Insomnia - Adult Expert Forum
Frequent waking during night and other problems
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Questions in the Sleep & Insomnia Forum are being answered by Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs.

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Frequent waking during night and other problems

Hi,

I used to sleep very well up until about a year ago. I would have occasional bouts of sleep paralysis, but nothing consistent. Starting about a year ago I began waking frequently during the night. I'd say now I wake an average of 10-15 times a night. Each time I am awake enough to remember it and toss around a bit, but I usually go right back to sleep. I don't usually have trouble falling asleep, although I sometimes involuntarily jerk awake and catch my breath right as I am dozing off. I seem to get night sweats as well.

I also have a "seizure-like" sensation sometimes. I dream that my left side tenses up, especially my hand, which will sometimes go into a claw-like grip. I always seem to be asleep when this happens, so I used to assume it was a nightmare, but now I wonder if I'm actually having a seizure. I almost always remember it when I wake up, and it usually makes sense in the context of my dreams. It can be intense and uncomfortable sometimes, and I usually "wake up" immediately, but I'm actually waking up within another dream. I used to suffer from sleep paralysis a lot, but now the seizure sensation seems more common and the paralysis is pretty rare. The main difference is that I was definitely awake when the sleep paralysis affected me, and I am still within a dream with the seizures.

I do have some weird tingling in my arms and legs when in bed, and sometimes during the day, and I also have had chills for years that are aggravated by lack of sleep.  During the same time period I have had pressure of throbbing pain in my lower left back, as well as frequent heartburn. Lately I've had throbbing pain in my left ear that won't go away.

So yeah, I'm kind of a mess. I'm hoping you might have some idea of what is going on. I've been to a doctor, who found nothing, so I'm now going to a gastroenterologist in a few days. It's hard since I have such a variety of symptoms. If the gastroenterologist finds nothing, I'm planning on going to a neurologist.
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You should be evaluated at a sleep center since you may have one or more underlying sleep disorders.

Dr. Jacobs
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