Our partner

afraid to sleep

Bipolar Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Moderators: quietgirl2538, Tyler

afraid to sleep

Postby missryan8604 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:19 am

My dreams have been getting increasingly more vivid and frightening. Not sci-fi frightening, but scary because they are very real life-type scenarios. I'm starting to feel there could be some suppressed traumatic (childhood abuse related) memories surfacing in my dreams.

At this point I don't want to go to bed in fear of experiencing more of these dreams :(
Albert Einstein — 'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'
missryan8604
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:57 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby invicta » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:49 am

Hi missryan!

Do you mind telling us what meds you're taking, if any? I ask because since I started with quetiapine that's happened to me. Not every night, but sometimes. The first nightmare, although very vivid, was not something likely to happen in real life, so when I woke up it was easy to dismiss it as a dream. It wasn't pleasant, but at least I was sure I was dreaming.

But last night was extremely weird! I wasn't sure if I was awake or asleep, and it was something very plausible and "happening" at night, in my house, with my parents, so everything was very believable. I was panicking in my sleep, trying to wake up while at the same time not being sure wether it was a dream or reality. I even asked my dad a few times if he was absolutely sure I hadn't been up... Quite terrifying! :(

Is this something similar to your experience?
invicta
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 2:14 pm
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby missryan8604 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Thanks for writing, Invicta!

I am unmedicated' :( For multiple reasons: lack of health insurance, lack of money (stopped working about 3 weeks ago & don't have a desire to return. I moved back into my parent's house.), and have been trying to manage naturally.

I was regularly smoking marijuana until a few weeks ago-which I've read is known to suppress dreams. Other than that I've been working with a "naturopath" doctor (who's quickly lost my confidence) and been using lithium orotate, 5htp, l-tyrosine, gaba/passion flower/herb combo, and fancypants multivitamin to try and help me get by. Obviously these things aren't helping...like I said I'm not very thrilled with this doc :( When I was diagnosed 4 years ago I was rx: ativan, lithium and seroquel...was scared when they made me a zombie and that's when I began trying lifestyle changes to manage my symptoms. It worked ok for the most part...(however I think I was naive about my manic phases and during my depressive phases "lucked out" with what pulled me through. I was in denial about my DX until this fall)

Other than meds, I can totally relate to what you wrote: realistic dreams, panicking in your sleep, wanting to wake up but also not sure if it's even a dream to wake up from OR reality.
Albert Einstein — 'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'
missryan8604
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:57 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby missryan8604 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:01 pm

To give more detail, I am often victimized, threatened, chased, guilt ridden, unable to communicate in the dreams. There are always people I know/love in real life in my dreams. There are exceptions-the other night when Anthony Hopkins was one of two "bad people", a few nights before that Don Cheadle was one of a few "electric company workers" who was at my house to install some equipment. The Don Cheadle dream also included a 4-4.5ft person in a Cinderella dress and plastic/Nixon/president style Cinderella mask (in the dream Cinderella wasn't scary, but sort of a soothing character in my dream...when I woke up it became spookier though).

Also, there are random parts of my dreams which come up in my ACTUAL life a day or two later. I.e. a friend mentioning Anthony Hopkins in an email the day following the dream he appeared in; in a dream: a ukulele souvenir bought for my niece...in real life she was given a kiddie guitar, an hour later a string broke and someone unaware of my dream said "lose one more string and it's a ukulele!"'; in a dream: I drive my car off a cliff, so I wake up and consider suggesting my family take my keys away....in real life: that night my sister happened to ask to take my car.

Sleep is no longer restful or enjoyable. Bah-humbug.
Albert Einstein — 'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'
missryan8604
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:57 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby skilsaw » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:18 pm

missryan8604 wrote:Sleep is no longer restful or enjoyable. Bah-humbug.


I sure know that feeling. I was having difficulty at work. Each day was a challenge. Then I began dreaming about the work problems every night. It was torture. I got no rest. The problem at work corrected itself and the dreams stopped.

I can think of other occasions going back to childhood where I had repeated dreams that were frightening but the details are not important.

Keep telling yourself that the life/dream coincedences are just that... coincedences. If they begin to seem "real" and "significant", you should see a real doctor about them. But then, this is my totally unprofessional view. Your dreams may be inconsequential. I hope your sleep returns to normal.

Take care,
It is not always possible to make someone's discomfort go away.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do is resist the urge to fix it and instead just say, "You, too?"
skilsaw
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 2228
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:47 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby Lexicon_Devil » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:24 pm

I'd watch the lithium orate. As a lithium variant, it might be responsible for your dreams, much like prescription lithium. More importantly, though, as a lithium variant, you should be getting regular blood tests to check your levels. Just because it's not prescription doesn't mean you can't go toxic. It's also not tested and controlled the way prescription lithium is, which poses its own problems. And I'd check to make 100% sure there aren't any interactions between your supplements, if you haven't already. Many people tend to think natural = safe, and that's just dead false.

