Dizziness While Sleeping

Tue 6 Jun, 2006 08:06 am
I was wondering if anyone else may experience this. I have been experiencing dizziness while sleeping to the point that I am awakened and need to sit up to stop it. I am actually disoriented to the point that I sort of wobble until it goes away. This does not happen every night but when it does, it will happen several times during the night and may happen several nights in a row. It sometimes happens several times a month but then may not happen again for several months.

It never happens while I'm awake except if I am in a precarious position of some sort. For example, I happen to do a lot of work on cars. If I am in a position, say lying where my head is below the rest of my body, working under a dashboard or something, I will experience the same sensation, but only during periods where I also have the nighttime dizziness. Otherwise it does not occur during waking hours.

I have been experiencing this for years. However, it has been happening more frequently over the last several years. Incidently I am about to turn thirty nine. I do not have ear aches or any other hearing related issues. I did experience an ear injury several years back where an eardrum was perforated however, I experienced this sensation prior to that injury as well. I am an otherwise healthy, active male with no other known medical conditions and I am not on any medications.

I would just like to know if this is somewhat common or if I should maybe be a bit more concerned. I really do not like going to the doctor's office unless I really need to since I don't have very good medical insurance.

Thank you for your input.
Tue 6 Jun, 2006 08:12 am
Hey, maxpower. Welcome to A2K. Sounds as though you might be experiencing a little vertigo, or perhaps an inner ear infection. Perhaps you should see your ENT doctor.
Tue 6 Jun, 2006 08:13 am
maxpower_hd- IMO it would be wise if you had your dizziness checked out medically. I become dizzy when I hold my head a certain way. For instance, I will not change flourescent bulbs on the ceiling. The motion of my neck leaning back, will cause a dizzy spell. That is because I have a lousy disc in my neck, from a stupid 5 mph accident that I had many years ago. When I am in bed, I use one of those U shaped travel pillows to support my neck. That really helps. I also keep a supply of Drammamine with me all the time.

If you have it checked out, and the doctor comes up with a good diagnosis, you may save yourself a lot of grief in the future.
0 Replies
material girl
Tue 6 Jun, 2006 08:17 am
Your balance regulator is in your ear.If your working in odd positions for a long time then you lie down it may be adjusting to it.

Can you tell Im not a doctor.
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Tue 6 Jun, 2006 08:44 am
Whoa, definitely see your doctor. It's possible that there's a blockage (not necessarily a big one) in an artery in your neck. When you lean your head all the way back, you cut off the blood flow to the brain even further. Anyway, this is a way to get a mild stroke (yeah, I'm serious, not being an alarmist; I have a family member who's had 2 of these).

So go and get your cholesterol checked, and ask about possible blockage and maybe even see a neurologist and/or vascular specialist. Hate to scare you but it may actually be serious.

I ain't kiddin'.
Tue 6 Jun, 2006 09:00 am
Does this happen at certain times of the year more than others? Could you have seasonal allergies that are causing congestion leading to dizziness? Not all allergies involve sneezing or nasal problems.

Any carpal/nerve-related issues that can affect your neck?

Do you have low blood pressure?
0 Replies
Tue 6 Jun, 2006 09:27 am
maxpower_hd - From the answers that you are getting, are you beginning to see that there are numerous reasons, some serious, some not, why you could be experiencing your condition? That is why it is especially important to have a good doctor get to the bottom of it, and diagnose whatever is happening to YOU.

Don't keep suffering. Check it out!!!
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Tue 6 Jun, 2006 07:55 pm
Fascinating! Talk to a doctor and then come back and let us know what he says!
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Tue 6 Jun, 2006 08:02 pm
Sounds to me like a possible middle ear/labrinthitis problem.

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis

Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis are disorders resulting from an infection that inflames the inner ear or the vestibulo-cochlear nerve (the eighth cranial nerve), which connects the inner ear to the brain. Vertigo, dizziness, and difficulties with balance, vision, or hearing may result.

Infections of the inner ear are usually viral; less commonly, the cause is bacterial. Although the symptoms of bacterial and viral infections may be similar, the treatments are very different, so proper diagnosis by a physician is essential. Such inner ear infections are not the same as middle ear infections, which are the type of bacterial infections common in childhood affecting the area around the eardrum.

