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14287919 tn?1434470794

Random Blacking Out in Bed?

Hi! I'm a new person on, so... I'll try to be very specific. (I posted this in Teen Health since I'm a teen, but I think that was the wrong forum. Hopefully this is the right one...)

I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep at around 11 PM. My eyes were open and I was just kinda relaxing rather than sleeping. Suddenly, sparks were flashing around in my eyes. Then all of a sudden, my vision went black, a roaring noise began to pound in my ears, and I couldn't move or do anything. In my opinion, it was like a very intense version of the sensation you get when standing up too quickly and the blood leaves your head. Afterwards I was shaky, and for the rest of the week, even now as I write this, feel very lightheaded and strange.

Prior to the attack, I had felt "waves" under my feet and rather dizzy.

About me: I am a fifteen yr old female. While I have no "confirmed" health issues other than an allergy to pineapple (which I haven't eaten in several months), I do seem to exhibit signs of EIA, have chronic nasal congestion, shortness of breath occasionally, and some chest pain (though it may be caused by GERD). I am physically active, eat pretty healthy (usually gluten free, lots of vegetables, limited amount of MSG, HFCS, stuff like that…)

Is this attack related to the heart, brain, or blood? Is is something to worry about?  Thanks!
16 Responses
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144586 tn?1284666164
If this happens again you have to talk to your mom/dad about getting an in-person top-to-bottom  neurological evaluation. Take care.
Helpful - 0
14287919 tn?1434470794
I will, and I have been watching and seeing if it will happen again. I've told both my mom and dad. Thanks for your help!
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Avatar universal
Sleep Paralysis (SP) can cause the complaints that you shared. Actually what you wrote is pretty classic for SP.  It is sort of "hiccup" in your sleep cycle where REM kicks in before you are fully asleep or doesn't stop as you are trying to wake up.

The University of Waterloo has some good information online about the condition and they offered me some insight about how to deal with reoccurring episodes of this parasomnia phenomena.  

Visual and auditory hallucinations are common with SP as are feelings of being watched, touched, pressed upon, etc.  

Hopefully what you experienced was an isolated incident.  But, SP can be a recurrent condition that requires a person to practice rather strict sleep hygiene such as limit stimulants (caffeine) late in the day and evening, avoid stress (hard to do at your age and in the coming years:( ), don't fall asleep on your back (makes it more likely to occur) and also learning to calm and ground yourself if you do find yourself in an SP hallucination (concentrating on moving a finger or making a repetitive sound works for me).

Always a good thing to let your parents know about your concerns and also your doctor/pediatrician.  Good luck!
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14287919 tn?1434470794
Thank you! Hopefully this is actually what happened and hopefully it won't happen again! I really appreciate the relevant information.

Thanks loads,

WizTeen
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14287919 tn?1434470794
I'm reading more on SP and it seems slightly different than what I explained. Usually in SP, I think, you are able to see, and hallucinations appear when your eyes are open. However, my sight went completely black (the darkness crept in from the corner of my eyes really, really quick), like, I've explained before, when one stands up too quickly. I don't remember the spell completely, but it almost felt like it was sucking me into an endless pit, or essentially, backwards in my head (since my pillow was holding up my head, it couldn't physically go anymore back).
I hope this doesn't comes across as impudent, as I really would like the most helpful of advice. Thank you for your consideration!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
It doesn't come across as impudent.

The hallucinations can take many forms.  It was always started out as a tunnel for me along with a whooshing in my ears and a sense of being pulled down.  After that, I never "saw" anything but would "sense"  something terrifying nearby.  I would also "feel" something pulling off my blankets and/or dragging me across the bed.  I don't recall ever seeing what was scaring me so much.  I did perceive a "voice" at times though.  None of it was real of course but it was super scary when it happened.  Thankfully it stopped about a decade ago when I was in my 30s.  

Hopefully you never experience it again or to the extent that some people do.  Check out the University of Waterloo website.

Helpful - 0
14287919 tn?1434470794
Hi,

Well, it wasn't a feeling of literally being pulled along physically. And I didn't get scared, I was just a bit startled. I didn't feel the presence of something terrifying or the like, nor did I have anxiety. It was all in my head or mind. And the dizziness or shakiness is not from fright or anything.
I also recall reading that SP is right as you are falling asleep and/or right as you wake up. In my case, I was very, very awake, and very conscious of what was happening.

