1
Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Wake up gasping for air

Must Read
We burp, belch and fart an average of 12 times a day. But why do we have gas? And what is intestinal gas?...the basics here....
Intestinal gas forms from two main sources - swallowed air and bacteria in the intestine. Plus, learn which factors to avoid to decrease the likelihood of gas....
How much gas is normal? Usually symptoms of gas and flatulence are more bothersome than serious. But learn when you should seek help for excessive gas here....
User Profile
i have a problem, whenever i go to sleep in a totally dark room i wake up to find myself gasping for air and screaming it kinda feels like a hillusination but ive been told by my boyfriend its real. its the worst feeling in the world. like im drowning or something and the only way to stop it is to find a light switch and turn it on. my mum has this problem to, but not as bad as me. ive also my whole life been terrified of the dark and ghosts and demons that i cant see hurting me. no one else i seem to know has this problem, and i cant find anything on the internet about it. whats wrong with me?


Did you find this post helpful?
|

User Profile
replied October 24th, 2009
Sleep Disorders Answer A7603
Hello and welcome to eHealth Forum!

The symptoms that you describe (go to sleep in a totally dark room I wake up to find myself gasping for air and screaming, it kind of feels like a hallucination; I’m drowning or something and the only way to stop it is to find a light switch and turn it on) come close to what is called achluophobia or fear of darkness, though they are not the classical symptoms.

High level of emotional stress, traumatic experience in the past in the dark etc is known to precipitate it. Sleep studies, hypnosis, and cognitive behavioral therapy which helps you to analyze the cause of your anxiety and teaches you to alter your thinking process are the usual methods employed to understand why you have this problem.

You need to discuss this with your doctor and get help from a psychiatrist to overcome anxiety. Until you get the appointment, it will help to sleep with a night lamp on. Hope this helps. Take care!





|
Did you find this post helpful?
This question has been answered by the doctor. This topic is now open for public discussion, however no comments below this point will be answered by a doctor.
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Sleep Disorders , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.