Sleep Disorders/Violent awakenings



My husband can sometimes be a scary person to sleep next to. He is a very light sleeper, and sometimes even little to no sound will wake him up, and when he wakes up he is in a rage for the first 30 seconds to 1 minute. He has ADD which he takes Adderall for regularly, but that is the only thing. As far as I know, he has been waking up in a rage, ever since he was a child.

This can be scary because, today he came home exhausted, we chatted/watched TV and ate dinner with our 2 year old daughter. It was about 6:30pm then he stayed on the couch, and as usual I took our daughter in for her bath. Once bath was over, as usual wrapped her in a towel and we came out to the living room. I hadnt a clue that my husband was alseep and then he started yelling and swearing, then as i calmly suggested he go sleep in the bedroom, he stormed all the way there, calling me all kinds of things and slammed the door (I was afraid he might have broken it he slammed it that hard)....This type of thing can happen any time he is asleep. I am used to it, but occasionally struggle with not taking it personally. He almost always apologizes later, and doesnt know why he acts that way within the first waking minutes. So far, I have not found this to be associated with anything, but I keep meaning to suggest seeing a doctor to him. I just hope that it can be helped. I am concerned about how behavior like that may affect our daughter, how we can help. I know that it has really contributed to some anxieties I have around him. I suppose it just would be really helpful to have just one or two ballpark ideas about what could be going on with him. Additionally, he does snore really loud, and until just a month and a half ago, he was drinking heavily to attempt to go to sleep. Now, he is sober and planning to continue. Any help/suggestions/and ideas on what he is going through and how to explain his sleep issues to our daughter and help her cope would mean the world. Thanks!

First of all you need to tell your husband to get help, and if he doesnt then I strongly suggest you keep your child out of the house as all of this abusiveness and screaming, will only affect her later on in life.  Your husband most probably has sleep apnea which explains the snoring.  Drinking apparently affects his sleep and personality.  He needs to first of all see a neurologist to see if there is anything wrong in his brain to cause this to happen, then he needs to have his sleep evaluated, your local hospital can refer you.  If coverage or money is a problem ask for the neurology clinic.  If you are so frightened as to not even mention it to him then apparently you need to truly decide if its time for you to perhaps leave with your child for awhile.  Your first important thing to do is to protect your childs safety and your own.  You can only lead a horse to water, but cant make them drink it.  Perhaps a friend can talk to him, or a clergy man, or a physician.  For now you simply can explain to your child that daddy is sick when he does this but that he is going to the doctor to get medicine to help him. Until he gets to the doctors I would for the snoring have him sleep on 2 pillows as well as purchase breathe right nasal strips, they are simple strips one wears over his noes at night to see if it helps some. feel free to email again Karel

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Karel Sleis


all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms


i have narcolepsy since age l6

past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
member of narcolepsy network

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