Why do I wake and shake?
April 22, 2008 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Why do I shake when I wake? When I go to bed, I typically fall asleep very quickly. If I am woken within a few seconds, such as by my wife getting into bed, or trying to talk to me, which happens a lot, I wake with a fine but really annoying and persistent tremor right through my whole body, and the skin on my face feels like it's crawling around. The tremor prevents me sleeping until it subsides perhaps an hour later. What gives?

This phenomenon is periodic - I can go for months without it happening, and then it happens every night for weeks.

Even hours before bedtime, I can predict whether this phenomenon will or won't happen -- I can't tell how exactly.

When I say the tremor is "fine", I mean that others can't see it - it doesn't make my hands shake, for instance, even though I can feel them shaking. It's as though every muscle in my body is vibrating at a high frequency.
posted by blue_wardrobe to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If it was just the legs, I'd guess Restless Leg Syndrome. Perhaps see a neurologist?
posted by meta_eli at 8:25 PM on April 22, 2008

This may be related. Some people in that thread describe the same feelings as you.
posted by tellurian at 11:32 PM on April 22, 2008

In answer to a previous question of yours, the one about pruney fingers, numinous linked to a blog post from a woman who also got pruney fingers, and attributed them to her Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) and the dysautonomia which was a consequence of the MVP.

Googling around (mitral valve prolapse tremor) I found this description on a rather dodgy-looking vitamin site:

Most people with MVP experience no symptoms. Some may experience difficulty breathing during exertion or when lying down, tremor, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. Some develop dull chest pain, palpitations (awareness of the heartbeat), anxiety, and other symptoms associated with the “fight or flight” response. When MVP causes these symptoms, it is referred to as dysautonomia syndrome.

Diagnosis of MVP and dysautonomia appears to be rather fraught, so if you decide to pursue this possibility, it might be worth your while to seek out a specialist in these conditions.
posted by jamjam at 11:43 PM on April 22, 2008

Is it adrenalin from having been startled?
posted by gjc at 5:10 AM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: @gjc: It doesn't feel like I've been startled.

@tellurian: what foam pants described in that article was about the same, except for me it has to be within the first hour of going to sleep.

Still, it's very annoying.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2008

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