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Scared to sleep

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soconfused +0 points · almost 4 years ago Original Poster

Haven’t had a good night’s rest in five years, but never experienced what I’ve been experiencing in the past few months. Six months ago I started waking up gasping and screaming in the middle of the night with a sense of utter doom and fear that I have never experienced before.

I live alone and the first time it happened I was sure I was dying. Or that a murderer was in my house or something. It was a very traumatizing experience. It happened again a month later, then more frequently. Now it has been happening two-three times a week. I’m scared to sleep now because the fear is so intense, I cower under my covers shaking when it happens. Just utter adrenaline running through my body. I also have terrible night sweats almost every single night, for the past 4-5 years. Not sure if they are related.

I searched around the web and think maybe I have sleep apnea. I don’t snore - not that I know of at least. I’m so confused and frightened that sometimes I’m scared to sleep. My home doctor retired last year so I don’t have one at the moment. This is really messing with me.

Things about me:

I am physically very fit, run/go to gym about 4-5 times a week Embarrassed and ashamed to admit: Have a cocaine habit (3-4 Days a week, started a year ago, alcohol the same) I sleep on my side or stomach 29 years old, female Occasional smoker Otherwise very healthy Very vivid dreams Falling asleep during day, can’t keep eyes open, eyes droop - but not actually sleeping . I cannot nap Wake up countless times during night Very light sleeper

I will Be calling my hopefully soon to be new family doctor tomorrow to inquire but I don’t know if he will be taking new patients because of covid . How do I deal with this in the interim. I’m sure my drug use has something to do with it?

Okay, stop drugs. Any other tips?? (Please no bashing about the drugs I am trying to work on it).

This happens on nights when I’m doing drugs and on sober nights. Every night I struggle sleeping. but I have noticed that I have episodes usually the second day after a big binge (my binges last two days no sleep - again, I know that is completely fucked up so please be kind).

I just want a good night’s rest. One where I can sleep through the night. I slept at my moms last weekend and had an episode and she got very scared. She said I yelled as if I had been attacked. I am a restless sleeper as well (constant tossing and turning). Next time I sleep over at her place I’ll ask her if she notices any breathing disruptions while I’m sleeping. Just been kinda embarrassed to talk about it.

Had to let this out somewhere and wanted to see if anyone has experienced this. It’s so scary.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · almost 4 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi soconfused

I can certainly relate to the dreams and the endless fatigue

It must be terrible for you and made worse still by uncertainty and the unknown.

I don't know if I can really offer any useful advice.

I have been dealing with violent scary dreams all of my life but they were not that bad when I was your age.

Did you suffer some trauma or injury five years ago? You don’t need to tell us but you might need to consider the possible connections.

When I was younger I was on medication that suppressed the dreams and the violent reactions but I learned to anticipate them and suppress them without medication as I got into my teen years. The Longest Sentence

I am over 60 now and in the past decade my dreams have deteriorated significantly and made my life a living hell.

The reason I am telling my story is that I ignored it for a long time but eventually had to go looking for answers because it was destroying my life.

It turns out that I have REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder which involves bad dreams and shouting and actions during sleep. RBD. (Read the comment towards the end of that link)

None of that really helps you but I have been dealing with this for a long time now and have dabbled with almost everything I have access to in an effort to find solutions.

None of the prescription medications I have tried have really helped and most of them made things a lot worse.

Some over the counter medications were useful though, especially Melatonin and occasionally Restavit .

Unwinding and reading before bed can also be helpful for most people.

Alcohol can help me get to sleep but not for long enough to be really worth the consequences or cost although I do find that the occasional nightcap is comforting.

I spend a lot of time during most nights waiting for bad dreams to dissipate before I can go to sleep again without slipping straight back into the same nightmare. I rarely get more than 3 or 4 hours at a time.

I think it would be beneficial for you, in many ways, to seek professional help because where you are now is just as life threatening as any other illness or disease.

You cannot have a happy healthy life if you are not getting enough quality sleep.

It might be possible to get help from online, phone or some other kind of video consultations.

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Sierra +0 points · almost 4 years ago Sleep Patron

The most common sleep apnea is obstructive and is caused by your tongue and throat relaxing when you sleep and blocking the airway. This is most often associated with someone that is overweight and has a large neck size.

The other type of sleep apnea is central apnea. That is when you just decide to breathe more and less, and sometimes just stop for a while. There are a few different causes, but one is use of opioids. I don't believe cocaine is technically an opioid however. Here is a link to check out on Central Apnea.

Both obstructive and central apnea are diagnosed the same way, with a sleep test. An in lab sleep test has someone watching you while you sleep, so they may pick up other issues in the sleep.

Hope that helps some,

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