Nightmares and other fun things that happen when you're sleeping

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Nikki, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I really hate to post a topic when I rarely do anything more than read other's topics and pray for more comfort for all of us with these DDs.

    Last night was a particularly bad night. While drifting off to much needed sleep, I slipped into Sleep Paralysis.

    "SP is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes."

    Normally, I slip into SP when I first fall asleep; it doesn't happen real often, thank God. it feels as tho I am sinking deeper into the bed (which begins to feel like a deep hole), and I feel that if I don't wake up I will die.

    I always fight it, trying hard to open my eyes or to move. My husband has learned to wake me up if he suspects this is what's happening to me. Evidently, I try to scream.

    This usually only happens to me when I am stressed and haven't been very good sleep. Don't understand why it wouldn't happen every night, but am sure glad it doesn't.

    Once in SP last night, I felt as tho someone/thing was trying to take away my pillow. When I would try to pull it back, my hand "touched" a mushy, creepy, hand, and the terror began. My husband woke me up as he hadn't fallen asleep yet. This happened several times over until I finally drifted off to sleep. Then very strange dreams (nightmares) took over.

    I was in 3 different dreams (hard to explain). Dream 3 felt like a dream and then I woke up into dream 2 thinking I was awake. I kept falling down, could not walk straight or talk well enough to be understood. Everyone in this dream thought I was drunk, and did not believe me when I told them I was only drinking water.

    Then I began to think that Dream 2 was also a dream, so I fought really hard to wake up; and finally woke up to what I would call Dream 1.

    This dream (D1) was not nearly as frightening as D3 or 2; but, no fun never the less. When I finally awoke from this Dream, I was really awake.

    Has anyone ever had this happen to them? I know it sounds very complicated, but surely I am not the only person to ever experience this.

    I will have to speak to my Rheumy about my meds. Or never sleep again . . . this experience is not something I EVER want to have again. Triple Creepy. UGH!

  2. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I do take generic Ambien XR. I have taken it for yrs, long after I started having Sleep Paralysis.

    I would love to only take something alternative, but I've never been successful. And, without sleep, my poor body feels crushed with horrible pain.

    I believe the "real" Ambien at the lowest dose would be more helpful (I once took this) . . . but, my insurance has other thoughts.

    I read where others (you included) have been very successful in the endeavor to find alternative solutions to sleep. I suppose I will keep trying. First, I must convince my Dr. to lower my dose and give me "real" Ambien and not generic and not XR.

    That way it would be much easier to gradually ease my way out of this drug. I cannot break the XR in half or quarters, as the med. is not mixed equally throughout the pill.

    Thank you for takin the time to read my post and offer a solution to my problem.

    Soft Hugs,
    [This Message was Edited on 03/25/2013]
  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Hi Sharon - I've had SP a couple of times and it's not fun, but nothing as scary as yours. I just did a brief search on SP and it says that lack of sleep, and sleeping on your back are two contributing factors, among others. It's rather ironic of course because you can't sleep well.

    Have you had your cortisol levels checked? High cortisol can cause severe insomnia which almost nothing will touch. Fortunately it's easy to fix: Seriphos (phosphorylated serine, non-prescription) is excellent for normalizing cortisol levels.

    The best test is the Adrenal Stress Index Test, it's a saliva test using 4 samples taking throughout the day/evening to find out how your cortisol levels rise and fall. Mine were high at night several years ago, I had very bad middle of the night insomnia and once I found out about my high cortisol with the ASI test, I started taking Seriphos and it worked almost immediately. I found it worked best when taken in the morning, and later read that that was best, something to do with circadian rhythms.

    Anyways, if this is at the root of your insomnia, you could get off the ambien, generic or otherwise, which also might be contributing to your SP.

  4. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    It's always good to see your many posts to everyone on this board. Many of you have the gift to lift up everyone else. Your posts are very similar to poetry, I think.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
  5. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I've always thought I had high cortisols, and tomorrow I'm going to my PCP.

    Your post was a timely reminder to ask him about the saliva test.

    Much thanks. Sharon
  6. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    I do not have SP and after reading what you go through I hope I never experience it.

