Sleep Disorders Community
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Nocturnal fainting

For over 10 years I have been having occasional to frequent what I have come to call
34 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,sorry to hear your not feeling well.Have you been to your doctor or neurologist about these symptoms?Some of what you describe are panic attacks,being through a traumatic experience does some times bring on fear or afraid of dying.You need to make an appointment with your doctor or neurologist.Having a pinched nerve in your neck does not cause,these feelings.Or having arthritis in your neck.Make an appointment as possible though.You may need an MRI of your brain,or catscan of your brain.It could be seizures or pin strokes.I can't say for sure I am not a doctor.Take care of your self.Harttohart.
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Hello ecogirl, I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you but I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. My daughter suffers from the same problem. Even though she's not an anxious person, she does have a stressful job and I think in her case they are panic attacks. Have a browse of this page, it may help. Good luck.

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Thanks to you both for your responses.
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Get your blood pressure checked. Sometimes when you are at rest or relaxing, your blood pressure can drop fast and cause a fainting feeling or heaviness. Especially in people with already low but still normal blood pressure.
Avatar universal
I have the exact same feeling...im asleep and its darkness all around and I feel that I try to get up but am unable to itls like i cant move  but only my brain keep telling me to get up...its like im slipping into coma or going to die or something...because of this im scared to go to sleep ... is there some kind of medical help...and yes i do have low pressure
Avatar universal
Thank God someone knows what I'm talking about!!!!

Hi. I recently began to feel the symptoms you explained. Fainting in my sleep. Last weekend it happened to me while I was awake and I was taken to the ER. After extensive tests the only thing the doctors could come up with was Magnezium defficiency. I explained the fainting in my sleep to the doctor. It sounded foreign to him.
I read up on Magnezium defficiency - it explained most of my symptoms (panic, shortness of breath, extreme weakness) but it didn't say anything about sleep fainting. The magnezium has helped me a little but I'm sill not quite back to my self. You sould think about magnezium.
Avatar universal
I have had the same symptoms...I thought I was going crazy, I have all these weird symptoms that I think my boyfriend doesn't believe me or tries to but can't imagine what I'm talking about. I dread going to sleep because of it. I love sleeping once I'm there but the thought of going to bed is horrible. I don't know if I just let myself go through it without panicking if I would actually die. I've always had a really easy time falling asleep as a child. I remember once when I was in about 10th or 11h grade I woke up and couldn't move I couldn't talk it was like I was paralyzed. I cried for a few minutes then jumped in my little sisters bed for comfort (not exactly my style) to say the least she knew something was up, my only affection towards her before that was to be her worst nightmare (typical big sis ;P) Then I read about something called sleep paralysis and it sounded like what happened to me. This is a definition from wikipedia "Physiologically, it is closely related to the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is known as REM atonia. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the body paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully conscious, but unable to move."
If I find out any more I will let you know. I hope there is an answer because this is not doing me any good in relation to my job.
Avatar universal
Although I am pleased to read that I am not alone, I am very sorry you have these symptoms. I too have had this feeling and recently it has been getting more frequent.

The reason I found this was because I typed 'fainting in sleep' into Google after my experience last night.  I am also petrified of going back to my so called slumber after one of the 'attacks'. In fact, for me, it can also happen in a dreamstate. Last night I was asking my wife to call an ambulance for me as I was collapsing to the ground.

That was the worst one to date.

My symptoms seem to be the same as yours "Even though I am asleep, I begin sensing that I am fainting and I think that I am dying. I wake up in a complete panic, my heart is pounding very rapidly and I am desperately fighting not to go �there�."

These could be heart attacks or minor strokes, or as harttohart puts it a neurological issue. Please take his advice (as I will now) and return to your doctor with a view of a  neurologist visit is necessary.

All the best.
Avatar universal

I have all the symptoms you have written down, the feeling of dieing and everything, I've had them during dreams, and during just falling asleep... I always scream to get out of them, and wake everybody up... and yesterday I came out of this state but then everything around mi was whirling around, and had the seance I was hallucinating... maybe I was having REM but I was conscious??? but why the death feeling, and why can I get out of it if I scream??? And when I had these I didn't really have a stressful life, so it's not because of that...
Can anyone help???
Has anyone tried to let the feeling go, and "die"???
Avatar universal
I am so happy to find you.  You described my experience perfectly.  I have been going through this for four years now.  I had one episode, then another one three years later.  This month, I had two.  I just finished a three-day stay in the hospital.  Your name for this condition is so appropriate, "nocturnal fainting."   I know now that I am not crazy and not the only one experiencing this.  Doctors have not heard of this sleep fainting.  I wake up with THE funny feeling that it is happening.  Then as you all have said, I fight desperately not to go "there."  Please...no...please...not again!  I just want to stop it, but nothing can stop it.  My body feels so heavy.  I am hot, sweating, and I can't breathe.  I am dizzy and disoriented.  As I describe this to the doctors, I always say it feels like I am dying.  The diagnoses in the past have been dehydration and potassium. This time the hospital ran every test possible.  I wish I could confidently name all of them: Carotid, EEG, ECG, Eco, the one where the pressure is measured standing, lying, sitting, 24 hour heart monitoring, etc.  It was determined that due to a diuretic in my blood pressure medicine and possibly the weather, my body was unable to remain hydrated. He took me off that medication and put me on one w/o diuretic. It took 5 liters of liquid to hydrate me before I could leave the hospital.  I had been drinking four 16 oz bottles of water a day.  Now I know that I have to drink more.  I am willing to do whatever I need, not to ever experience nocturnal fainting again.  We will see what happens.  I hope your condition has improved.

The Teacher
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms, and I am really scared. My brain feels totally awake during the faint, I can hear my boyfriend's playing computer games and my house-mates are talking; but my whole body feels so heavy and its like I lost control of my whole body. I can't even breath sometimes. People think I'm sleeping like an angel so calmly, but I'm dying inside. They have no idea what is going on in me!! I told my boyfriend about this, but he didn't really take me seriously. Every time to wake up from this nightmare, I fight...  but no one can see that. When I finally wake up. I'm all sweaty and my eyes are full of tears. It feels like I almost died...

Are there any medication for this?
I will do anything to stop this Horrible thing going on with me...
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear about this for you folks. I hate these feelings.  I just had an episode again myself, which led me here. I was recently diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope by a neurologist and a cardiologist. Unfortunately I haven't been able to convince them that this also happens while I am asleep. There isn't any real treatment anyway, and most docs say it's no big deal.  

I am not going to buy that, and hope I get treatment because anyone with the condition can tell you it's NOT 'no big deal.'. Good luck to you all.
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