Dizziness While Sleeping

Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2011 06:40 pm
Had this happen to me and had my carotid artery cleaned out (90%) and have not had a nightime dizzy spell since. I can also bend over and pick something off the floor without getting dizzy. Had a simple ultra sound done that discovered the blockage. The doctor kept what he took out of my artery and it was dark brown, About the circumference of a pencil and close to 1/2 " long. I strongly recomend getting the ultra sound. Good Luck, Dave
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2011 06:19 am
My Dad's definitely had fewer episodes since he had his own thoracic surgery. I think, actually, it's been a coupla years.

Glad you're doing well, too. It's mighty scary when it happens.
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Reply Fri 1 Apr, 2011 08:20 am
Hi. Was your doctor able to diagnose anything? I suffer from the same problem, the most recent being woken up by terrible vertigo this morning. An extreme carnival ride is a great description! I suffered a migraine just a few days ago and I'm not sure if that's a possible trigger? Went to the doc but she was not much help. I didn't really talk to her about the vertigo because I haven't had the problem in many months. I'm starting a log of possible triggers (docs always seem to ask fo rthat). Just wondering if your doc diagnosed or prescribed anything? Does your vertigo trigger or coincide with any migraines? Please let me know if you were able to find anything out!
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 10:56 am
@maxpower hd,
hello. i have been dealing with acute vertigo for 4 years, worsening as time goes on. i have been to several different doctors, and gotten several different diagnoses. my present doctor thinks i have MAV-migraine associated vertigo. no, i never have headaches-you don't have to. i am totally disabled by my vertigo/dizziness. i do feel that this is the type of vertigo i have, but am awaiting another test. it is possible i have 2 kinds of vertigo. i have problems at night also, but also in the daytime. the night thing is i can't lay on my left side, and i am awakened suddenly with whirling/dizziness. the last doctor i saw thought i had BPPV-(positional vertigo) it happens mainly from laying down. you might want to do some research on this type of vertigo. yes, there are several types of vertigo, and many reasons for dizziness, but yours sure sounds alot like the BPPV and i am speaking from experience. please pursue this and get help now-be prepared, it will probable take a while, but it is hell living this way, and it seems to only get worse unless you get some kind of help. good luck to you. Jayne
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Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 01:40 pm
Hello All- I have been suffering from Vertigo since 1998 from a car wreck. After my head smashed through a window, I started to suffer from Vertigo. I will get it every 3 to 6 months, and sometimes it can last from 1 day to 3 weeks. Lately it only last about a week. Standing up is fine for me, but laying down and positioning my head a certain way will make me dizzy. I need to keep my head propped up pretty high when sleeping. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of sleeping because I am dizzy. I will scream and my heart will beat very fast because it is very scary. I can go to my ENT and have them re-position me, but it becomes expensive and it only works for that Vertigo spell. I have learned to live with it, and know that I have it for life. I enjoy my days when I do not have a spell of it, and adjust my lifestyle when I do have a spell. There could be worse things in life....
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 03:24 pm
I suffer from dizziness and will awake from a sound sleep due to it. I read many good suggestions, above, as to what the cause could be. I don't know what causes mine, yet. I agree that doctors should be involved to diagnose the problem. While doing that, may I suggest that you increase your daily water intake? Years ago, I suffered from dizziness and fainting spells for a few months before I was diagnosed as severely dehydrated. When I get dizzy these days, I check that I'm drinking ~8 8-oz. glasses of water daily. It cannot hurt to add that to your routine and it's inexpensive, so I suggest that everyone try it while waiting on the doctors diagnoses.
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Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 07:56 pm
Thank you for this information. I just recently started experiencing these symptoms on Monday night...I thought I was going crazy...I also have anxiety, but I know the difference between that feeling and this. I have not been able to lay on my right side either for the past few nights, but sometimes it does occur when I lay flat on my back(the dizziness). I went to the ER last night and they thought it may have been my sinuses, but after reading this, I really think this is my problem. I am fine throughout the day, can drive, work, and all that, but as soon as I lay down or try and turn to the right and even just when I wake up in the morning I get that "room spinning" feeling. I was in an accident a couple months ago where I was hit from behind, but can this be a result months later? Can this be a result of sleeping in the wrong position on a pillow, having a pinched nerve in the neck, or even using ear buds for talking on the cell phone all the time?? After the first episode on Monday night(which I was laying completely on my right side and was awakened by the dizzy feeling in my sleep), I felt very unstable the next day at work. Today, I feel fine, but now I am almost afraid to lay down at night. If you have any comments or insight you can give me, I would appreciate any response. Thank you!
