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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Startling awake while trying to fall asleep?

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Author Topic: Startling awake while trying to fall asleep?
tickled1
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I haven't had this happen in awhile but last night it came back. It is an agonizing symptom. I'm trying to fall asleep and just as I doze off I startle awake. Nothing is startling me. It is something my body is doing.

Happens over and over again and brings me to tears. Must have happened a dozen times last night as I was trying to fall asleep. Tried to explain to my husband that this is different than the typical twitching awake that people sometimes get.

Does this happen to anyone else? I'm desperate to find out which aspect of our illness causes this. If anyone knows the answer please let me know.

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2roads
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tickled, I know exactly how you feel.

I had it real bad four nights ago.

It did not repeat the next night.

my son has it though.

How long have you had it.

For me, organ failure and toxicity.

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lax mom
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That happens to me.

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnic_jerk

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lax mom
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http://sleeping-disorders-help.blogspot.com/2009/04/sleeping-disorders-startle-before-sleep.html

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Lymetoo
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Used to happen to me. Hasn't in years now. Hope yours goes away too!!

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tickled1
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Oh no. I hope it's not organ failure for me. I have been having some liver issues. [Frown] I'm sorry 2roads.
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VV
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I have had it a lot. I get a "brain zap" on the threshold of sleep and it wakes me up.

It seems especially worse during the day if I try to nap.

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GretaM
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It happens to me also.

But when it jerks me awake-my body secretes adrenaline, so my heart is pounding and I am in a state of panic.

It is awful.

I don't know what causes it but it seems to be closer to when I go to bed and am asleep for half hour or so.

It doesn't happen if I have managed to be asleep for a few hours.

I assumed it was toxin of some kind-neurotoxin, endotoxin, preservatives etc.

I started milk thistle-I hope it helps my liver and whatever is causing this.

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tickled1
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Yes, it puts me into a state of panic as well. It like a jolt goes through me.

I have many symptoms of liver issues yet I have had ultrasounds and MRI as well as blood tests but they say everything looks good except bilirubin is sometimes elevated.

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tickled1
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Hubby sometimes implies that panic is causing it but that's not the case. This happening causes the panic.

Yet another example of someone not being able to understand unless they experience it. He means well though.

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2roads
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my gallbladder is bad and I have elevated billirubin, not liver enzymes.

Still don't think that's it though.

We get it though.

Mine happened all throughout the night.

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tickled1
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I had my gallbladder removed in the spring to try to solve some of my problems and it didn't [Frown]
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Lymetoo
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It says irregular sleeping habits can make it worse. So go to bed at the same time every night. Get up around the same time too.

might work .. I am in a more regular pattern than I used to be.

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tickled1
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Hmmm...when it was at its worst for me, I was very sleep deprived. Do you know if there is any connection with this and sleep paralysis. I've had that before too.

I guess the startling awake thing is call "sleep myoclonus".

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VV
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Ug, sleep paralysis is the worst.
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Keebler
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Are you getting enough magnesium? Sound like it's low magnesium (&/or too high of a toxin load) elevating the NMDA neuro-receptors (the excitatory ones).

Really, it sounds like it would fall in the seizure category, though no alarm intended in that term. Also, this is very common for many who have lyme. Be sure your LLMD is aware of it.

Any "excitotoxins" in your life? they can elevate the NMDA activity and cause this startling jolt.
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Keebler
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http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=029690;p=0

Excitotoxins; MSG; Aspartame; & "Natural" Flavors (that are not likely natural at all);


To help lower NMDA overactivity:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=123746;p=0

Topic: MAGNESIUM LINKS sets


http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=119810;p=0

Topic: Best way to control limbic seizures / overactivity?
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Keebler
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Also vital to consider:

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

Topic: NATURAL SLEEP & ADRENAL SUPPORT
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Jamers
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I have had this lately since upping my dose of Cumanda/Samento. I can be almost asleep and my whole body will literally jump in bed. Assuming its related to the herbs and the yeast protocol I've been following. I also have twitching in my right arm all the time. So, if I had to guess I would say Bartonella.

--------------------
Diagnosed Pos. Lyme Nov. 17, 2010, Igx.
Pos. Babesia Duncani March 2011, Igx.
Clinical diagnosis for Bartonella

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Keebler
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Jamers,

if anything causes this or intensifies this, it is best to back down on that dose or switch to a different product.

Aside from once every now and then, and that it's not so uncommon for lyme . . . regularly, such startles are NOT good for us, in any way. Very hard on our body and all the systems.

