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Avatar universal

Head rush when falling asleep?

Ok...ive had this sypmtom for a while but I never really posted about it and it had gone away but has just come back so here goes:

Basically sometimes I will get extremely tired and when I lay down to go sleep....just as I am about to "drop off" I would get a huge headrush that would start in the head but proceed all through my body.

Sometimes it feels like an adrenalin rush, sometimes like a postural hypotension head rush and other times completely different. And obviously it sort of jolts me awake....I usually get it 2-3 times before I get used to it and then eventually sleep. Or if its during the day I would usually wake and then continue feeling light-headed for the rest of the day. This used to happen almost every other day a year ago...but recently its like once a month.

I am 20, average weight, not on any meds, non-smoker, non-drinker, non caffiene-drinker, non-drug taker. I dont take much exercise at the moment. And thats about it. ps: Im asking because I just had one of the worst "rushes" so wanted some reassurance.

Thanks,

86 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
Are you eating well, sometimes low blood sugar(not Diabetes) can make you feel light headed, do you eat enough , or are you allergic to anything, if this happens mostly at night check out what you do in the evenings before bed, as you dont take Meds its not that, but do you take supplements as some herbal ones can do that and also Vitamins if you are taking high doses, supplements are good however make sure you are taking the Dose directed on the bottle.
Avatar universal
No its none of that. Plus I dont just get it at night...I get in whenever I try to drop off sleep...be it morning, mid-day or at night. And I have a home blood glucose monitor so Its not connected to that.

***** doesnt it? :(
Avatar universal
I get this as well.. i am 21...the only conclusion I come up with is I don't get enough sleep!!!!!! You have to get really tired, don't take a nap, and wait till night and youll sleep right through it...it only happens when i don't get enough sleep and i dose to take a lil nap...im thinking my body wants to rest full but subconsciously I know I have to be awake and it effs with my head...I have some Vivid intense dream/hallucinations!!! I had one today and it freakin hurt! Im going on about5 hours of sleep the past 2 days...thats whats up...sleep paralysis! Blessing an Curse...kinda like it sometimes ha
Avatar universal
I am so thankful that you get those, too! I mean, not really, but that means that I am not alone!!!! I have had anxiety for one year, and it developed into panic attacks, too; Every now and then (about one full week out of every month or more sometimes) I start to fall asleep, and then I'll get the feeling like a stroke; My energy will rush to my head and put pressure on my arteries in sides and back of neck; my arteries will actually feel like they are 'burning' and I will then get energy surges and nervousness running through my whole body, like my whole body is a tremor!!!! THEN, my nerves in my brain will spasm; sometimes I feel pressure in center of brain and pressure on my forehead!!!! I feel nervous tension in my neck and head the whole next day, and I feel like my head feels like it weighs 40 pounds!!!! I feel nerve pain the next day, too; when I get these rushes, I feel my heart pounding in my head, too, and my pulse is very irregular and it feels like my heart is weakened and just struggles to keep going!!!! Do you get any of that, too? I am praying that we'll find a cure! My email address is Changa_Sun***@****, maybe we can also swap phone numbers if you want to talk by phone; maybe that will help both of us to share our symptoms with each other!!!! Oh, by the way, I am Chelsea. I am only 25, which worries me because I am TOO YOUNG TO DIE from this!!!! I am just praying that nothing is life-threatening, because it REALLY takes a tole on my whole system WHEN and AFTER this happens; it is like I am fatigued in the morning, like I can't even get out of bed or my pulse races and seems like it struggles to keep going!!!! If you solve this problem, I am praying that you'll share it with me! I go to a natural doctor, who has tried treating me for anxiety and panic; even he is stumped, but he says that my Vagus nerve is being over stimulated; he also says it can either be a magnesium deficiency (which would suggest a pituitary gland problem) or an adrenal gland problem (I think it may be adrenals because I've been overloading on magnesium every day like he told me to, and it has done absolutely nothing, practically!!!!) Well, please contact me either way; I am curious to hear all of your symptoms and compare them with mine!!!! Thank you for posting this; I feel better just knowing that I am not alone in this:)
Avatar universal
Hi I have been getting head rushes for 17 years and they have recently been getting a lot worse, for the past couple of months  along with strange noises in my head (it feels like it is going to explode) my arms and legs are flinging in the air.  I have seen my doctor several times over the years and I have been told it is due to stress (which I don`t think I really am) or insomnia and I have been prescribed sleeping tablets, nothing has helped whatsoever.