Neuritis (inflammation of the nerve) affects the vestibular branch of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve, resulting in dizziness or vertigo but no change in hearing. The term neuronitis is also used. Labyrinthitis (inflammation of the labyrinth) occurs when an infection affects both branches of the nerve, resulting in hearing changes as well as dizziness or vertigo.

An inner ear viral infection may be the result of a systemic viral illness (one affecting the rest of the body, such as infectious mononucleosis or measles); or the infection may be confined to the labyrinth or the vestibulo-cochlear nerve. Usually, only one ear is affected.

Symptoms of neuritis can be mild or severe, ranging from subtle dizziness to a violent spinning sensation (vertigo). They can also include nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness and imbalance, difficulty with vision, and impaired concentration. Sometimes the symptoms can be so severe that they affect the ability to sit up, stand, or walk. Labyrinthitis may produce the same symptoms, along with tinnitus (ringing or noises in the ear) and/or hearing loss.

The onset is usually very sudden, with severe dizziness developing abruptly during routine daily activities. In other cases, the symptoms are present upon awakening in the morning. After a period of gradual recovery that may last several weeks, some people are completely free of symptoms. Others have chronic dizziness, if the virus has damaged the vestibular nerve.

No specific tests exist to diagnose vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. When other illnesses have been ruled out, medications are often prescribed to control nausea and to suppress dizziness during the acute phase. Examples include Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Antivert (meclizine), Phenergen (promethazine hydrochloride), Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam). Other medications that may be prescribed are steroids (e.g., prednisone), an antiviral drug (e.g., Acyclovir), or antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin) if a middle ear infection is present.

If treated promptly, many inner ear infections cause no permanent damage. In some cases, however, permanent loss of hearing or damage to the vestibular system can occur. If symptoms of dizziness or imbalance persist for several months, vestibular rehabilitation exercises (a form of physical therapy) may be suggested in order to retrain the brain's ability to adjust to the vestibular imbalance, in a process known as compensation. A key component of successful adaptation is a dedicated effort to keep moving, despite the symptoms of dizziness and imbalance.

Sun 26 Nov, 2006 11:48 pm
Helpful topic
I have been experiencing the same problem since a lont time ...its been ages but it diminishes at certain times and comes up again but i have noticed it mostly happens in da winters....and am really really happy to get to this topic and get awareness i have been getting my ear checked cuz i have this problem of wax thingee in my ear since i was a kid...:S iam not sure if its called wax or its sum infection :S nyways i hope to get it checked soon but m not sure wot i willl tell the doc...hmmm nyways THNX everyone Smile
0 Replies
Mon 27 Nov, 2006 07:08 am
stylobabe- Welcome to A2K! Very Happy

Wax impacted in the ear can cause dizziness, and so can many other things. I am glad that you are seeing a doctor. Let us know how you make out!
0 Replies
Mon 27 Nov, 2006 11:29 am
Re: Helpful topic
stylobabe wrote:
I have been experiencing the same problem since a lont time ...its been ages but it diminishes at certain times and comes up again but i have noticed it mostly happens in da winters....and am really really happy to get to this topic and get awareness i have been getting my ear checked cuz i have this problem of wax thingee in my ear since i was a kid...:S iam not sure if its called wax or its sum infection :S nyways i hope to get it checked soon but m not sure wot i willl tell the doc...hmmm nyways THNX everyone Smile

Seems you need to make that appointment as soon as possible, in order to avoid a possible brain infection, if the problem is indeed related to a microbial infection.
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Wed 7 Mar, 2007 07:21 pm
This has been happening to me as well for over a year and a half. The only way I can describe it is as an "extremely disconcerting numbness" in my head radiating down to my hands, but no lower then that. I don't know if I could classify it exactly as "dizziness" though. It ONLY happens when I am lying down and attempting to get some rest or sleep.

