Hypnic myoclonia, Feel like my heart is going to jump out of my chest

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notsogrimreaper

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Almost every night when I start falling asleep I feel like I have an instant anxiety attack and wake up shaking heart racing sweating and then cant fall back to sleep its literally driving me crazy. Dr won't help. the only thing I found on intenet is this :
In the first phase of sleep, people sometimes experience the sensation of starting to fall and hypnic myoclonia, which is an abrupt muscle contraction. Consequently, you may jump and awaken. This is comparable to being startled while awake and jumping in response.

When you are startled, especially while sleeping, you will experience the fight or flight response, which makes you breathe faster and your heart beat more quickly. You have this reaction for a reason: to prepare you either to fight or flee. Your body’s response is to increase the rate of blood that is pumped to both your brain and your muscles. Your lungs take in big gulps of oxygen, and your pupils enlarge so that you can see better. When this happens, both your urinary and digestive systems slow down, so that you can concentrate. Of course, when you are startled awake at night, it generally isn’t due to a prowler in your room or a wild animal trying to attack you, but your brain and body don’t know that and automatically go into survival mode.

ANY SUGGESTION ARE WELCOME BECAUSE WORKING FULL TIME I NEED MY SEEP
 

Jemima

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Could it be related to a medication that you're taking? That all sounds pretty close to one of the many fun side effects I experienced with duloxetine/cymbalta. I've experienced hypnic jerks my whole life (that feeling like you have to catch yourself from falling, or something suddenly shocks you awake) but they came with crazy heart beat and adrenaline rush when I was taking that drug. Could be worth reviewing all your meds if you're on any, as many side effects take a while to manifest - can be months or even years after treatment begins.

I know that for me, when I'm trying to get to sleep or when I'm just drifting off is often when I feel at my worse. As I relax, I start to let my guard down, and then all the crazy background thoughts that I've kept locked in a box all day ambush me and I start to panic! Is it possible that you're dealing with a lot of under-the-surface anxiety that's manifesting while you're asleep? A magnesium supplement might help you get that hair-trigger stress response down. That helped me a lot - with both daytime anxiety and sleep - as did adopting a bunch of daily relaxation practices. When the sympathetic nervous system is over-active, we have to train ourselves to flip the switch to parasympathetic. That is, of course, if there's not something specific causing the problem.

I really hope you get to the bottom of it soon!
 

sunkacola

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I have a technique that works very well for me when I have an anxiety attack. It is basically bio-feedback, but you don't need anything fancy to do it, just a pulse oximeter, which fits on the tip of your finger and costs $15.00 on Amazon.

What I do the moment an anxiety attack starts is I grab that and pop it onto my fingertip. The digital readout shows my blood oxygen saturation level, which is usually low when I get an anxiety attack, but more importantly it shows my heart rate. I just sit there very still with it on my finger, and concentrate on the number for my heart rate, which of course is always elevated significantly. All I do is will that number to go down. Sometimes I talk silently or out loud, saying things like "Ok, now down you go...no, not up, you need to go down, that's good, keep going down now..." to that number. I don't talk to my heart, just to the number on the readout.

And it works! Instead of waiting for anywhere from 15 minutes to hours for the anxiety attack to disperse on its own I can have my heart rate back to normal in less than 5 minutes most of the time. It has never taken me much longer than that. I don't think of anything but that number, and getting it down. As your heart rate decreases, you feel better and calmness returns.

I am not saying it would work for everyone, but it will work for at least some people and the little device is so cheap it is worth a try. I hope you try it and let us know how it works for you.
 

notsogrimreaper

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Un fortunately or maybe fortunately the only med I am taking is topiramate 25 mgs 2x a day for total of 50 mgs, and Benadryl when I really really need to sleep or am unbearably congested. I have never had this side effect on this med before, I was on it for 3 years before going off for 4 years and just started back approximately 6 months ago when my symptom's returned. I am trying to get an appointment with my neurologist/pain mgmt dr. but of course specialist and I haven't seen him in over 3 years soooo have to wait 3 months or more for appointment
 

Jemima

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Un fortunately or maybe fortunately the only med I am taking is topiramate 25 mgs 2x a day for total of 50 mgs, and Benadryl when I really really need to sleep or am unbearably congested. I have never had this side effect on this med before, I was on it for 3 years before going off for 4 years and just started back approximately 6 months ago when my symptom's returned. I am trying to get an appointment with my neurologist/pain mgmt dr. but of course specialist and I haven't seen him in over 3 years soooo have to wait 3 months or more for appointment
Well, that's a head scratcher. From the sounds of it, topiramate is used to treat what you're experiencing, rather than being at risk of causing it! Good luck getting that appointment - I hope you don't have to wait too long 🤞
 

JayCS

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As I've practiced and learnt to mentally control falling and similar feelings from half-sleep now perhaps also in sleep,
I'm wondering if your jumpstart is dream-influenced or physiologically spontaneous?
Even if it's spontaneous, I'd think @siunkacola's biofeedback (as her's apparently isn't mental/dream influenced) or a similar connection between mind & body could help.
 

Creola17

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Hope this isn't too far out there but I have found TM to be very helpful for rest . About 40 years ago I was getting bad headaches and took a TM course which really helped. At the time I was sent to try biofeedback by my doctor and they asked me to use the meditation while they had me wired up and they were impressed how it could slow down my heart. Maybe check out TM on utube? At least you'll feel rested.
It also helps heal injuries if you focus on the injury while meditating.
(((gentle hugs from an old hippie)))
 

sunkacola

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TM has helped many. It's not woo-woo or anything, it's just a meditation technique. There are many meditation techniques. It used to be that you had to pay a lot of money to get assigned a mantra from a TM teacher. They were all secret. Now you can find them online along with instructions. Vipassana meditation is good too, and you can learn that online as well. Personally, meditation did not work well for me even though I gave it a really good try (one year daily with one kind, two years daily with another) so I know it's not for everyone. For those that it suits, though, I have heard it can be truly transformative, so it is definitely worth a try for anyone who has not tried it.
 

ElizabethKay

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Looks like Creola17 and Sunkacola have experience and suggestions that work well for me ... the pulse oximeter method, and meditation. Also a book called the relaxation response, by a Harvard M.D. has excellent, brief instructions that are extreeemely similar to TM. I've tapped into TM for years, off and on, and the relaxation response, and they both are good. The relaxation response method is mostly easier, when it comes to discussing these things such as meditation with those of us who are not familiar with (or used to) meditation. [Also good for conversations with my loved ones/relatives (beloved by me, wonderful, cautious people) who've heard hearsay that meditating maybe isn't Christian enough to fit with their values.] The author of the relaxation response and his team have plenty of experience as to possible issues, and it seems to be going fine with people of all perspectives and creeds.
Meanwhile, when I took Topamax, it apparently really lowered my blood pressure and respiration. It made me slow, sleepy and stupid. It got the name Dope-a-max years ago before I ever tried it. If I try topomax again I will begin with a tiny, partial dose, very gradually increase, and try to get benefit from it by figuring out an ongoing lower-than-average dose. ... With a medical professional figuring this out with me. The usual doses can sedate you enough to trigger an abrupt jumpstart response in your body, which supposedly happens to a very small number of people. I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. This anecdotal stuff comes from my hope that you have a medical person who will work with you on this.
 

notsogrimreaper

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I have an appointment with a neurologist in January, hopefully they can help me sort this out before I lose my mind. lol
 
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