    I would definitely asked to be switched to something else for sleep. I wouldn't even take tne brand name Ambien. You may need another alternative.

    I take Sinequan and Klonopin at night. Once I fall asleep, I sleep very well. I do dream vividly a number of times throughout the night, but my dreams are usually either pleasant of just themed.

    For instance, even though I have not worked in 6 years, I regularly dream I am late for work and worried I will get fired. I also dream that I cannot remember if I went to work or not and other work scenarios.

    Does anyone else have certain dream themes that reoccur regularly?

  7. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I haven't worked since 2001. I used to dream fairly regularly that I had agreed to go back to work, and then would realize with a shock that if I did, I would lose my disability. And sometimes it was too late, I had already started working. Other times I would realize that working would jeopardize my disability before I had actually started work again. I haven't been able to work since 2001, but some part of my subconscious seems to have been worried about it! :)

  8. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    Funny you should mention themed dreams. After high school and college, I dreamed I had forgotten to go to any of my math classes and then showed up for finals w/o even a book.

    After I retired from the law firm, I dreamed I went back part-time, but never remembered to record my hours or charge then to a client's name. I wanted my part-time pay, but couldn't even prove I had worked.

    Guess stress makes itself known in the conscious and unconscious (haha) just reread my post, I mean to say sub-conscious).

    I have suffered from insomnia since my earliest childhood memory (age 5 about). Really, I just thought everyone slept like I did. Didn't really know differently until I got married. And, then it was "what's wrong w/him"....haha.

    I think that after I retired in 1998 to take care of 5 family members, the insomnia and stress of it all just caught up with me.............first fibro, then CFS, etc., especially since I was an only child and tried to do all of it by myself.

    The hallmark of most of us is Type A . . . if we could look at our past lives like a movie, we would probably no longer wonder why this had to happen to us . . . don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming "us,"
    just the facts, mam/man. (some of you won't understand that last sentence . . . "Dragnet.") But, it is what it is . . . hate that saying.

    Anyway, to make a long story, even longer . . . went to PCP today; he agreed to ck cortisols and to RX the
    lowest dose of ambien. told me to take 1 at bedtime, then if I wake up take another. That's still less than the XR i'm now taking.Hopefully, I can begin to wean myself slowly off the ambien.

    Think I might look into klonopin if I still can't sleep. I know everal folks who take this successfully and only as needed.

    Thanks to anyone who took the time to read my rambling.

    Soft hugs,

    [This Message was Edited on 03/26/2013]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/26/2013]
  9. Deziloud

    Deziloud New Member

    I am new to the message boards and was skimming through to see if I could get any tips, when I noticed your post.

    I have also been suffering with SP, although I didn't know it had a name until a few minutes ago. I have also experienced the dream within a dream thing and was beginning to wonder if I was losing my mind? More commonly I see things that are not really there when I believe that I have awoken but may actually still be asleep? It's a very unsettling feeling as I am aware that whatever I see should not be there and I usually find that if I stare at it, it will slowly disappear.

    I also try to force myself to stay awake when I am feeling that sinking feeling, I have even screamed out to my partner as I truly believe that I am going to die when it happens.

    I would not wish this upon anyone, it can be terrifying but at the same time I am a little relieved that I'm not the only one.

  10. LadyCarol

    LadyCarol Member

    I can so totally relate to what you went through Sharon. I've experienced exactly the same type of Sleep Paralysis, the physically feelings of someone or something touching you are so real, terrifying at the time and yet paralysed and unable to do anything about it. I never want to go another one of those ever again.

    I found I can only take Ambien for about 4 nights otherwise it affects mood, causes depression and generally makes me feel off all day.

    There are other alternatives that would help you with your sleep issues, best to discuss matters with your doctor or seek another opinion.
  11. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    but, hate that anyone else has to go thru this, too.

    I only seem to have SP when I'm very, very tired or very, very stressed.

    Is this when y'all seem to experience this, too?

