

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TerryK
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As one ages sleep apnea often gets worse. If you are not on a machine that automatically adjusts to your needs (an apap vs cpap) then you should contact your sleep doctor and get your machine adjusted.

If you don't have a machine then you probably need to get one.

Untreated or undertreated sleep apnea is dangerous.

Terry
I'm not a doctor

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joysie
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I had several years when I would awaken panicked. I never could determine exactly what it was, but has basically gone away with treatment.
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horsefly
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Thanks everyone, your responses really are great and they made me feel better. I don't get this often and they are really not true 'panic attacks' but it has disrupted my sleep at times.

Right now my protocol is pretty brutal (for me) and I think that is exacerbating things. I have tried Adrenal support with no luck though I will look at Keebler's post re: Natural Sleep.

I did talk to my GP re: CPAP and they said "categorically no", that I didn't fulfil the criteria but thanks for that suggestion, I just can't make it out to see the sleep doc since it's been yrs and now need a new referral and am rarely able to go to appts.

Just all your experiences, advice, reassurances have helped me, thank you once again!

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Rivendell
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It is terrible that your GP will not refer you to a Sleep Specialist. Can you go to a different GP? I know how hard it is to keep appointments.

Stress to them how bad your sleep issues are. Sometimes you have to keep pushing until you get what you want.

I never used to be this way until I became disabled with this disease and had to face doubting doctors and the disability system.

I had anxiety attacks at night. Turned out to be sleep apnea, which I never would have guessed I had. When I use my bi-pap, no anxiety at all.

Hope you can get help.

(Also, there are mouth devices that force the throat open. Many people go to dentists for this, but there are some products available over the counter that you don't need a prescription for. This is another way to treat sleep apnea.)

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kadee
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I had 20 years with Lyme and no panic attacks but after I got Bartonella I was overwhelmed by them.
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ESG
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yes, it went away with treatment !
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ESG
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I did have Xanax from a nice OB-GYN that I kept by my bed & I would take a half pill sometimes (I hated doing that, but sometimes just had to do it).
The panic was definitely Lyme related - as I was treated it happened less and less, and that makes sense: my body was in such turmoil with so many symptoms.

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emla999/Lyme
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If you are waking up every night around 2:00 - 4:00 AM with anxiety and panic attacks then in my opinion there is a STRONG possibility that you are experiencing some type of sugar crash.


For more about that click on the links down bellow:


http://tinyurl.com/77ngygx


http://tinyurl.com/7anf5rf


For many people it seems as though urinary sugars and urinary salts often crash some where around 2:00 - 4:00 AM and thus you may experience hypoglycemic symptoms around that time.

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Lymetoo
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I agree!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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tickled1
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I had that and it was an excruciating symptom. Absolutely horrific. I also had sleep paralysis.

This has gotten better for me with treatment. I still catch a glimpse of it now and then.

When was at my worst before getting dx my PC prescribed Ambien and it made it worse! The only things that helped were drugs that worked on calming the nervous system like Xanax, lorazapam, alprazolam.

From what I understand there is more rebound anxiety with Xanax and one of my docs switched me from that to one of the other for that reason. These drugs are also addictive. I am off of all of those now.

So sorry you are going through this. I know how awful it is.

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Keebler
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-
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/89790

Topic: NATURAL SLEEP & ADRENAL SUPPORT
-

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Razzle
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I used to get panic attacks in the middle of the night - horrifying experience (this was in 1988)! They were triggered by taking Prednisone & Flagyl for misdiagnosed Crohn's (didn't know I had Lyme then).

The panic attacks went away eventually, but I doubt I'll ever forget the intensity of the panic during those attacks.

In the last few years, I've had a resurgence of anxiety as a result of Lyme/treatment.

GABA helps me a ton with anxiety.

Homeopathic remedies can also help a lot - Arsenicum Alb. is specifically for anxiety attacks at night, and I've taken it with some success.

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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randibear
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I get these. My heart is racing and I'm nauseous and feel weak and scared. I almost shake and sometimes I just get up and get a drink of water. Sometimes my heart feels like it's skipping beats or thumping really hard

Scary.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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tickled1
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The GABA had the opposite effect on me. Instead of calming it made me wired/anxious. Don't know why.
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Kern33
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I had those regularly, esp. at the beginning of my treatment. As so often, it vanished but returned recently. It is not really a panic attack (know how that feels).
It was rather that I would wake up instantly out of deep sleep, with an overwhelming feeling of fear and that something went terribly wrong. That feeling would than last for a couple of seconds, but without recalling nightmares or stuff. Rather like the feeling you may encounter when you have overslept a really important job interview, e.g.

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dbpei
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horsefly, I am sorry for what you are going through. I recently went to a holistic doctor for adrenal support and she told me that awakening every night at around 3 a.m. often indicates a toxic liver. (I awaken like clock work almost every night at that time).

I do not awaken in a panic but have had a few of those episodes in the past. You might be herxing and it could be a symptom of lyme and co. I would suggest making sure you are supporting your liver with lemon water (make sure you squeeze the juice and leave the clean rinds in your water) and milk thistle if you are not already.

Good luck to you and I bet your symptoms will eventually get better as you continue your treatment.

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