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What to do about three o'clock in the morning panic attacks?
#1
I am waking up at 3:00am, weirdly enough almost exactly at that time each morning with my mind racing and trying to solve problems. Yet each problem leads me to another even greater problem. None of which are big problems in reality, but I take them to extremes, begin to panic and can't go back to sleep.

My S9 seems to be working properly though I am thinking about replacing my Swift FX with a Resmed P10.

During the daytime I am fine. These attacks happen about two, or three times a week. Other nights I sleep fine. My diet is pretty much the same, so I don't think it is food though sometimes I eat too late, but have not really tried to make any correlation.

I know that there are medical professionals on this site and would appreciate any help.

Any advice, direction would be very much appreciated.
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#2
G'day Bill. The type of thing you describe is (I think) not uncommon. It used to happen to me when I was younger (late 30s to late 40s) - I'd wake up every night worrying about work. Problem clients, things I'd forgotten to do, mistakes I'd made. Now I'm in my early 60s this never happens, though quite a few of my younger colleagues talk about similar things happening to them. (We're in the consulting engineering business which isn't quite in the lawyer league but is still pretty stressful at times).

I don't think there's a connection to apnea and CPAP, but it might be worth checking your charts to see if there's anything unusual happening before you wake up (a cluster of apneas, big leaks, anything like that).
DeepBreathing
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
Good idea, will check to see if there are any unusual events happening at that time.

I am a young 70. Business problems are not really very big. During the day, we take care of the few that arise. Just at night, they seem much bigger.
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#4
(07-14-2014, 03:47 AM)Caddyshack Wrote: I am waking up at 3:00am, weirdly enough almost exactly at that time each morning with my mind racing and trying to solve problems. Yet each problem leads me to another even greater problem. None of which are big problems in reality, but I take them to extremes, begin to panic and can't go back to sleep.
I call that awakening my bio break, do my business with the lights off, take a 5mg melatonin, go back to bed with the radio sleep timer on 30 minutes (any talk program), strap up and go back to sleep. I never hear the end of the 30 minute radio talk. The talk shows are just interesting enough to keep me from thinking but not interesting enough to keep me awake for long. Works for me.

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#5
(07-14-2014, 06:09 AM)JimZZZ Wrote:
(07-14-2014, 03:47 AM)Caddyshack Wrote: I am waking up at 3:00am, weirdly enough almost exactly at that time each morning with my mind racing and trying to solve problems. Yet each problem leads me to another even greater problem. None of which are big problems in reality, but I take them to extremes, begin to panic and can't go back to sleep.
I call that awakening my bio break, do my business with the lights off, take a 5mg melatonin, go back to bed with the radio sleep timer on 30 minutes (any talk program), strap up and go back to sleep. I never hear the end of the 30 minute radio talk. The talk shows are just interesting enough to keep me from thinking but not interesting enough to keep me awake for long. Works for me.

I like it! Will speak to my sleep doc about the Melatonin. Is that prescription?

Yeah, the bio-break. Know that one all too well.

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#6
Bill -- melatonin is OTC. I take a little in the evening. I would not take it early morning.
Nor would I take 5mg. 1mg is plenty. This stuff is not regulated by the FDA.
Your sleep doc may nix its use because it's not regulated.
JimZZZ's ritual is similar to my evening ritual to get to sleep.
Still, he has a good idea, you need to break the circuital thought pattern that leads to near panic.
The palaver of talk radio might work -- if not for loud commercial breaks.
How about a relaxation or motivational CD?
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#7
(07-14-2014, 07:14 AM)Caddyshack Wrote: I like it! Will speak to my sleep doc about the Melatonin. Is that prescription?
No, it's a hormone described in WebMD as follows:

"Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement."

I buy the time release tablets.
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#8
I take Doxepin 10 mg for this. Works like a charm and I sleep like a baby.
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#9
Although medications may sometimes seem unsavoury, and are not always the optimal solution; they can be an answer. Being a recovered opiate addict at the end of my methadone program, I myself have experienced a few issues with my state of mental health. I have severe anxiety issues, which existed before the drugs; that is one of the reasons why opiates were so appealing to me. I confess that I have never been awoken at night as a result of a panic attack. I know what it is like to have one during the day though. Anti-anxiety medication can help with these. Unfortunately, the common ones, being benzodiazepines, do not last long in the body, so, and do not take anything I say to heart I AM NOT A DOCTOR, they may not be your answer. There are other types, anti-depressants and such. They build up in your body and are for the longer-term. Another type is the sleeping-pill family. If your personal anxiety levels are not such that they require medication to manage, a simple sleeping pill may sufficiently keep you asleep so that you do not have these attacks at night. I am not a health care professional. I am just speaking from my own experience with anxiety and related medications. I have found, personally, that they do help in a lot of ways when used appropriately. Medications are not always a solution, they can be considered when other options don't work. My best advice, is to make an appointment, and speak to your own personal doctor about your anxiety problems. He/she will have the experience to help best judge the proper route for you in this issue.
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#10
I would check to see if you're having extremely high pressures or sudden pressure increases at that time. The waking up may be unrelated, but you may be panicking because of pressure-induced difficulty exhaling. If so, you might speak to your doctor about trying a constant pressure or narrowing your pressure range.
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