  12. LadyCarol

    LadyCarol Member

    Yes, when I'm very very tired.
  13. ameilie73

    ameilie73 Member

    Ive watched programmes on sleep paralysis it looks horrific.
    I do suffer the struggling to wake up, ie dteam within a dream. But because i am looking around and my bedroom looks normal i think im awake. But realise im not, it is a very syrange feeling, thats why i got the plot of the film inception.

    Ive also had some ugly monster pinning me to the bed, i was scared to go to sleep.
    And id have hallucinations as i went off to sleep but was awake, actual people standing in my bedroom but if i stared at them theyd dissappear. Think this was due to amitripyline, i lowered the dose and was ok.

    I still get a numb feeling when i wake up, its like my minds awale but my body isnt. I quite enjoy it because its the only time im not suffering pain.
    I am a lucid dreamer have been since i was a kid, i am now often aware i am dreaming and can control my dreams. They say the monsters in your dreams are your subconscious (shadow) and they are there to teach you something. I confront my monsters when im aware im dreaming. Yes a most fascinating subject.
  14. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    this a.m., heard my husband say it was time to get up, but could not open my eyes or answer him . . . this has never happened in the morning; just at time as drifting off to sleep.

    think i must be "talking" too much about this subject.

    But, on a better note, I love the times I am able to control my dreams and fly . . . this, too, feels very, very real, like an out of body experience.

    Flying is fun . . . I don't fly like Superman did, in a horizontal position . . . more like the Flying Nun did, between vertical and horizontal. I can even fly thru barriers, such as walls, ceilings and roofs.LOL

    For one who rarely posts on this board . . . I have gone overboard on this subject.

    Thank you for your responses . . .

    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2013]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2013]
  15. ameilie73

    ameilie73 Member

    ..A fellow flyer, yes i can fly like superman, and hover, my gut even turns over when i drop to quickly. Im glad you elaborated first so i didnt sound bonkers lol ;-) i can also move objects with my mind. Only when i know im dreaming, you can train yourself to lucid dream. Alot of my dreams involve rescuing people i love. Thats why i do love sleeping when i can get it, not only am i not aware i have fibro but i can do things i wouldnt be able to do.

    ..Wow who thought we'd be xmen when we ate sleeping!

  16. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Freida is right, most doctors when checking cortisol only do a blood test which only tells what the cortisol level is at the time the blood is drawn. It's really much better to get the bigger picture using the Adrenal Stress Index Test, which takes saliva samples 4 times during the day and evening. It gives a much better picture of the fluctuation of cortisol throughout the day and evening, which is very important information.

    If your doctor won't do this test, or doesn't know about it, you can have it done by a naturopath, or go through Clymer Healing Research - you can find them on-line. I had a test done through them several years ago. We did everything by phone, e-mail and snail mail. It helped me so much having this done - they were able to see that my cortisol was elevated at night, which a blood test would not have revealed. And then recommended Seriphos which was a godsend.

    I believe we have to take charge of our health - at least your doctor is willing to check it but if he just does a blood test, it is probably not enough.

    Best wishes,

  17. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I think my dr. is only planning to do a blood test.

    I will consider what you suggested and the saliva test. As I believe high cortisols may be a very problem with me.

    Thanks again, to all of you. I so appreciate the responses.

    Love & Soft Hugs to all ........... and many Sweet & HAPPY dreams to all who are able to sleep.
  18. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    although years ago, before I even had sleep problems, I remembered this one dream in particular. It was like a movie and when I lay down for a nap the next afternoon I went back into that dream and it carried on. I had to write it down because this went on for a couple of nights and days. I still think about writing it in a novel form.....maybe a movie.
    I've also had those dreams where I'm dreaming and wake up and do something, but find that it was actually a dream the entire time. Weird how our brains work.

    I took ambien years ago....cut the original one into thirds as it was too strong for me. I had terrible hang overs the next day though and after about 6 months I quit.

    A few years ago I saw an integrative doctor who ordered a hormone evaluation from ZRT labs in Beaverton, Oregon. A lady from another board orders her thyroid tests direct from them also. The hormone test also included a 4 time saliva test for adrenal fatigue. I'm actually thinking of ordering it again on my own to test my cortisol levels. The doctor got back a very complete written review which I have a copy of.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2013]