For a long time I've been experiencing sleep related problems, and I'm struggling to understand why it's happening. This has been happening for maybe 2-3 years, although the past 6 months it has gotten worse.
I will fall asleep at night, usually around 1am, and I can guarantee that within 60 minutes of falling asleep I will be awake again. But, this is no normal normal waking.
This is terror. It's like I'm gripped with the most unbearable feeling of terror ever. It feels like I'm about to die. I am not over-exadurating the feeling of death. I have no idea what death feels like (although people say it's peaceful), but my feeling is doom.
I will wake up with a numbness like feeling down one side of my body. Usually it's in my feet, arms, hands, face or neck.
Within a few moments of waking I will return to normal. I have to battle with the feeling of fear for about 30 seconds until they subside. Usually I open my laptop and the light from the screen wakes me fully and I drift back off to sleep quickly.
Last night I remember a feeling in my chest, like I had a knot, and someone pulled the knot loose. Probably the best way to describe it. I felt this whilst asleep, but still being in a conscious state to notice it. Soon as I woke up it went.
I can never fully remember these disturbances in the morning. It's only when I have bad ones that they stick in my mind. Some times I will have them and I am told by other people that I am having fits in my sleep, and squealing like a pig. Although I don't remember doing any of this.
At times I will wake up suddenly with a gasp for air. Other times I will wake up feeling like I'm being smothered.
One particular time my girlfriend caught me sleeping with my eyes open. She said I bolted upright, and was saying "help me, help me" I vaguely remember this. This particular experience happened about 3 years ago.
I doubt it's life threatening, if it was I'd be dead now having put up with this feeling for around 3 years on an almost daily basis.
I notice it gets worse if I sleep late at night. If I sleep after 12 I am certain I will wake up with a bad one. If I sleep before that, I'll probably have one but not notice it. I can also have these same feelings if I take a cat nap in the day time.
It always seems to happen within an hour of falling asleep.
I would love to get some closure on this. I've had a referral sent for a sleep study but I am still waiting to hear from it. Could take some time.
Has anyone had an issue like this before? Or suffer with a similar condition?
I've never had any of the experiences I've had during sleep whilst I am awake.
I think you do need that sleep study as you might have sleep apnoea or hypnogogia or even straightforward 'night terrors' more generally
experienced by children.
The good news is that most of these sleep disturbances can be mitigated by a simple anti-depressant in a lower dose, used off-licence for sleep issues. It may also help, meantime, to sit half-propped up and surrounded by pillows. Good luck for a calm night!