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Reply Wed 31 Aug, 2011 09:18 pm
@ nmraw84, I am a 29 yr old female with the EXACT symptoms you describe. I have yet to receive a firm diagnosis. Since this was some time ago that you posted this comment I was wondering if you have received an answer to the issue? Much appreciated for any insight. ~ Gen
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Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2011 02:34 am
i too now are getting similar dizzy spells like when you was kid u would spin round & round that feeling you got when u stopped best i can describe it , However i also get a tight stomach/ tummy feeling at same time as dizzy spell [go figure?] but it only happens when i lean my neck backwards if i stand & do it nothing happens just when i am sat or lieing down flat ushally that morning stretch i think something in neck is pressing on something else nerve? blood vein etc etc will make an app with doctor soon get it sorted
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Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2011 03:46 am
@maxpower hd,
I have skilled this many times. Then, one morning I wake up and it was responsibility it as I stood up. It got inferior as the day went on to where I was emotion totally sick. I ended up at the doctors and was diagnosed with dizziness. It's a general term for an inner ear trouble.
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Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2011 12:00 pm
I also get the dizziness, ONLY while sleeping. I have noticed if I eat ice cream late in the evening is when it happens. This seems strange, but it is so miserable to be awaken so dizzy and in the dark I feel like I continue to spin around until I can actually see something that is still. When this does occur, it happens over and over in the same night. I actually get scared to close my eyes even with my head raised on multiple pillows. When awake I feel nausiated from the dizziness a few hours, but never dizzy. So I try not to eat ice cream late, but now and then I try it to see if it still happens and it did last night.
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Reply Fri 16 Sep, 2011 05:47 am
@maxpower hd,
This is a little late but I have the EXACT symptoms you are referring to. You may have BPPV or Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This is where you get dizzy upon moving your head from side to side, up or down or in your sleep when you possibly change positions. I can be in a dead sleep and then all of a sudden I have extreme dizziness and have to hold on to the bed. After it happens once, it usually continues throughout the morning. I have seen an ear nose and throat doctor twice and had a particle repositioning maneuver done and it helped for about a year. Some patients are cured by one visit. I don't have insurance and it costs about $300 but it was worth it. You have loose particles in your inner ear and by this procedure it sets the particles back where they should be. I got extremely dizzy during the procedure so be prepared. Other reason for dizziness is lack of sleep & allergies & anxiety. It seems like I get more episodes when I haven't slept alot and when I drink alcohol to much. Hope you can get the treatment. I know how awful it is.
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Reply Sun 9 Oct, 2011 08:45 am
I've been dealing with this for about 4 years now & I finally, on a whim, gave up gluten this past April to see if that might be the cause. I have had all the same testing you did including VNG & EMG's (the dizziness also comes with numbness in my arms!) This is only a nighttime issue. Everything stopped about a month after going gluten-free. I have ingested gluten here & there to see what might happen and everytime I do or if I accidently ingest some, I have the dizziness wake me at night. Its crazy! I have not been officially tested, but this seems to be the cause.
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 06:48 pm
Some time last year I began experiencing dizziness when i would bend from a standing position. I would become light headed for a fewseconds, my body would sway slightly. I'd grab onto something till it passed and then id be fine. I just associated it with the heat and possibly being dehydrated. Now something new has been happening. A couple months ago I woke up with the worst night sweats ever..I attempted to sit up right but couldn't even move due to the worst case of the spins ever. I stumbled to the rest room and threw up. I also couldn't turn right, I only found any sort of relief by sleeping on my left side. I thought that was isolated and also associated it with the house being 98 degrees that night. A couple weeks ago it has begun again but I think this is an inner ear issue. Sometimes at night I wake up in the middle of the night with the same dizzying feeling. I sleep on my left side till it ends. My ear has so much pressure in it and im nauseas. Maybe our issues have similar symptoms but different causes. IDK....I live in america and do not have any better insurance then you. I have none... Well I can't live like this any more.
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Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 04:10 pm
A thread ~ 5 years long; guess it isn't a temporary human problem.
After awakening this AM totally disoriented and nearly unable to navigate the short stretch to the WC, after my wife helped me gain access to the rest of the house, I did the expected and started researching my symptoms.
Lots of info found and I would recommend two of them for determining if you are being afflicted by this fairly common problem:


and, while a semi-commercial site, the info is very detailed and clearly written:


Approaching 71 sure as hell isn't a lot of fun. . .

Steve Allison
Grantsville, WV USA
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Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2011 05:16 am
Now that's really interesting you say this. Because I haven't been eating anything without gluten and was on a healthy vegetable and fruit diet....using only strictly gluten free bread in the mornings only. However, yesterday, I ate a white bread roll (not gluten free) with a hot dog and last night - received bad dizzy spells at 4am. Its not a nice feeling. I will do this test as well and see what happens. Thanks for mentioning this...we could be closer to the truth rather than hearing doctors constantly giving stress related feedbacks. Sometimes observation and thinking for ourselves can be useful especially through discussions such as this forum!
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Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:56 am
@maxpower hd,
What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is an inner ear problem that results in short lasting, but severe, room-spinning vertigo. Its name, BPPV, indicates that it is benign, or not a very serious or progressive condition; paroxysmal, meaning sudden and unpredictable in onset; positional, because it comes about with a change in head position; and vertigo, causing a sense of room-spinning or whirling, often expressed as "dizziness." Although called benign, those who suffer from this distressing and incapacitating condition do not trivialize BPPV.

What are the symptoms?

This condition often begins following head trauma or a severe cold. It can also arise simply as part of the aging process. It starts suddenly and is usually first noticed in bed, when waking from sleep. Any turn of the head seems to bring on violent but brief bursts of dizziness. Patients often describe the occurrence of vertigo with tilting of the head, looking up or down (so called "top-shelf vertigo"), or rolling over in bed. It is not unusual for nausea and vomiting to accompany the vertigo. Even if a spell is brief, a feeling of queasiness may last several minutes or even hours.

There is no new hearing loss or severe ringing associated with these attacks, which helps to distinguish BPPV from other inner ear conditions.

What causes BPPV?

To understand the cause of BPPV it is helpful to understand how the inner ear works. The human ear is divided into three parts: the external, middle, and inner ear.

The external ear consists of the part of the ear you can see (the auricle) and the ear canal.

The middle ear includes the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the three bones, or ossicles, of the middle ear, the malleus ("hammer"), the incus ("anvil"), and the stapes ("stirrup").

The inner ear is a fluid-filled series of chambers. One of these chambers, the cochlea, is responsible for converting sound vibrations into nerve impulses. It is these nerve impulses that the human brain interprets as sound and what we call "hearing."

The inner ear also contains 3 semicircular canals which are responsible, in part, for sensing movement and maintaining balance. As you can see, these 3 canals (named anterior, lateral, and posterior) are oriented at roughly right angles to one another. The movement of the fluid within these canals allows the brain to sense rotation of the head through all three directions in space (e.g. left-right, forward-back, and up-down). All 3 canals are connected to a large chamber, called the vestibule.

It has been discovered that the probable cause of BPPV is dislodgement of small calcium carbonate crystals that float through the inner ear fluid and strike against sensitive nerve endings (the cupula) within the balance apparatus at the end of each semicircular canal (the ampulla). (Another name for BPPV is cupulolithiasis, meaning "rocks in the cupula".)

These crystals, known as otoconia, usually dissolve or fall back into the vestibule within several weeks, and no longer cause any symptoms. However, in some patients, these crystals become trapped in the fluid of the balance chamber and periodically cause symptoms, as gravity and head movements cause them to repeatedly strike against the cupula. In these patients, the symptoms may not subside and they become severely incapacitated.

Interestingly, the loose otoconia tend to settle preferentially within the posterior semicircular canal. As you can imagine from looking at the illustration above, this is because the posterior canal hangs down like the water trap in a drain pipe, allowing the crystals to settle in the bottom of the canal.

How is BPPV diagnosed?

The most important means for diagnosing this condition is the physical examination and history of the patient. A patient with dizziness or vertigo without hearing problems suggests the diagnosis of BPPV. A normal ear exam, audiogram, and neurological exam are expected. A simple positional test, performed in the doctor's office, is usually all that is needed to confirm the diagnosis of BPPV.

One such test is the Dix-Hallpike test. First, the patient is positioned on the examining table, seated upright. Then the examiner brings the patient's head down over the edge of the table and turns the head to one side. If the patient has BPPV, the examiner will witness a characteristic movement of the eyes, call nystagmus, that begins after a few seconds. If the nystagmus is seen and the patient becomes dizzy, then the ear which is pointing toward the floor is the one with the loose otoconia. If no nystagmus is seen the examiner will repeat the test, this time turning the head to the opposite side, thus testing the other ear.

This nystagmus and perception of vertigo will slow down and cease after 15 to 20 seconds. If the head is not moved, no further symptoms will occur. When the patient sits back up, the dizziness will recur, but for a shorter period of time. Lying down on the opposite side will not cause the vertigo. Occasionally, in order to confirm the extent of the inner ear dysfunction, an electronystagmogram (ENG) will be ordered.

What are the treatments for BPPV?

Once tests have confirmed the diagnosis of BPPV and the affected ear, patients are instructed to avoid lying down on the affected side. Usually, medications like Antivert (meclizine), Dramamine, Valium, or Phenergan are not recommended because they cause sedation. By carefully avoiding the provocative position, patients can usually avoid bringing about the symptoms. If left untreated, the condition usually clears within several weeks.
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 09:11 am
@maxpower hd,
Hi Max power. I am also having very much similar problem to yours, Could you please let me know more about this. It would be very helpful

Thanks, Vedananda
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Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 09:12 am
Hi Sara2011. I am also having very much similar problem to yours, Could you please let me know more about this. It would be very helpful

Thanks, Vedananda
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Reply Tue 28 Feb, 2012 10:18 pm
This happens to me while I am awake. Today it started happening all the time, when I would move my head (even while driving, looking back to check my blind spot) to the side. Also today my fingers would get numb when this happened. It has been getting worse over the last couple weeks, to where today I finally felt like I had to look it up. It does happen to me in the dark (that is how it usually happens and started), when I turn around. It also happened if I would get scared and look behind me real fast (especially at night after a scary show!). I personally have never had it happen in my sleep that I know of, unless that is why I have been jolted awake so often recently. But this forum was the closest I could come to my symptoms, with the feeling dizzy for a few seconds after I turn, and then having my vision "bat" back and forth for a few seconds more afterwards, then the numb fingers. But this is starting to get annoying!! I think I am going to look up those Epley Maneuvers!

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