Too many such startles and the "kindling" process can get off to a start with day time seizures.

If ANYthing can be identified as a trigger, do away with it, or at least figure out how to not have it have that effect by lowering dose substantially, taking with food, earlier in the day, etc.

For some who use herbs that might be too much for them, this might mean avoiding alcohol based tinctures and using powder extracts instead.

Enduring such startles routinely is NOT worth the toll they take.
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Keebler
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A tincture that can help: Scullcap / Skullcap

And this will not work as a powdered herb or powdered extract. It has to be a tincture to get the calming property of this particular plant.

I think detail about Skullcap is in the seizure thread. If not, a good place to begin learning about this fabulous nerve tissue calmer is this book / site:

Though not at all about lyme, this is one of the best reference resources on my bookshelf that has wonderful chapters, many graciously available through their website.

Home: http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/

The ONE EARTH HERBAL SOURCEBOOK (Tilltoson, et.al.)
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lax mom
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Ugh, sleep paralysis IS the worst! It's terrifying!

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Keebler
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Sleep paralysis is also very typical for lyme. There was a recent thread on that, too.

While very scary, it does not seem to be dangerous as frequent startles can be.

I'll see if I can find that link. Actually, I just can't - but you might want to search the archives. It's been in the past month. Don't know, though, if the subject / headline had that term in it - or if it was just embedded in a thread's discussion.

You can start by a subject search, though.

Found a few good "hits" from a quick cross search with Google Advanced Search for:

borrelia "sleep paralysis"
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Keebler
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Sudden startles whether asleep or awake can also be tied to QT issues.

Certain drugs can trigger QT issues. You can cross search each Rx to see, for a start.

I know no one mentioned quinine above but since some here do take it, it just came to mind.

Quinine whether as an Rx or herbal tincture (by any name) is one of those. Yet, Quinine can also be an effective treatment for the muscles spasms of "restless leg syndrome" (another kind of "shock awake startle") so it can depend much on the person taking it, their history, etc.

Not everyone who takes a drug or supplement that might "enhance" QT will be affected. Folks with lyme / babesia might be more likely to have quinine "startle" side effects than those who do not have TBD.

Too tired to explain what QT means, but scroll a ways down into this thread and see the QT LINKS here:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=077325;p=0#000000

CARDIAC INFO & SUPPORT
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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by tickled1:


I guess the startling awake thing is call "sleep myoclonus".

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read the links above from lax mom...

"According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine there are a wide range of potential causes, including anxiety, caffeine, stress and strenuous activities in the evening.[4]

During an epilepsy and intensive care study, the lack of a preceding spike discharge measured on an epilepsy monitoring unit, along with the presence only at sleep onset, helped differentiate hypnic jerks from epileptic myoclonus.[5]

According to a study on sleep disturbances in the Journal of Neural Transmission, a hypnic jerk occurs during the non-rapid eye movement sleep cycle and is an "abrupt muscle action flexing movement, generalized or partial and asymmetric, which may cause arousal, with an illusion of falling."

[6] Hypnic jerks are more frequent in childhood with 4-7 per hour at the age ranging from 8 to 12 years old, and it decreases toward 1-2 per hour at 65 to 80 years old."

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Opinions, not medical advice!

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Keebler
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That tickled1 explains the severity of it for herself:

"Happens over and over again and brings me to tears. Must have happened a dozen times last night . . . this is different than the typical twitching awake that people sometimes get." (end quote)

this are NOT the typical hypnotic jerks that are just seen as "oh, no big deal."


I forget which CFS researcher (I think Paul Cheney) explained so well the seizure range from 0 to coma - and all points in between.

The NMDA neuro excito-activity so elevated in "CFS" and lyme falls on the seizure scale, whether into the zone that EEGs would pick up or not.

A QEEG can pick up "irritated" brain spikes much more easily that the typical EEGs that most neurologists use.

Myoclonus can also have a broad range on that seizure scale. And whether a "mild" jolt or a stronger one, some of the same causes can be involved -- the seizure thread gets into all that from gluten, to food additives, to lyme toxicity, etc. -- and what can help.
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tickled1
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The dozen or so times it happened last night was at the onset of sleep. My body would also jerk to one side when it happened. In the past though it would happen all night long.

Tutu, what you posted about it being more frequent in kids reminded me that when I was a child I would jerk so bad that I would be awoken by slamming back down on the bed after a jerk.

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