Unfortunately I live in a country (Greece) where the medical system is so bad, that you sometimes think about going to a poor part of AFRICA for better care. Anyway, over the past year I have been able to make some of my own observations. Like that these spells are SIGNIFICANTLY more pronounced when I am laying on my right side. In fact there are some instances where it becomes impossible to lay on my right because of the numbness, it's like my body is signaling "real danger" and so I immediately turn to my left side, at which point the symptoms decrease (but do not dissapear).

All of my blood-tests are normal except for a way too high uric acid level which is no under control (was over 12 no back under 6) and a high-TSH level which will absolutely NOT come down with ANY treatment so i have to live with it and assume its normal for my particular body (TSH 6+).

Otherwise I am in good condition, during the day I have zero problems, I function 100% normal. I just don't get it and neither do these incompetent moron pseudo-doctors here who have no business being able to breath or basically exist. I am 28 years old so I am REALLY worried, I keep thinking that "my god, if i'm in this shape at 28, whats gonna happen when i'm 35, or 45?" .. anyone ever get that? Anyway this was a good thread it did shed SOME light on an explanation that I have not heard before.
Thu 8 Mar, 2007 01:59 pm
high-TSH level which will absolutely NOT come down with ANY treatment

I can't see how your TSH level is related to your vertigo. Do the doctors think it is?
0 Replies
Thu 8 Mar, 2007 04:42 pm
My "doctors" can't seem to give me a proper explanation about much of anything apparently. I'm at the point of tryint to scrouge up money to come back to the states, but that is most definately not an easy task.

Doctors here have this frightening and frankly, criminal habit of blaming anything and everything they don't have an answer for on "stress". I understand that stress can lead to some serious problems but this is NOT stress or any kind of anxiety. If anything, now I DO have stress after seeing the incompetance of these doctors and not at any time before that; certainly not enough stress to cause this.

Trying to get simple tests done here is like struggling to swim upwards with 5 kilo-weitghts strapped to your ankles. The hospitals are alarmingly sub-par in every way shape and form. Pure frustration.

Anyway I have developed a heart-murmer. It bothers me because I can feel it all day long. No one in my family ever had one to my knowledge. One of the heard docs I went to said it's benign, and that "I'll have it until the day I'm dead". After researching on my own I discovered that high-tsh may be to blame for this murmer, but I can not take t4 (ive tried like all brands in existence at all dosage levels) because it gives me heart palpitations and makes the "murmer" 3x to 5x more pronounced. It's quite horrifying at night. So I stopped it. as for this "vertigo" (if thats what I actually have), I just can't figure out what could be causing it but again this thread has given me some new ideas on what tests to ask.. I mean, beg on my hands and knees for.

This can't be happening at 28. Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
Charlie Chan
Fri 20 Apr, 2007 06:19 pm
Me too
I've had the same problem for years. I've told my doctors about it and no-one seems to think there is a reason. No one has suggested being checked out for any of these things. Thanks for the info.
0 Replies
Thu 13 Nov, 2008 02:28 pm
@maxpower hd,
Hey maxpower, i am experiencing the exact same symptoms, even when my head is below the rest of my body I get dizzy and get a terrible stomach ache. Ive been told it is a mild form of vertigo.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 07:32 pm
Maxpower hd, Have you found anything out about your dizziness??
0 Replies
Sun 10 May, 2009 03:36 am
@maxpower hd,
Hi maxpower. I have much of the same symptoms. A dizziness that only comes on while I'm lying down or wakes me up when I'm asleep.

I have seen many doctors and been to neurologists, have had MRI's, cat scans as well as an EEG. Everything has come up clean. This has been happening to me on and off for about 5 years. I can be very distressing and I have lost a lot of sleep from it.. I'm looking for answers too and if I find any I will surely post on here!
Tue 26 May, 2009 01:48 am
Hello everyone

I believe I have the same ailment. I've had it since I was like 4. It happens about once every 2 years and when it happens it's very painful. I get extremely dizzy and extremely disoriented and it wakes me up from my sleep so I have no idea what's going on. Last time this happened I woke up on the floor and all the sheets on my bed had been torn off. Also my foot was scraped so I guess I had been flailing around. Also I was yelling because I was suffering and confused. This episode lasted for under a minute.

Is this like what other people have?

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