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Jolting Awake

Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
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#1
For the past few months I've been having this issue of jolting awake as soon as I fall asleep. It feels like it happens the moment after I drift off, and feels like a sharp spike of anxiety in my chest and head accompanied by a rapid heartbeat. I end up breathing harder once I get jolted awake, but after analyzing the feeling last night it doesn't seem like I've stopped breathing, but I'm not sure.

It used to happen to me once per night the first time I was drifting off. But last Thursday I suffered my first panic attack and my anxiety has been constantly higher than it's ever been since then. For the last 3 days I have been jolted awake EVERY single time I'm dozing off, and it just goes on for hours until I eventually start freaking out thinking I'm never going to be able to sleep again.

I've gotten myself worried about the possibility of having sleep apnea or some type of heart issue but I'm trying to convince myself this is anxiety related. The doctor took me off my thyroid pill for one week to make sure it isn't causing this, which I don't think it is.

I just wanted to know if anyone experiences this and what I can do to sleep again. I've only gotten a few hours of crappy sleep in 3 days and I've become scared of going to sleep in fear I'm not going to wake up, or I'll be unable to sleep forever.
 

Kimchi

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
9
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1
#2
I kinda have something like this. I sometimes just jolt and wake up randomly while sleeping and start to have panic attack. For me though this only happens around twice a week.
 

Rosy

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
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141
#3
I get that sometimes. I get an electric shock that goes through my head from ear to ear inside. And a loud noise. I jolt awake and sometimes have heart palpatations and anxiety' It only happens when I am dozing off to sleep and not every night. I'm sure it is stress related and nothing more. I'm 80 and still here. For how long, I don't know but it hasn't done me in yet. lol Hang in there. Once you can get on some meds maybe that will help. We've all been there so you are not alone.
 

Cosmos7

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
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#4
Yup, I get that during periods of high stress/anxiety. Then I panic thinking something is wrong because I was startled awake which leads to hyperventilation and a panic attack. It's a vicious cycle, you just have to trust that you will sleep soundly.
 

Tiger

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Joined
Apr 25, 2019
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#6
This began happening to me suddenly about 6 weeks ago. I've had manageable anxiety & occasional panic my entire life, but this was something entirely new. I went to bed one night feeling fine, and as soon I started to nod off the jolts started. Same as the OP describes. A spike/shock of anxiety in the chest, and heart is immediately off to the races. Big panic attacks, burning hot tight chest, whole body trembling. This happened 7-8 times the first night, I slept maybe and hour or two total, and then this continued to happen every night after. At 6am after night #5 I had my wife take me to the ER, my heart was in a state of continuous palpitations. And of course, every test they ran ECG, blood panels, x-rays, all normal. Very frustrating. GP/specialists/therapist all simply shrug and say "sounds like panic attacks"... I was prescribed Sertraline by my GP but I decided not to take it. Despite developing a SEVERE FEAR of going to sleep, the intensity of the attacks has slowly tapered off over the last month or so, and I've had some really solid nights' sleep here and there over the last week or two finally.

The ONLY change I had made before this started was several days prior I began taking a heavy dose of Riboflavin (400mg/day) per my neurologist as a migraine preventative. Supposedly very safe and side effect-free. In my mad Googling to figure out what insane condition was trying to kill me, I stumbled on a forum thread about vitamin B-complex supplements, with a ton of people describing VERY similar experiences after taking them (and riboflavin is B2). So I stopped taking it, a couple days after the jolts started. I have no way to know if that really had anything to do with it, or if I just had some random severe spike in my anxiety level, but it does seem rather coincidental. I don't take any other meds other than a magnesium/calcium supplement and some CBD oil at night.
 
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