Coping With Epilepsy Brian's Legacy
Sponsored Advertisement
 

Go Back   Epilepsy Forum > Peer Support > The Kitchen



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-21-2011, 09:32 AM
Weaving the Community Fabric
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 250
Thanks: 10
Thanked 67 Times in 61 Posts

seizures vs. sleep paralysis


Periodically for many years, I have had what I thought was Sleep Paralysis. I have these episodes either while I'm just falling asleep or just waking up where my ears buzz really loudly, my heart beats really fast, my body hums, and I can't move at all except for my eyes. I usually snap out of it by trying really hard to move a pinky finger or something. Sometimes it's accompanied by lucid dreaming where I think I've gotten up or rolled over in bed, but when I open my eyes again, I'm in the same position.
Anyway, I looked this up on the internet years ago and what they call sleep paralysis which is caused by waking up during the wrong point of a sleep cycle and you can't move because your body produces a chemical that keeps you from sleep walking. Well, everything I read said that there is no relation to seizures. But the only time I experience this is during a period of days that I'm having seizure activity.
Then I recently read that frontal lobe seizures (which is what I have) usually occur during sleep. I have a lot of seizures while I'm awake and am not aware whether I'm having them during sleep. But then I began to wonder if these episodes I thought were Sleep Paralysis are actually nocturnal seizures. Anyone have any knowledge or experience of this?
Thanks!
Add Post to del.icio.usNetscape this post!Stumble this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Krista2882 For This Useful Post:
Rag (12-21-2011)
  #2  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:41 AM
Rag Rag is offline
Joined the Party
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Here be Dragons
Posts: 87
Thanks: 44
Thanked 85 Times in 54 Posts
Hi Krista,

Thanks for writing this, it actually helps give some perspective on my own situation. Hopefully I can contribute something useful in return!

I have a fairly wide range of (mostly) temporal lobe symptoms which seem to be exclusively nocturnal or triggered at the cusp of falling asleep. Some symptoms, mostly the more infrequent ones (at present, fingers crossed) are pretty unmistakeable seizure activity of some type, such as ecstatic seizures or other overpowering emotions including fear, often accompanied by strange bodily shaking or limb movement etc, while unconscious. Other symptoms actually occur more often however, and are frequently close to what you just described. Now, I know I've tended to suffer sleep paralysis since I was a kid (I don't know whether this shares a common cause with seizures or it's simply a coincidence - seizures at any rate did not start till I was a young adult). It's taken me quite a while to be reasonably sure in my own mind that these other types of seizure activity are probably just that, not simply reading too much into sleep paralysis episodes.

Sleep paralysis is possible to deal with if you simply refrain from panicking at the fact you can't move. If I accept I'm asleep and can't move, and that is natural at this stage, the panic that is accociated with the condition can usually be staved off. It's actually quite an interesting experience to be conscious, but not able to move. This makes no difference if it seems to be a seizure type event - it is something that simply has a physiological need to happen regardless of how you choose to view it. Sleep paralysis is just lying there, trying to accept that I am asleep and that if I can't move it won't harm me. Often I have weird dreams with it, usually about resolving the situation by getting up (in the dream) and going and doing something, which turns into another dream. Or maybe I just wake up.

In a seizure, all this changes. My heartrate can increase to sometimes scary rates, as though something outside of myself is driving it. This is usually accompanied by a raise in temperature, and commonly all kinds of strange emotional and auditory or visual sensations (including that buzzing in the ears you mention) - not usually scary in the way that you would expect to provoke such a violent physiologicical reaction, mostly just strange, vivid, rushed, and nonsensical. Occasionally it can be accompanied by intense, apparently causeless fear (which I presume is a fear aura), but most often by a strange numb, warm, fuzzy kind of surging feeling that is impossible to describe adequately. Sometimes, and particularly if it gets bad, this will be followed by either my upper body jerking spasmodically or some kind of limb movments (usually clenching and unclenching one or both hands, or my hands trembling with a kind of fluttering movment - this most often affects just one side). Sometimes my eyes come open during this and I can see (or think I can see!) as well as feel what is going on, which makes it seem very like sleep paralysis, except for all the OTHER symptoms. Normally if I get many body movments my eyes will come open, which makes it if possible even more exasperating. Well, it's also possible that this happens without me knowing about it too, but what you don't know about...

I often get only some of these symptoms, rather than having to run the whole gamut. Obviously the fewer I get, the harder it is to know what to actually call what happened. Generally however, the most distinctive features are the raised heartrate and temperature that seems driven by something outside my control, the strange warm numbness flooding through my body that I mentioned (somewhere midway between a physical and emotional sensation, it's very strange indeed, neither exactly unpleasant or entirely pleasant) a humming in my ears, and, lately, the tendency to make some kind of quite involuntary vocalisation when it first starts.

