Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

I need help diagnosing this.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 7 Replies
  • Posted By: Buckner
  • May 24, 2007
  • 05:12 PM

For the past month or so, I have noticed that as I am trying to fall asleep, I can feel my heart rate increase dramatically (heart palpatations?), and as it getse noticable, I am forced to open my eyes and gasp for air. I thought this might be a form of panic attacks, but I cannot figure out why it only happens when I try to go to sleep.

A little background:

I'm 22, 5'9'' 195 lbs., and a relatively healthy male. Aside from the occassional sinus infection, which I'm just getting over, I'm pretty healthy. I've had asthma since I was 7, and I take prevacid for acid reflux. However, I've also had insomnia for quite some time. I have to be dead tired before I am able to fall asleep, often times not getting to sleep until after 4 or 5 am. And even on days when I get less than 4 hours of sleep the night before, I still have a hard time finding a way to fall asleep earlier the next night. So, needless to say, I stay tired.

But last month, I was doing some training for a new job that I started and had to be rushed to the emergency room because I became dizzy and I felt like I was going to pass out. The doctor told me that I was dehydrated and that I needed to drink more water, and cut out the caffeine for a while. Which sucks, cause I generally must have caffeine to keep me going because, you know, I don't hardly sleep. Also around this time, I noticed that my right tonsil had become inflamed, so I went to my allergy doctor and he told me that I had a sinus infection, and that was what was causing my headaches and my dizziness.
SO... I drank plenty of water and gatorade, took my anti-biotics, and those things are getting much better.
But I need to know why I am having such problems when I finally am able to fall asleep. It feels like I am going to die right before I am forced to open my eyes.


any advice would be greatly appreciated.
thank you.

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7 Replies:

  • Buckner...check out info on chronic fatigue syndrome...your symptoms are similar/same as mine and I'm being tested now. good luck...mommy cat
    mommy cat 1654 Replies Flag this Response
  • Buckner I don't think I will be much help. When did the problem start in relation to your sleeping issues? but do you think the chest issue is related to your not sleeping. Physical exhasution pays a toll on the body along with adding caffeine in the body. Cala
    Cala1234 57 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, This sounds so similar to what I had experienced when this infection I have began...I can totally understand your description. I as well had the dizzyness and the heart plapitations keeping me up or waking me. Also neurological pains and twitches..It is very little now and I am sleeping better. I concluded on my own that this must be some type of viral infection as there are other in my family who have had this occur as well, my 11 year old son and even my Mom.. a friend also has had this happen since I had.Seen several docs.One mentioned CFS (chronic fatigue) . I discount this.I believe CFS is the beat result they can pull out of a hat to mask any weakness or unknown illness.I hope you feel better soon.I'd like to know your state of reidence. Peicing this together might help to solve this. I am determined to discover this or contact those who can investigate what this is!I am in Kentucky.I know a man in Oklahoma w/ same symptoms as well! I have suffered since February.Hope your prognosis is quicker!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • What medications are you on? It's possible that your rapid heartbeat could be a result of your medications, and only occurs when you lie down.If you suspect it's a panic attack, try lying down flat for awhile when you are sleepy. However, dont intent on going to sleep. Try to relax as best as you can, and perform breathing exercises. Try to exhale for longer than you inhale, and count as you breath. If you feel your heart rate increasing, don't tense up - instead, count and breath, and feel yourself slowing down your own heartrate. If relaxation and breathing techniques don't make you feel better, it's probably a medical condition and/or related to your medication.Also, do you still drink caffine, or did you stop? Does your heart race ANY time you lie down to sleep, or only on some days, or at certain times?
    samssf 9 Replies Flag this Response
  • i have a friend who's heart races any time she drinks caffeine. She has been told not to ever have it again
    BETH27584 31 Replies Flag this Response
  • Buckner,I have atrial fibrillation and it used to be that whenever I would lie on my right side, I would start getting palpitations (not my left side, tho). Sometimes it would happen just as I was going to sleep, sort of like the body jerks that happen. If I changed position, it would usually stop; sometimes I had to cough to make it stop (it helps, I don't know why). This was before I began taking meds for it. And it was more likely to happen when I was very tired from lack of sleep. As someone else mentioned, caffeine may make it worse, but these days it doesn't seem to bother me as much. And caffeine can cause its own problems because you're sleepy so you use it to stay awake, but then it interferes with getting more sleep which leads you back to using more caffeine.Does it happen at other times, such as falling asleep on the couch vs. bed or when you are lying on your back vs. stomach? You also mentioned you have asthma and sometimes asthma meds can affect your heart. And if you're gasping for air, that can indicate sleep apnea, which can cause palpitations as well. You might want to check with your Dr. and see if you can wear a Holter monitor, which records your heart's activity for 24 hrs. And you may also want to check into having a sleep study done to see if it's all interconnected.Whatever you do, I hope you find the answer and that it can be fixed or controlled. -Carly
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know exactly what you are going through. I've had sleeping problems for years. A few tricks I've learned is don't eat late in the evening, don't exert yourself either before going to bed, don't have a TV in a room meant for slumber, asprin helps to cool your body down which is a more natural state for sleeping, make sure it's good and dark, try buying yourself one of those sound devices to lull yourself to sleep, as everyone else said - stay away from caffeine after 6pm or earlier, don't stay in bed if you can't sleep, read or walk around but don't let the worry of trying to fall asleep become habitual. If you are still awake at 2:00 am, try taking a mild antihistimine, and sitting down in a cozy chair and reading a book. AND the best trick is to take a class in meditation and learn how to relax, breathe and feel each muscle let go. Hope this helps.
    suzieq16 9 Replies Flag this Response
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