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Sleep Disorders: Vibrating Bed?
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An_248299 posted:
Not sure if this is the correct community to be posting this question, but these experiences do certainly make me anxious...

For the past 8 or so months, I awake to what I perceive to be my bed vibrating (at about 6hz, feels like someone has their foot on the edge of my bed and is 'bouncing' their leg) 3-4 times a week. Its often coupled with an overwhelming sense of near and immediate danger; like I need to run. Now.

Chalking the feeling up to fight-or-flight response from possible adrenaline release, I decided to start experimenting. To rule out the possibility of earthquakes, trains, etc., I left a half-full (I'm an optimist . ) glass of water on the nightstand next to my bed. Whenever I awoke to these 'vibrations', I'd examine the glass of water. It was always still and undisturbed.

So then I started thinking that maybe it was something to do with the walls. Since the nightstand was not touching the wall and my bed was touching 2 walls (it was in the corner), I moved the bed about 18in away from each wall. Still these 'vibrations' persisted.

It occurred to me that perhaps my bed frame was acting like a tuning fork, amplifying some long-wave subsonic vibration and translating it to the bed. So I placed the mattress directly on the floor. No dice. So then *I* moved to the floor. Still these 'vibrations' persisted. That's when I realized definitively that it was me that was vibrating.

Armed with this knowledge, and worried that it might be palpitations or something else physically wrong with my circulatory system, I started sleeping with a wrist-worn pulse/pressure monitor (which was surprisingly expensive). Whenever I'd awake to 'vibrations', I'd immediately check my pulse and blood pressure, neither of which seemed abnormally low or high.

So then I thought that perhaps none of this was really happening, I was just perceiving everything from the vibration of the bed to the beep of the heart monitor. To test this, I started performing tasks whenever I awoke. They were simple at first: moving a trash can into the middle of the room, turning my chair around, etc. No dice. So, wanting to eliminate all possibility of perhaps performing tasks while sleepwalking or similar, I increased both the complexity of the tasks and their distance from my bed -- eventually culminating in retrieving an issue of Popular Mechanics from my restroom, transporting it across the house to the downstairs restroom, dog-earing pages 5 and 10 (in the upper and lower right corners, respectively), completing 10 multiplication and division problems and leaving it between pages 14 and 15, writing "I am not dreaming" on page 20, and leaving the magazine open to page 25, face down and rotated 90 degrees. Still no dice.

After completing these tasks, I'll return to bed, upon which time the vibrations will return almost immediately (less than a minute). Given the complexity of the latter tasks, by the time I return to bed I am fully awake and have collected all my faculties about me.

Just what in the hell is going on here? I'm an extremely scientific person, and firmly believe in the scientific method to debunk all manner of half-cocked and ill conceived ghost stories, but I'm fresh out of ideas here. I'm not going to comment on anything paranormal. Too subjective (e.g., Of course I'll perceive a 'presence' with my bed shaking.) Is something wrong with my brain? Internal 'micro-seizures'? I can't afford to lie in a continuously 'vibrating' bed fully awake for an hour or more 3+ nights a week. I need my sleep dammit. Ideas?
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
It sounds like you did do a thorough investigation of possible causes of this vibration. Since it didn't turn up anything, perhaps you have a sleep disorder and that needs to be explored in a sleep lab. I would suggest that you consider having an evaluation.