Maybe I should mention that I had brief (about two minutes) chest pains in my left chest, about an inch to the left of my sternum or breastbone afterwards. I still am consistently experiencing some dizziness and odd feelings in my head.  
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14287919 tn?1434470794
Continuation:

BTW, I think I have experienced REAL SP, where I hallucinated a giant (this might sound really dumb, but it scared the living wits out of me) T-rex head coming through my bedroom door when I was younger. I do suffer from occasionally paranoidal thoughts about kidnapping and the like, but usually I just calm myself.

Just so you know, I understand your terror and hope that it doesn't affect you permanently. I'm a cautious person, though that constant fear has never affected me during sleep. Only in times like standing unprotected in the shower...

Thanks  for your support. And thanks for answering my endless questions!
Helpful - 0
144586 tn?1284666164
Halucinations when you are half-asleep, half-awake seem to have a genetic connection - that is some people never ever have them, and others have a lot of them. They can be extraordinarily real, and take the form of simple light and noise presentations or even monsters. I have had them all my life and find them amusing. They are related to abnormal glucose levels, as well. That doesn't mean what you experienced was not due to some physical abnormality. Momentary oxygen deprivation can cause these problems, and this can be due to a clot forming, blocking the main blood vessel from the heart to the lungs. These will eventually dissolve, and if you have had one, it doesn't mean you will ever have one again. Dehydration and inactivity are contributing factors.
Helpful - 0
14287919 tn?1434470794
Hi caregiver222
Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, the likelihood of oxygen deprivation in my case is highly possible, as I often have trouble breathing due to an obstructed nasal airway.
Is there a term to refer to that certain kind of blood clot?
As for activity and dehydration; dehydration is a possibility. But inactivity is unlikely as I participate in physically demanding activities, such as martial arts.
Are the clots dangerous? Do they hold any chance of dislodging and causing greater danger?

Thanks for your help!
TeenWiz
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144586 tn?1284666164
A clot that forms blocking a major blood vessel is called a thrombosis. Oxygen deprivation is not likely because when P02 decreases the heart rate increases and/or breathing rate increases.
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14287919 tn?1434470794
Okay. Thank you.
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Avatar universal
ELQ
Don't fool around with something that makes you dizzy and if you black out. Do you drink alcohol? Too much alcohol makes you black out. If not, you may have a serious case of Vertigo which can take forever to get rid of. You need a complete Physical Exam by your Primary Care Physician including complete Urine Analysis and Blood workup. These tests should pinpoint the problem. My husband had the bolt of lightning in the eyes and felt like passing out. The doctor said it could be a stroke.
Helpful - 0
14287919 tn?1434470794
Hi ELQ,

I absolutely do not drink alcohol. My grandmother (months ago) let me try a nip of "alcohol-less beer" and I was completely put off by the taste and smell; I almost choked (essentially, I hated it). I actually eat pretty healthy and clean.
I when I close my eyes, my head "spins", so that may just be vertigo. I do have very small ear canals apparently that my parents discovered and since they decided against implanting tubes, I usually have a lot of ENT infections.
I do know I need a Physical Exam, but I don't know when my next one will be.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have no idea what that could be.  But you should go to a doctor right away. Get examined, get tests etc. Don't wait till it happens again.  Go now. The only way to determine what this is to see a doctor. Get diagnosed.  And treated, if necessary.  Glad you posted here and keep us posted as to what the doctor says. Good luck.  
Helpful - 0
14287919 tn?1434470794
Just as an update, I "blacked out" twice...all spread out over the span of ten months. One night I had it twice in a row, and it was pretty scary. The most recent one was last night...after that I had a hard time falling asleep because I was scared it'd happen again.
To describe it again...this time it was a roaring in my ears, flashing colors (orange and pink, I think) and the inability to move. I tried to force myself to wake up, believing it was a bad dream and being successful before at exiting nightmares; however, I failed. I was stuck in a position of having both arms curled above my head and lying at about a thirty degree angle. I felt like my eyes were wide open, and I was just staring at my bedroom wall with all the flashing lights surrounding my peripheral and occipital vision. It was quite haunting.
If you've ever had anything similar, please answer!!!
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