Back to dreams: are you stressed in your daily life lately? Or in a stressful environment? That can lend itself to scary/unpleasant/stressful dreaming as well. I know my dreams get worse whenever things aren't going well in my waking life, and due to the stress of my childhood family environment, I had night terrors and/or nightmares almost every time I slept until I was 14 or so. I had absolutely zero good dreams ever until about 15, which was when I started getting out more, and moved out of my mother's house to live with my father; I still get nightmares when I go back to visit her in that house, too. I'm sure quitting cannabis would have a significant effect as well, if it acts on REM at all and was a regular part of your drug regimen. If you have an imagination and have seen enough movies, though, I see no reason to necessarily attribute a spike in nightmares to possible repressed traumatic memories (unless you mean memories you already knew you had, being maybe triggered by living with your parents again).

As regards things in dreams showing up later... We often tend to notice when things line up, and disregard the overwhelming number of times they don't. Similarly, being aware of our waking circumstances allows the details to filter into our dreams, and once in a while they can certainly take a twist that seems predictive. I wouldn't really read too far into it, though; everyone's bound to have thoughts and dreams that seem predictive every once in a while, just by virtue of knowing what's going on around you and entertaining possible outcomes.

Anyway, I hope your nightmares let up soon. It sometimes helps to watch something happy and mindless before bed, like a children's cartoon, and to minimize negative interactions with other people where you can. And some people find exercise helpful for dreamless sleep. Good luck!
bipolar 1 w/ mixed states, psychotic features, and ultra-rapid cycling

[oxcarbazepine 750mg / lamotrigine 50mg / trazodone 50mg]
[alprazolam 0.5mg prn / risperidone 0.25mg prn / propranolol 60mg prn]
[n-acetylcysteine 1800mg / vitamin d 5000iu / melatonin 3mg / multivitamin]
Lexicon_Devil
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:11 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby missryan8604 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:45 pm

Thanks everyone. I'm glad I posted. Almost didn't push the "submit" button last night.
Albert Einstein — 'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'
missryan8604
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:57 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby pudetat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:02 pm

[edited by mod]
Last edited by Oliveira on Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: PM to follow
pudetat
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:26 am
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: afraid to sleep

Postby invicta » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:11 pm

I think this is going to be a long post, so just skip to the parts you feel interest you! :mrgreen:

missryan8604 wrote:I was regularly smoking marijuana until a few weeks ago-which I've read is known to suppress dreams.


I've been a regular (and heavy!) marijuana user for quite some time now. I never remember dreams (I assume I dream, since as far as I know everyone does, it's just a question of remembering them when you wake up). When I stop smoking one of the symptoms I experience is vivid dreaming (I was not medicated then). However, it's usually just the first 3 or 4 days, and it's never been the kind of terrifying stuff that I've had on quetiapine! I'm not an expert, of course, but if you quit weed a few weeks ago I don't think that that's the cause of your sleep/dreams problem.

missryan8604 wrote:Other than that I've been working with a "naturopath" doctor (who's quickly lost my confidence) and been using lithium orotate, 5htp, l-tyrosine, gaba/passion flower/herb combo, and fancypants multivitamin to try and help me get by.


I have no experience with this, but what Lexicon_Devil said makes sense to me!

missryan8604 wrote:To give more detail, I am often victimized, threatened, chased, guilt ridden, unable to communicate in the dreams. There are always people I know/love in real life in my dreams. There are exceptions-the other night when Anthony Hopkins was one of two "bad people", a few nights before that Don Cheadle was one of a few "electric company workers" who was at my house to install some equipment. The Don Cheadle dream also included a 4-4.5ft person in a Cinderella dress and plastic/Nixon/president style Cinderella mask (in the dream Cinderella wasn't scary, but sort of a soothing character in my dream...when I woke up it became spookier though).


Sounds scary! :( For me, it's been mostly being unable to communicate and wake up, and overwhelming fear, I can't even describe it! So far, it's only with people I know, which makes it that much harder to figure out if I'm awake or asleep.

Lexicon_Devil wrote:As regards things in dreams showing up later... We often tend to notice when things line up, and disregard the overwhelming number of times they don't.


This!! This, 1,000 times this! We humans love patterns and things that line up neatly, which is why we keep finding patterns where they don't exist.

Lexicon_Devil wrote:It sometimes helps to watch something happy and mindless before bed, like a children's cartoon, and to minimize negative interactions with other people where you can. And some people find exercise helpful for dreamless sleep.


Sounds like good advice, I'll use it myself, thanks! :)

Missryan, I hope your sleep improves, and I'm glad you did push the "submit" button - this has been helpful to me too! You all have a good and peaceful sleep tonight.

Hugs
invicta
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 2:14 pm
Local time: Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:51 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Bipolar Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests