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Feels Like My Heart Stops, I Jolt Awake. Extremely Terrifying

If any one can help please I been doing this for a couple years now I feel like I'm having shortness of breath in the day and sometimes can't breath for a seconds and at night I jump out of my sleep like I wasn't breathing and my heart is racing and I'm panic
Sometimes when I'm falling asleep I feel it coming it feels like life is Geting drained out of me what is this ?? Anyone


Over the past few years, this weird occurrence has happened to me occasionally.

When I am laying in...
Hey, my name is Kaitlin and I am 24. I have the same exact thing happening to me, I start to doze off and I get this CRAZY feeling that my hart has stopped for a min and I jerk awake, then I'm trying to breath and calm my heart down because it's going way too fast then I try it again then the same thing all over again. I have had way too much stress lately first my childhood dog of 18 years died on Father's Day then 2 weeks later my other dog got hit by a car and got paralyzed and I had to put her down. And around that same time my 35 year old brother and his 3 year old got kicked out and I had to take his son, so yea a lot of stress... I also have no idea what it is I too thought I had heart problems. But when I saw your post it made me feel better that I wasn't the only one


I have this, too. I think it's brain-related. I don't think it's anxiety-related, or sleep a...
No i thought i had minor heart attack on xtc but no an yours is anxiety like mine.. just hard to become less anxious especially when am workin 60 hours some weeks doin shtest jobs ever but fk it just deal with it.. its not too dangerous unless u freak the fk out everytime accept u are staying awake until it goes .. i get it worse when am tired i just stay in bed till i sleep lol oh an i get panic attacks during work !! Heart fight or flight mode when am busy workin takes piss but f it .. passes if i just tell it to f off an try its best lol then try make heart beat like that . All started when i got with my psycho gf hahah o.o maybe the years of drink n smoke hasnt helped but am still fit an healthy according to blood test lol
Since winter this year I have been suffering from night terrors according to the medical staff that is helping me. I have had sleep studies and do not have sleep apnea. But during my sleep study I awoke told them I was having a panic attack and went back to sleep. I didn't know I did this until the sleep doctor read me the notes of my study. On Wednesday I am going in to have a MRI to see if I have tumors in my head causing my sleep disturbances. My issues change it started out with waking up with acid reflux. Then it would feel like my heart was stopping and i would wake up yelling. The docs put me on zoloft and prazosine at night. This made them less frequent. For a couple of months my husband would have to tell me if I woke up in the night screaming. The last attacks I have had are when I am trying to fall asleep and almost there, one of them it felt like things were moving around in my skull. The last 2 it has felt like my heart is going to stop so I can't fall asleep or it might stop. So I had the doc prescribe trazidone it has helped me sleep. That has helped so far, need to find out if I have tumors causing these. I am in my 50s and I think anxiety is catching up with me. I have had many traumas in my life and the crap is coming to a head.
Good to read... Im 51. I was born with this. From as young as I remember I would tell my mother my heart stopped while trying to sleep. My mother said I was the only baby she ever saw that never took naps (still don't, happens then also) , even car trips, wide eyed. My anxiety is so bad, I can't drive on the highway for 20 years now. Most time just stay home.
Drinking beer before I sleep works great for the sleep, then next day makes it worse. My wife is on vacation in China now, She will go see the TCM doctors next week and see what she brings home.
I have just started the biting a pen or pencil for 10 minutes before I sleep, swallow five times while biting on the tongue, before bed and take you tongue to top of inside of your mouth. Lick from throat to top teeth back and forth 10 x. Here is a link to more. These did help if I get to bed before 11:30. Playoff game last night until 1 am.
Other than all this, Im in good shape and take zero meds. Like to do all natural
Good luck everyone, we got to find a way to get a normal life back. And stay strong, we all get to choose if we're happy or sad, even if you get punched in the face, it's are choose what to do next (I know I fail much)))).


Hi there,

I would like to contribute to this discussion hopefully with a cure as I suffered the following symptoms:

a) Just when I'm about to fall asleep, I am jolted awake with a pounding heart and I gasp a bit for air as if I forgot to breathe.

b) This continues ad nauseam, all night allowing me to get less than 1 hour of sleep and can persist for days, forcing me to take sleeping pills.

I did extensive research online and have also had blood tests, thyroid test, urine test (results to come soon), lung function test, EKG, echo-gram of the heart, 24 hour holter monitor, allergy test, take-home sleep study (I have no apnea), neurology tests checking oxygen flow to brain and screening for degenerative diseases like ALS. All came back negative although I was insufficient for Vitamin D, so I am taking supplements.