Butterfly1983  don`t panic your not going to die, as I have said I have been getting these for over 17 years and i`m not dead yet, but I know it really feels like it.

For years it I have been trying to explain to family and friends about these head rushes and not able to explain it properly, but you both seem to be experiencing the same things I am, and it feels like a relief really that i`m not mad.

If you have any solutions or any way to ease them or talk about them at all please do!  I feel quite excited that others are experiencing this  

345124 tn?1234483278
hi i get that too - where if i get sleepy in the middle of the day, instead of dozing off for a nap i zone out then jerk awake and get dizziness and rapid heartbeat that lasts a long time. at night, sometimes i will get a head rush or what feels like an adrenaline / dizziness rush that will keep me awake. these often lead into panic attacks. this worries me because along with that i have sinus symptoms, post nasal drip, eustachian tube dysfunction and chronic dizziness anyway. i also get weird head rushes that last for several seconds that seemed to be focused on my sinuses. it's probably all related, the dizziness/anxiety/head rushes, in some way, but its really spooky and i went to a doctor about 3 weeks ago who told me i had rhinitis. im on a nasal steroid and a pill and while i have noticed some improvement, i still get some spooky dizzy spells. i wish i could get a complete exam all at once. im sure something would show up then, instead of doctors taking little steps at a time that seem to go nowhere. if anybody wants to talk about it with me, id be happy to chat with you. just send me a message.
Avatar universal
I get this too....I can be months without it and then it returns for a week at a time.  Its such a weird feeling.  As i'm about to fall asleep at the very beginning I get this adrenaline rush through my body.  It feels like dizziness, heart palpitation as if your leaving your body......very strange.  It happens for a few hours till I get so exhausted that I finally fall asleep.  I really hate this feeling.
Avatar universal
I get similar symptoms too, It usually starts with a feeling that I'm breathing in warm air and just as I am about to drop off I get a strange rush that causes me to draw air in quickly, sometimes I feel it coming and I do it slowly, but other times it jolts me right up and I suck air in quickly, like I'm running out of breath, last night it happened and it took me 3 breaths of air before I actually had a good breath. It scares me alot and other symptoms are chest pains, usually above my left pec, it can travel nearer to my heart and that worries me, but I have had ECG's and my heart seems to be fine, I have had anxiety, and used to smoke alot of cannabis so I thought it was my synapses not firing properly,I have no real idea what it is but im glad im not the only one who experiences this, its such a strange thing to experience, hopefully we can gather evidence together and find a cure. I also thought it might be something spiritual, some sort of glitch during the transfer from the waking world into the dream world. God knows!!
Avatar universal
join me to your club, i have had this since my teens and still get it randomly. feels like an adrenaline rush going to my head just as i fall asleep then i cant sleep as i start getting feelings of doom! always get to sleep in the end tho. had been feeling rather strange few days earlier but didnt think anything of it. might start keeping a diary of when it happens. think its probo stress/anxiety related tbh but its not a nice experience regardless.
Avatar universal
I get the same thing, and have been on and off for years.  Just as I am falling asleep, pressure on the head, sometimes I even hear screaming.  Never really thought about googling it until last night when it was the worst I can remember.  I do find it only happens to me when I try to fall asleep on my back though?  Glad to hear I am not the only one this happens too...
Avatar universal
That's exactly how I would descibe it, it's like your spirit is trying to leave your body or something?
665881 tn?1248926997
Hi, i know exactly what that is! it's called a "Hypnic jerk" it's pretty normal!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A hypnic or hypnagogic jerk is an involuntary myoclonic twitch which occurs during hypnagogia, just as the subject is beginning to fall asleep. Physically, hypnic jerks resemble the "jump" made when a person is startled.[1]

Often accompanied by a falling sensation,[2] it is commonly caused by irregular sleep schedules.[3]


[edit] Origins
The neurological reason that hypnic jerks occur is not fully understood, although there are two predominant theories.

