Adrenaline rush as I fall asleep, been happening for 8 years now. What is this?

Posted , 78 users are following.

Hi everyone, 

I really hope someone can help on this forum. As soon as I am just about to fall asleep I get this kind of 'rush' that triggers in the centre of my brain and my heart. I then have adrenaline pumping ( not severe though ) but enough to then keep me awake as if I have drunk coffee. I feel adrenalised and can't sleep. I often then reach for melatonin which does sometimes help but not always. 

The doctor's just want to give me antidepressants and sleeping pills! I am not depressed and I don't want to take sleeping pills as they make me feel rubbish the next day and I don't just want to numb myself I actually want to get to the root of the issue as to what is causing this. 

This has been going on for 8 years and is really effecting my life. Can anyone tell me what is going on?? I am a very healthy person. I don't smoke. I don't hardly drink and I eat well and exercise, I also have low blood pressure.

If anyone can tell me what this is and/or wha to do about it I would be so grateful as I am very lonely in this as its almost worse being passes from doctor to therapist to healer and have no answers than to actually be diagnosed with something!

Can anyone actually help as I have run out of ideas and spent 8 years trying to get better and its still the same, I have just accepted this but its a rubbish way to exist. Any help would be so much appreciated if you take the time to read this.

Thank you smile

7 likes, 102 replies

102 Replies

  • Edited

    What a silly and pessimistic reply, apu.

    Ruthie, I think that this annoying feeling of "waking yourself up" just as you are about to fall asleep has been felt by pretty much eveyone , myself included. Now, granted, I don't remember having heard of a case lasting for 8 years. It usually comes and goes. When you say 8 years, is it non-stop or periodically?

    What you're going through isn't new or unusual to an insomniac, only to regular sleepers. So you're not alone.It is possible, however,that your doctors have never heard of such a thing.

    Are you able to go to a doctor who specialises in sleep?

    Do you practice CBT, sleep hygiene, and all that?

    • Posted

      HI Edgar,

      Thank you for taking the time. To answer your questions..

      It is non-stop. The doctors just say they don't know what it is. I asked about going to a sleep specialist but the doctor just said that they only look at sleep apnea and I don't think its that. I haven't looked into a private sleep specialist as its probably very expensive.

      The one thing I haven't tried is CBT. I could try that but I hear mixed reports.. I do practice good sleep hygiene, yes.


    • Posted

      Well, it's disappointing to hear sleep specialists don't go beyond apnea. As if it's the only complaint in the world.

      I have to admit I've never been to a sleep specialist myself, as my "automatic wake-ups" come and go. They are usually connected to anxity over something important that is scheduled for the next day, but oftentimes it's simply being too aware of sleep.

      I really believe all insomnias start as a one-time problem, then you become aware of the fact that getting to sleep can be difficult, and then your mind never forgets that fact.

      My worst experience with insomnia was simply an important presentation at college after which I became too aware of sleep, anticipating trouble night after night. I slept horribly for almost a year, but eventually got over it.

      Now my problems are different, I fall asleep generally without problem every night (this has much to do with the fact that I don't sleep during the day, so come nightfall I'm pretty exhausted), but I rarely get the "jolts", as I call them.

      I wish I could give you some useful advice, but I don't have an idea how to fix this. Nobody really does, I guess. In any case CBT is worth a shot, it's also, in a way, a rubbish way to live (I love the expression, btw), but when choosing between a rock and a hard place I guess it's the lesser of two evils. And if it works, then maybe with time you can get to normal levels of sleep.

      Man, I really wrote an essay here.

      Hang in there, anyway!

    • Posted

      Thanks Edgar. I appreciate your heart felt advice. I will check out some CBT and let you know smile

