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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Almost black out while waking up.

 ibanezjem - Sun Dec 07, 2003 11:39 pm

Some times, not all the time i wake up at night really dizzy and feel like im going to black out or faint, some times ill just be drifting of to sleep and it happens. It only happens when i start to drift off to sleep or late at night ill wake up freaking out cause i feel like im going to black out or something like that. I open the window and get some fresh air when it happens and then I start to come out of it.. It freaks me out when it happens, and it doesnt happen alot. What could this be? I hope i explained this ok...
 Dr. Russell M - Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:18 am

User avatar Hi!

From your description, the two things that come to my mind are 'orthostatic hypotension' and 'paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea.'

Do you usually have giddiness when getting up fast from the sitting or lying position? Does breathlessness ever awaken you from your sleep?

- Bill
 ibanezjem - Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:17 pm

I never get dizzy from standing up to fast, this only happens when im just driffting off to sleep, or i wake up in the middle of the night feeling like im going to black out, it is hard to explain. It only happens at night when im just falling asleep, or i'll wake up and feel reel dizzy and im freaking out, but then i come out of it. In other words if i lay there and not move then I feel like im going to pass out, but when i get up and move around I come out of it. Hope this tells you more what is happening. IBANEZJEM
 Dr. Russell M - Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:47 pm

User avatar Hi!

Sleep disorders including 'Sleep apnea' and 'Periodic LImb Movement during Sleep' are two other possibilities. Are you obese? Are you hypertensive?

Sleep disorders may require a mental status examination by a doctor.

Patient education on age-related changes in sleep and good sleep hygiene may be adequate treatment for many older adults. If the initial history and physical examination findings do not reveal a serious underlying cause, a trial of improved sleep hygiene is the best initial approach. The common recommended measures include the following:

1. Maintain a regular wake-up time.
2. Maintain a regular sleeping time.
3. Decrease or eliminate daytime naps.
4. Exercise daily but not immediately before bedtime.
5. Use the bed only for sleeping or sex.
6. Do not read or watch television in bed.
7. Do not use bedtime as worry time.
8. Avoid heavy meals at bedtime.
9. Limit or eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before bedtime.
10. Maintain a routine period of preparation for bed, eg, washing up, brushing, and so forth.
11. Control the nighttime environment with comfortable temperature, quietness, and darkness.
12. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes to bed.

If unable to sleep within 30 minutes, get out of bed and perform a soothing activity, such as listening to soft music or reading, but avoid exposure to bright light during these times.

Get adequate exposure to bright light during the day.

Avoid daytime naps. Daytime naps decrease nighttime sleep. Overweight people who are habitual loud snorers may be helped by weight loss. All people who snore loudly should abstain from alcohol or other sedatives before going to bed. They should also take measures to avoid supine sleeping (eg, by taping a tennis ball to the back of their bedclothes).

In the absence of sleep apnea, contributing conditions, such as allergies, nasal pathology, or nasopharyngeal enlargement, should be evaluated by an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

If the sleep problem is secondary to some medical problem, then the primary problem needs treatment rather than the sleep problem.

Polysomnography is indicated when primary sleep disorders such as 'Sleep Apnea' or 'Periodic LImb Movement during Sleep' are suspected.

Hope this helps.

Warm regards,

- Bill
 ibanezjem - Mon Dec 08, 2003 7:04 pm

Thanks for responding so quick bill. I am 29 year old male(smoker) i don't drink or nothing else. I weigh about 160lb and im pretty sure the last time I was at the doctors(3 months ago)and my blood pressure was normal. I seem to sleep fine no problems getting to sleep. I just wake up sometimes feeling real dizzy to the point i feel like if i don't get up and move around i'll black out or something. It seems to only happen every5 months or so.(only when im drifting off to sleep) there has been times i woke up in the middle of the night with it. Thanks so much for your time bill....................IBANEZJEM
 Dr. Russell M - Tue Jan 27, 2004 12:53 am

User avatar Sleep paralysis of narcolepsy is another consideration.

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