Some researchers suggest that as a subject's heartbeat and breathing slow down, hypnic jerks occur as a natural part of muscular transition.[4]

Another theory states that as a subject falls asleep, their muscles begin to relax and cease working, causing the brain to believe that the body must be falling through air. It is thought that this causes people to thrash their limbs in an attempt to catch something or turn oneself upright[4].


[edit] Occurrence
Hypnic jerks are usually felt once or twice per night. More regular, and usually less intense, hypnic jerks often occur during normal sleep. In extreme cases, this may be classified as a disorder called periodic limb movement. The person with the disorder will usually sleep through the events. When a subject is deprived of sleep and is trying to fight sleep, hypnic jerks can occur more often. This normally happens to subjects who have deprived themselves of sleep for longer than 24 hours, or to those who have recently awakened after insufficient sleep.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hope this helped? :)
Avatar universal
guess my random mix of days/nightshifts wont help then! just finished two nights fri sat then back on nights again mon tue wed, dont sleep well during the day so i must be odds on for some "hypnic jerks" later in week lol. thanks for info.
Avatar universal
im on the same boat....had one today.....they suck!
Avatar universal
NO, it is NOT a hypnic jerk, although they are similar.  Hypnic jerks are very short and accompanied by twitching movements.  The condition that most of you are describing is HYPNAGOGIA due to excess adrenaline.  This can have a wide range of causes, from generalized anxiety to an adrenal tumor (pheochromocytoma).  

Talk to your doctor about a medication called a Norepinephrine-Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI) such as duloxetine, which usually alleviates or completely eradicates this condition.
Avatar universal
I've suffered from anxiety in the past. For me, it seems to boil down to drinking too much caffeine over an extended period of time. Over the last month or so I've been going pretty hard and my sleep patterns have been off. I've been drinking too much caffeine and feeling the effects (anxiety). The symptom you guys are describing started happening to me a couple of years ago. Only when it happens to me I wake up with this huge head rush and the sight in one of my eyes is gone for a few seconds, like what happens when you stand up too quickly. Do you guys get this also?
Avatar universal
I too have had just about every anxiety symptom known to man, and am now experiencing the head rushes like everyone else who posted here.  When they're really severe, I do feel like my vision gets a bit fuzzy too.  I used to be on Buspar, which helped when I was incapacitated by the anxiety, but I now I don't take anything (other than allergy meds, which help but can also make my symptoms worse.)  I started getting the head rushes about 6 weeks ago, and I thought it was related to my allergies (still could be, I guess, my sinuses are always congested, year round)  I've had them here and there in the past, but now it's more regular - I got them every night for about 2 weeks, then they disappeared for a few weeks, now they're back.   It's the same as others have experienced, I'm almost asleep and them BAM! they wake me up, my heart starts racing and then I'm worrying about it which makes it worse.  I usually get 2 or 3 until I finally fall asleep.  I seem to get them every other night.  I'm guessing that's because the rush makes me so anxious, I don't sleep well, then the next night I'm so exhausted I just sleep through it.  But when they're really bad (like last night) I get them here and there during the day as well.  They don't usually slow me down during the day, I'm a busy mom and I exercise regularly, but they scare the heck out of me.  I'm sure caffeine doesn't help the situation, I have a tendency to eat chocolate before bed (stupid, I know.)  My worst fear is that it's some kind of brain tumor, but seeing how many other people experience these (and some for so many years!) makes me feel a little more reassurred.  Still wish they would stop!!  If anyone knows what foods/supplements could help, please post, thanks!
Avatar universal
I suffer from this too and have done ever since I started suffering from panic attacks last year.  Although I havent had a panic attack in several months these nighttime rushes have been getting worse.  I'm trying to go asleep and feel as it waves coming over my body.  My blood feels like its almost burning in my veins and throbbing.  Then I'll get these headrush surges that just get stronger and stronger.  As I'm borderline sleep I get woken up by a massive one that feels like an exposion in my head and I almost wake up screaming!  It's horrendous.  It leaves me feeling the physical affects the next day.  Had them so bad last night my head feels like its been burning all day.  I know I'm going to have more tonight cause I can feel the waves already all day today.  I've been to my doctor on several occasions but he keeps just prescribing me meds like Betablockers or diazepam.  I don't want to have to depend on taking medication long-term for this because they just start up again as soon as I do stop taking stuff.  At the minute I'm taking painkillers the odd time to try and settle things but they're not helping.  I really wish there could be a complete cure for this.  I feel for anyone going through the same thing.  I'm just glad I've come across other people suffering from it as I thought I was alone and it's a scary thing to deal with
1205788 tn?1265738830
I have had that to several times. Before this I would hear weird sounds with it.
its not because of tiredness or sleep deprevation because I have it when Im going to bed at 10pm and sometimes in the middle of the night.
its also not a "tic" or "spasm" because my body doesnt jerk when it happens.

