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Pandora's avatar

Has anyone ever experienced this, and knows what can cause this?

Asked by Pandora (23022 points ) 1 month ago

I was really tired this afternoon. I went to take a nap and within seconds I fell asleep and started to dream. The phone rang and I woke up briefly but heard my husband answer. I realized that my body felt extremely heavy. I was laying on my side and my left leg on my right felt so heavy but I didn’t feel like moving it. I quickly fell asleep again. In about an hour I woke up from a nightmare.

When I woke, I felt tired still and nauseas. I forced myself to get up because for some reason I felt I won’t wake up if I let myself fall back to sleep. I needed all my will to wake up. It must’ve taken at least 10 minutes to feel normal.
Can you fall into such a deep sleep that it would feel like you are dying? I’ve heard of sleep paralysis but it doesn’t seem to sound like this.

Or is it the nightmare was so intense and get my adrenaline going and leave me feeling shaken for a while? I dreamt that my son was coming to say goodbye permanently, as in forever.
I’ve never had this feeling after sleeping or even after really bad nightmares. Well, maybe twice in my past when I was sick with a bad fever. But I am not feverish nor do I feel sick. Just tired.

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9 Answers

jca's avatar

It sounds to me like you were just really tired. To me, when I feel like that, which is never, but if I did, I would listen to my body and let myself sleep.

JLeslie's avatar

I think you woke up during the time you are paralyzed in sleep and so you felt unable to move. For whatever reason the brain waves you were experiencing and the sleep stage you were in very affected your feelings during wakefulness. What you describe to me does not sound unusual, in that I often have felt horrible like that when someone wakes me shortly after I fall asleep. I feel like it could kill me, it’s “painful.” I don’t really think I would die from it, but it is extremely uncomfortable.

Haleth's avatar

Oh yeah, the unwholesome afternoon nap. These happen to me sometimes when I’m really exhausted/ dehydrated.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Haleth is right about dehydration. Make sure you drink enough water. What has happened to me after certain nightmares, is that not only could I not wake up easily although I normally wake up very easily, but I also feel physically and mentally sick for half the day after an intense nightmare. Lately I had one that left me so shaken that I felt as if I had come out of a fist fight. I could not focus on what I had to do and felt really awful for hours.

Take a look at your hyrdration and the room’s ventilation.

Unbroken's avatar

I experienced fatigue food coma bad dreams and such before I realized I had celiacs and severe food allergies. It was a couple years ago so I don’t remember the exact experience. They kind of blended all together those experiences while I was not only trying to figure out my health issues as well as denial and how to eat properly for my body given my new limitations. if it happens again start keeping a food journal and watch out for hidden ingredients. Hopefully it is something else though.

JLeslie's avatar

@Haleth Why do you say unwholesome? I love a good nap. Napping has been shown to be a good thing. I taught my husband to nap after years of him saying “once I’m up I’m up.” Ariel Huffington installed nap areas at her offices and she believes it has improved productivity and quality of life. What happened to the OP, if it is what I experience, doesn’t happen more often during a nap than falling asleep for the night for me. The trick for me with napping is being able to nap long enough.

@Pandora Since you had bad dreams maybe you are going through a stressful time and not getting sufficient sleep at night?

Pandora's avatar

@Haleth It may be hydration and lack of sleep. I had company all weekend. It wasn’t stressful but I was busy and hardly drank anything at all. Drinking water as I write this right now. :)

@JLeslie, It could be a bit of stress too. I read earlier yesterday that a dangerous typhoon was headed for Okinawa and my son, sister-in-law and nephew are all there right now. It does explain the dream, but it was my reaction just before sleep and after I woke that had me concerned. I never felt so physically weak and sick after a nap, except for times I suffer from a fever.

@Unbroken, I don’t have any food allergies that I know of. Only thing that is questionable for food is I’m only lactose intolerant with regular milk but whole organic milk doesn’t make me sick and eating too many bananas will make my tongue feel raw and itchy, but I have to eat a lot of it., and fried food will make my acid reflux act up. I already avoid the foods that are bad for me. I also didn’t have any of them yesterday. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on my diet in case it may be a factor in feeling tired.

Haleth's avatar

@JLeslie I’m talking about the specific kind that @Pandora described. Sometimes when I really overdo it, I start getting lightheaded during the middle of the day, like NEED SLEEP NOW. Then I sleep like the dead for several hours, and even if I set an alarm or whatever I just can’t get up until it’s run its course. My body feels like it’s made out of lead and I barely have the willpower to turn off the alarm, never mind move or get out of bed. They usually come with nightmares or really strange, vivid dreams, and I wake up feeling weak, groggy and disoriented. I get these twice a year or so, but UGH.

As opposed to a regular nap, which is light and refreshing.

JLeslie's avatar

@Haleth Got it. I overgeneralized your answer. Thanks for clarifying.

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