Most of the recent symptoms I've had (or at least KNOW I had) have been very brief in duration - I haven't had the strange feelings for more than a few seconds so far as I can tell, then wake from sleep (or am roused to full wakefulness from a state very near to it) feeling disoriented and weird for a little while. Always I have that strange indefinable feeling and sound in the ears, nearly always at present an involuntary vocalisation, and always the raised heartrate and temperature, which persist for quite a while after waking. A few times lately, I've had strange visual distortions that have persisted for a while after these very brief seizure things after I've otherwise been fully awake and alert. I was told by helpful contributers here (thanks Endless, I think) when it first happened that it was probably something called "Alice in Wonderland" syndrome, which seemed to fit when I looked it up. http://scarlton.hubpages.com/hub/Ali...erlandSyndrome I've never had this particular symptom except in the immediate aftermath of the very brief seizures which wake me up; they are probably part of the aftermath of the strange neural activity.

I've never to my knowledge had any kind of seizure while I was wide awake, by the way.
Add Post to del.icio.usNetscape this post!Stumble this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Rag For This Useful Post:
nicholas:) (12-22-2011)
  #3  
Old 12-21-2011, 12:55 PM
Weaving the Community Fabric
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 250
Thanks: 10
Thanked 67 Times in 61 Posts
Thanks for your reply!
Do you mean that you get both sleep paralysis and also these seizures that seem like sleep paralysis- except that your sleep paralysis is just basically waking up and being unable to move and your seizures are similar but have a raised heart rate, raised temp, etc?
I think I had read online that the buzzing in the ears and the increased heart rate are part of sleep paralysis, too, which is why I'm not sure which one it is.
When I get sleep paralysis or seizure, or whatever it is, it's basically like I wake up, almost wide awake with my body humming and my ears buzzing and my heart speeding, and unable to move. I usually am a bit panicked too. If I relax, I do fall asleep again right away, but I usually slip back into the dream I was previously having, which is usually not a dream I'd like to be experiencing again (I never remember the dreams, and I don't think they're necessarily bad, but they always stress me out), so I make myself stay awake and try really hard to move and snap out of it. But as soon as I've come out of it, there are no other seizure symptoms. I usually have to wake myself up a little more by turning over in bed, though, because if I fall right back to sleep again, it will happen again within a short amount of time.
Add Post to del.icio.usNetscape this post!Stumble this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2011, 05:28 PM
Rag Rag is offline
Joined the Party
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Here be Dragons
Posts: 87
Thanks: 44
Thanked 85 Times in 54 Posts
Drat, I did a long reply which disappeared into cyberspace when my browser crashed. This one will have to be shorter and to the point as I don't feel like typing that out again. Maybe it will gain something in conciseness though!

Originally Posted by Krista2882 View Post:
Thanks for your reply!
Do you mean that you get both sleep paralysis and also these seizures that seem like sleep paralysis- except that your sleep paralysis is just basically waking up and being unable to move and your seizures are similar but have a raised heart rate, raised temp, etc?
Sort of, but it is typical that if I get that kind I get other symptoms such as involuntary body movments, and strange emotional senstations without apparant cause, which are not normally associated with sleep paralysis. I don't think it's possible for me to come round immediately after that type of seizure either, it seems that I always sleep for a brief time - just a few minutes - afterwards, before I can be properly awake again. I also tend to get those relatively early in the sleep cycle, and sleep paralysis later. The ones in which the major symptoms are the raised heartrate and temperature are usually the very brief ones which arouse me from sleep. It took me a long time to figure out that these were probably seizures too; I get them much more often than the obvious seizures and had hoped they were something else! (I often get them with other symptoms too though, which makes their cause clearer.)

Originally Posted by Krista2882 View Post:
I think I had read online that the buzzing in the ears and the increased heart rate are part of sleep paralysis, too, which is why I'm not sure which one it is.
When I get sleep paralysis or seizure, or whatever it is, it's basically like I wake up, almost wide awake with my body humming and my ears buzzing and my heart speeding, and unable to move. I usually am a bit panicked too.
I would say that if it's sleep paralysis pure and simple you would probably get a raised heart rate as a reaction to what happens during it - such as panic at being unable to move, or at the hallucinations that some people experience. Have you tried simply relaxing and ignoring the strange sensation of not being able to move, rather than trying to fight it? And if so, did it make a difference? I wasn't sure whether your panic feeling was a primary symptom (in which case it could be some kind of fear aura) or reaction to your other experiences. It did seem more like the latter though from what you've said.

Usually a rapid heartbeat is the first thing I'm aware of if I get seizure symptoms, and it often doesn't seem to come with a cause - or at least one that would make sense, like being scared of something. In any case, any emotional sensations, hallucinations, bodily movements, etc, always seem to come after the rapid heartbeat starts, suggesting that it's actually the first symptom of the seizure itself rather than the result of me panicking about the other symptoms.
Add Post to del.icio.usNetscape this post!Stumble this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Todd's Paralysis Bee91 The Kitchen 5 09-21-2012 08:54 AM
sleep paralysis or seizure??????? avonlady11 The Kitchen 3 12-07-2011 05:16 PM
Sleep Paralysis msuder0583 The Kitchen 4 02-11-2011 06:55 PM
sleep paralysis or seizure morgan86 The Kitchen 3 11-15-2010 05:27 PM
Sleep Paralysis and E KelVarQ The Kitchen 3 09-29-2009 09:54 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® - Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2009, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2005 Measuring Up. ALL rights reserved.