      All the best

  • Edited

    Hi Ruthie143, I experience the same thing, recently started happening after I stopped taking over the counter sleep aids to help me sleep. It's as if I forgot to help myself to fall asleep... With stress, anxiety, fear. I feel like my issue is fear. I fear I won't be able to get to sleep. And like you, once you go through the suffering, it's like a PSTD, and you keep reliving it. That's how it seems to me and I'm not sure this helps you. I signed up because of your post because I am scared of this too. I drink herbal teas and have melatonin but it doesn't help much. It feels chemical to me. It feels like adrenaline pulsing through me when I know I need to relax and get to sleep for my health. I need a good amount of sleep and it has been hard to manage. I know I have a lot of stressful things going on in my life with my health and I have a lot of fear with the unknown. I was feeling it again tonight like I have every night and I googled my symptoms, saw your post and wanted to join so I could reply. I am feeling better some so thank you for sharing. I don't think I practice good sleep hygiene, it's as if I have self destructive behavior in a way... Hard to put down the phone, etc. It feels like it all stems from the fear then I have to deal with the consequences of my actions (or thoughts). I am trying to control myself better, my mind and choices before bed, but sometimes it's hard. I wake up so tired and somehow get energy from consuming veggies, fruits, herbal teas. I don't drink any stimulants at all and am off all daily meds (I was on Lexapro but got off when it wasn't helping any longer). Thank you for listening, I hope you find some peace and rest tonight and every night. I wish I could help you more. Sweet dreams.

    • Posted

      I have this problem for a week now! I can’t sleep at night and I lie awake for hours. Sometimes I go to sleep but last night I just couldn’t fall asleep at all. Just one hour or so but I had this horrible dream that I was choking and I woke up and couldn’t sleep. I tried to sleep again but everytime I started to fall asleep my adrenaline rush come over and I woke up. I don’t know what to do I feel crazy thinking about sleep all day long. And I started to fear my bed and sleeping. I can’t concentrate on nothing alse but sleep. I can’t work I don’t want to go out with my boyfriend or my girl friends. Even the tv is not distracting me. I sometimes take helex a pill for relaxation that helped me the privious time I had this, but is not helping me now. Like my body is relexed but not my mind. I don’t even have apetit I just feel tired. Give me some advanceon what to do. I can’t live like this. I even have anxiety attacks where my hole body is shaking. Im feeling like im going crazy and I feel no one can help me sad
    • Edited

      I understand what you mean. Someone recommended a book by Sasha Stephens called the effortless sleep method so I bought that and just started it, some say it helped them a lot, maybe worth a shot. It is hard, I know. I feel like I am going to die any minute because my body can't take any more. Please hang in there, I'll be thinking of you.

    • Posted

      I am also facing sleep problems.

      My neighborhood lady has given some inspiration to live without sleep.Her husband died 15 years back.Ever since her sleep deteriorated.Every night she closes her eyes,opens in the morning.Literally no sleep from 15 years.Her eyes are normal,no dark circles.She is a working woman.Her days are fresh.She just accepted her situation and living cool.So ,lack of sleep do not kill us.Stay strong.

    • Posted

      HI Elizabeth, I have just come back online now after not looking at this for a long time. Your message was touching and I hope that you are getting some sleep? I'm still at a brick wall but think it is probably Adrenal fatigue and fight flight survival energy stuck in switched ON. I just need to find out how to turn it all OFF. I will let you know if I get any answers smile Wishing you deep peaceful rest...

    • Posted

      HI Ruthie,

      Did you ever find answers? I am facing the same thing. It came on out of nowhere too. Please help.... I’m desperate. sad

    • Posted

      For me, about 10 mg propranalol nips this in the bud. (It is a blood pressure medicine that blocks adrenaline.) 
  • Posted

    Sounds like anxiety/adrenal fatique. I reccomened taking some valerian root, or drinking some herbal tea before bed to calm you down. 
    • Posted

      HI Nathan,

      I think you are right I just don't know how to get it better. I have tried all herbal stuff, you name it, I have tried it.


  • Posted

    HI Ruthie,

    I have always had this at times of stress/anxiety but have it much worse atm after a period of prolonged stress related insomnia/coming off Benzo's.. so yes my understanding is that it is essentially stress/anxiety related.. "The Sleep Book" also talks about this phenomena.. for me right now it comes and goes.. and the more stressed/anxious I am about it the more it stays.. so I try to be very accepting about it.. control my reaction when it happens, i.e. take some deep breaths, tell myself it's no big deal and even smile at it.. reacting to it in a catastrophic "oh no!!" way just makes it worse.. I am not sure how old you are?? but as we get older our cortisol levels tend to arise making our nervous system more trigger happy.. there are various things we can do to reduce calm our nervous system such as yoga/meditation etc.. black/green tea.. I would google how to reduce cortisol/adrenaline.. magnesium might help also.. it's a horrible thing to have but I think it can be managed smile

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