Its this weird kind of rush through your body, more in the head, and like the pressure in my ears changes. Sometimes I get warm.
Pretty weird feeling, dont know what it is. Always thought it was the transition from awake to dream-state
Avatar universal
Last night it happened again for me.  Just as I fall asleep my body freezes.  It feels like i am awake.  My eyes look around the room and look at my wife.  I can't say a word or move a muscle.  Then all of a sudden everything goes black and I felt like my soul had left my body.  Right before that I felt like I was dying.  I started saying this can't be it.  It is too soon.  As soon as I prayed. I woke up.  This happens every so often.  It is really suffocating when this happens.  It feels so real.
Avatar universal
I am having this problem right now. I have been up all night because every time I try to sleep I get the head rush. It makes my whole body uncomfortable. I need to sleep, but I'm up and on the computer because I'm afraid of it happening again. This doesn't happen to me very often. Only when I'm not feeling well to begin with. I've had a stomach ache all night and I just threw up 10 minutes ago. Now my stomach feels better but I'm scared to try to sleep. I haven't been up for 24 hours either. I'm probably not making much sense right now. I'm so tired.
Avatar universal
hey wow I have been having these head rushes for about 10 months now its like when im sleepy whether its at night or in the middle of the day and I try to fall asleep I get a real bad head rush or whatever this feeling is...I get em a lot like maybe 5 times until I just get so sleepy and I fall asleep but sometimes if im not in a deep sleep they wake me up sometimes I feel it like all over my body also and my hearing kinda changes for a minute......my name is asia and im 22 and this is so scary I don't wanna die...I have real bad anxiety problems also I can't believe there are others out there going thru what im going thru I thought I was alone...but I know how you guys are feeling and its not a good feeling at all....feels kinda good to be able to talk to people about it and they can relate to you
Avatar universal
I have had a few of these before, but I had one last night that was VERY strong and lasted a few hours. It felt as if I had left my body and could walk around and do whatever I wanted. I vividly remember a feeling like being sucked out of my own belly button and floating around my room till I landed on the ground. Is this normal? Does anyone else feel this when it happens? I was scared at first, and then started to accept it and it was actually kind of enjoyable. I remember thinking to myself that I was definitely still awake, but my body was almost in a paralysis state there was nothing I could do. If anyone else has any other information on this I would greatly appreciate it. My email is
Avatar universal
I have had a few of these before, but I had one last night that was VERY strong and lasted a few hours. It felt as if I had left my body and could walk around and do whatever I wanted. I vividly remember a feeling like being sucked out of my own belly button and floating around my room till I landed on the ground. Is this normal? Does anyone else feel this when it happens? I was scared at first, and then started to accept it and it was actually kind of enjoyable. I remember thinking to myself that I was definitely still awake, but my body was almost in a paralysis state there was nothing I could do. If anyone else has any other information on this I would greatly appreciate it. My email is
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