Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sleeping should be for sleeping

When I go to bed at night, sometimes quite late, the most important thing on my mind is sleep.  You know that period of time when you have a rest from all things, supposedly.  It should be a physical, mental and emotional rest, supposedly.  Sometimes that just doesn't happen.

I can't remember how many evenings I've been yawning my head off, I'm really tired and sleepy, ready for bed, yet when I get there I'm wide awake.  I use to fret incredibly about the sleep I wasn't getting, how tired I would be the next day but now I just get up and do something until I get sleepy again and usually on my return to bed I will sleep.

So I've learnt to cope with that and insomnia to some extent.  What I haven't come to terms with is nocturnal panic attacks.  Last week during a blissful sleep, supposedly, I awoke to find myself sitting up in bed, heart racing, feeling nauseous, wondering what on earth was going on.  It took me a moment to realise I was having a nocturnal panic attack, got back in control by seeing it for what is was and breathing away the panic.  Where on earth do they come from?  I had nothing particularly distressing on my mind, I had been in a reasonably positive frame of mind during the day so I cannot connect it to anything.  It's not as if I'd been thinking about something and off I went.  I mean for goodness sake, I WAS SLEEPING!!!

So I'm wondering how much of what we feel deep down and choose not to think about during the day, gets processed in our subconscious while we are sleeping?  If that's the case, then our subconscious is not very nice to us.  How many of you have had or suffer from nocturnal panic attacks and what are your coping strategies.  Does anyone know why we have nocturnal panic attacks?



  1. I don't know the answer to why but I have suffered with them in the past. I didn't know what was happening and would beg my husband to just hold me. Being him, he just told me to go to the doctor and let him sleep. Eventually I realised what was going on and refused to let them beat me any more. I do know that panic attacks can be made up of any three of over thirty possible symptoms. Very tough because once you work out what is happening to you they can morph into a different set of symptoms. I have found for me that the most important thing is to hate them like they are horrible people and never let them get the better of me. It's good that you have learnt to deal with the sleeplessness. Cherrie

  2. I know what you mean and even recognising them for what they are doesn't make them any easier to deal with does it? I can't understand why I can be wide awake in a second when they happen whereas in the morning it takes me ages to surface! Guess it's back to ACCEPTANCE again here!


  3. As I've got older I've accepted I'm wide awake at some unearthly hour and now get up and get some jobs done, in fact I often accomplish more than I would in the day. What I don't like is the feeling of trying to wake up after succumbing to sleep, I just don't want to wake up.

    I've not experienced a nocturnal panic attack and as day time ones can be utterly horrible, I do feel for you Anne, the worst I get is vivid dreams, often nightmares, I wake myself up by appearing to shout loudly, but I think I'm still dreaming as my husband never hears me, it seems loud enough in my subconscious though!