As the days went by (I suffered from this for about 4-5 weeks with my main symptom during the day being shortness in breath), I finally stumbled upon 'Adrenal Fatigue'. This is the failure of our adrenal glands to produce cortisol, the stress response hormone, in adequate quantities, resulting in an internal imbalance of cortisol in our bodies. This can elevate PH levels thus reducing our CO2 tolerance at night; so when we transition from staying awake to light or REM sleep, there is a brief pause where our parasympathetic system takes over (i.e automatic breathing). In this brief pause, in my understanding, PH levels rise as do Co2 levels. If our adrenals are fatigued, our sensitivity to higher PH and Co2 levels, causes us to be jolted awake, just as we fall asleep. This is a fantastic video by an American doctor called Dr. Berg. If you put in "adrenal fatigue shortness in breath" in YouTube search you will find it.

I want to stress something here; always get yourself checked out with some or all of the tests I did above to ensure that you have no underlying condition, but most probably, it is not some underlying condition but instead what I have explained above. So please relax, I know how scary this symptom can be.

Adrenal Fatigue is well documented and all doctors know about it. There are 4 stages to adrenal fatigue and this can be caused/exacerbated by stress in your life-style (even too much exercise can cause it). It is a sneaky one as it creeps up on you and can wreak havoc on your adrenals and eventually, thyroid, causing major sleep disturbance issues.

So here are a few tangible steps I took immediately when I found out the above and I've started to sleep normally again.

a) Cut out white rice, bread or any processed foods (this is not forever, just until I am healed). This is a big big one, the moment I eat this, I get the same heart palpitations/jolts at night.

b) Your last meal should be no later than 7pm at night; make sure it is light. Some lentils/legumes, fish, or chicken but nothing heavy like a pizza followed by chocolate.

c) Magnesium tablet after your dinner meal as this relaxes the muscles. Some doctors recommend melatonin, you may wish to check it out too, I have not tried it.

d) Retire to bed at 9pm with the view to fall asleep by 10pm-11pm, maybe midnight depending on your insomnia type of condition.

e) If you are experiencing the sleeping issues described above, this most likely means your mind/body has experienced recent trauma or excessive levels of stress (you may or may not have realised it consciously). This mean you absolutely need to reduce your intraday stress; ideally get bed rest for a few days.

Literally overnight, doing a-d has entirely removed that strange "jerking" and I am now sleeping.

I understand steps a-e above seem wishy washy but they actually worked very well for me. Your sleep as you are probably well aware is where a good portion of internal body repair occurs; especially in deep delta wave REM sleep. So if you are too bored or lazy to try out the steps a-e above, please do it just for the sake of your sleep-health.

I hope the above helps some of you.


Shot in the dark but are any of you on heartburn medication? I've been diagnosed with PTSD and wake up with the sensation of my heart stopping, out of breath, almost an electrical like surge when it happens and racing heart. All when I'm about to fall asleep.
It all started when I began to take a PPI consistently for acid reflux about 3-4 weeks ago. Now for the last 5 days I've had heart palpitations on top of it that happen anytime of day (with the other sensation only happening when about to fall asleep).
I have read a lot on heartburn medication and they can cause heart palpitations along with a ton of other awful side effects. So now I'm wondering if they are also connected to my other nightly issue.
I'm not currently on any other medication besides reactine once and awhile for allergies whch I've taken for years.
last night i have severe agitation and feeling like my heart stop beating sometimes too fast sometines impalpable. sleep one minute then suddenly woke up gasping for air and sudden panic attack like "this is it, my time has come". i quickly reach my stethoscope in bag, keep counting pulse for funny rhythm, distal extremities tremors, head keep thinking of things doesn't matter that i will soon go to seizure... it feels like crazy man.

i have severe sinusitis and conjunctivitis with severe frontsl headache.

i thaught i took the levofloxacin 750 tab for 1 tab, indeed i took 2 tabs....
when i list out all differentials i can, from panic attack, ptsd, AF, vfib, arrest thennnnn i got to drugs... yead ODed.

i swallowed 2 PCM and in 30 mins i sleep like a baby and just woke up to reply to u because i am to afraid last night and i seaech near death experience on google n ur Q came up... even i'm a doctor, death is just something i'm very afraid of... i mean there are so much things left not done.

thank you
I have had these for years. They have been referred to as "sleep starts" or hypnic jerks. Yes it feel like your heart st...
What do you all think that is: when you are about to fall asleep and then you get the sensation of falling into a deep hole and you are wide awake after that. I have always wondered what the explanation is for that phenomenon.
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