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analog_warrior

Waking up scared

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Twice that I can remember, I've jolted awake and been terrified. I had no dream and didn't know what I was so scared about. Has this ever happened to anybody. What does it mean?

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Maybe you've been woken from a nightmare that was so disturbing your mind has blanked it out? Just a suggestion :)

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Hmm . . . never heard of anything like that before, but maybe you dreamt something and that caused you to have a panic attack . . jolting you awake in a terrified state.

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Most people don't remember even 10% of their dreams. It doesn't mean that you aren't dreaming.

"" Does everybody dream?

A. Everybody dreams. All humans (indeed, all mammals) have REM sleep. Most dreams occur in REM sleep. [REM=Rapid Eye Movements - in this sleeping stage the eyeballs move around like when awake.] This has been demonstrated by awakening people from different stages of

sleep and asking if they were dreaming. In 85 percent of awakenings

from REM sleep, people report having been dreaming. Dreams are rarely reported following awakening from other types of sleep (collectively

called non-REM sleep). REM sleep alternates with non-REM sleep in 90

minute cycles throughout the night. In a typical 8 hour night, you

will spend about an hour and a half total time in REM sleep, broken up

into four or five "REM periods" ranging in length from 5 to 45

minutes. Most dreams are forgotten. Some people never recall dreams while others recall five or more each night. ""

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Sounds like night terrors, which I used to suffer from regularly. Essentially it's a really bad nightmare which you just plain forget when you wake up, leaving you confused and terrified.

Night Terrors Symptoms: Sudden awakening from sleep, persistent fear or terror that occurs at night, screaming, sweating, confusion, rapid heart rate, inability to explain what happened, usually no recall of "bad dreams" or nightmares, may have a vague sense of frightening images. Many people see spiders, snakes, animals or people in the room, are unable to fully awake, difficult to comfort, with no memory of the event on awakening the next day.

When I was a younger lad (about 7) I came storming out of my room and into my parent's room at about midnight, after having a night terror. I fell on the floor, started tearing at my hair, and ranted about a $27,000 couch. My parents, of course, were horrified and had no idea what I was talking about. They put me back to bed and when I woke in the morning I had no memory of the event until they asked me about it. We later found out it was a night terror, which I had suffered to a lesser extent before. This site has a lot of information on night terors which you may find useful.

I know what you're going through, but it might go away like mine did eventually. And for the record, I am of stable mind (I think, anyways :lol:) despite the $27,000 couch incident.

Edited by angrycrustacean

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I've actually woken up at night terrified as well. No reason...absolutely nothing wrong. But still feeling like there is imminent danger towards me. Maybe its psychic awareness of something we can't see, or something that might happen. Like say an earthquake a pet might sense before it happens.

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This has happened to me a few times before. But for me, it's happened after a particularly stressful day. My recomendation would to try to 'ground' yourself right afterwards. Get up, have a drink of water, maybe a bite of an apple or a grape. :tu:

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I think that might be sleep paralysis, the sudden jolt. Happens sometimes also if you're in a dream and you're falling in it, the way you described yourself jolting, if it was like a spasm. During that short spasm you can't move or anything. May or may not be what you're talking about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis

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Twice that I can remember, I've jolted awake and been terrified. I had no dream and didn't know what I was so scared about. Has this ever happened to anybody. What does it mean?

yep just happined to me did'nt have a clue wat was going on scared the living daylights out of me thought i was having an heart attack when i come round and for some reason i was taking my chain of from round my neck

never been so scared in my life this is the second time its happened and this time was worse i hope i dont get any more im to scared to go to sleep in case it happens again think i'll stay awake and sleep

tonight ......horrible

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Twice that I can remember, I've jolted awake and been terrified. I had no dream and didn't know what I was so scared about. Has this ever happened to anybody. What does it mean?

I know exactly what you mean.

When I was a child, I would have dreams that I was falling. When I hit the ground, I would jolt halfway out of my bed.

I have also had times where I would be half asleep, and suddenly jerk violently and wake up.

I have seen sleep studies that have explained part of this phenomena. When the body is asleep, the brain is active, but motor control is shut down. Sometimes, if it turns on suddenly, the body will jerk violently, and break it's sleep cycle. This usually happens during the transition from consciousness and unconsciousness.

The strange thing about this phenomena is it's relevance to dreams. It's mind boggling that the body can have a physical response to an environment which exists exclusively in the subconscious. And it's stranger still that the events of a dream can lead up to such a reaction.

The rush felt after this event is the result of your body going from a complete state of motionless reaction to a state of full consciousness and physical activity. And the severity of the jerk reaction causes a flood of adrenaline in order to cause such quick muscle reaction from a state of relaxation. This surge will excite the brain, and instantly speed your heart rate. And if it's in combination with a particularly bad dream, this will contribute even more to the fear you feel.

Edited by Insight

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With OP being almost three years old, I passed on this at first, but then felt that there is a principle here that may be of interest to somebody who read this thread now that it's been revived.

It is true that dream recall in general is often poor. It is also true that there are all manner of jerks and jolts, both hallucinatory and physically well founded, associated with near-sleep.

It is, however, significant to awken suddenly without any sense of having been dreaming. And that is what the OP reported. It is strongly suggestive of having awoken from non-REM sleep.

To do so with strong affect, fear or dread, is a night terror, searchable. Night terror is poorly named, because it invites confusion with a nightmare. The difference is that the latter is a dream, and the former has no dream asscoiated with the affect.

Anything that occurs in connection with sleep, and which bothers you or interferes with normal functioning, is a sleep disorder, and thus a medical condition.

In the case of night terror, it is an especially good idea to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. There is a nasty physical condition, sleep apnea, which ought to be ruled out when someone spontaneously awakens from non-REM sleep. That it happened more than once makes a professional consultation all the better an idea.

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