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Question
Posted by: sam | 2010/12/08

Hectic dreaming

Hi Sleep doc, I don’ t know if you can help with dreams, but here it goes: For as long as I can remember I’ ve been a hectic dreamer. I remember all my dreams in detail and I have several a night. As a kid I used to sleepwalk all the time, as a teen, I used to talk in my sleep, and now I’ m down to having dreams that feel so real. I’ ve previously felt like I was stuck in my own body after sleeping (but not yet waking) where I have screamed out to people in the room to wake me, I’ ve once woken up, I looked at my mother in the passage, and I felt as though I was lifted and being shaken, and I also tried to scream or move but couldn’ t. I’ ve gone to bed, and before I close my eyes to sleep, I see things, for example, a portal appear on my wall, and then a thing (person if you will) climb out and walk over to me, only to be WOKEN UP from a nightmare (and I thought I hadn’ t fallen asleep yet). And the most recent and disturbing  I woke up the other morning and the first thing my eyes saw was the ceiling, and on it was a big grey/black spider, and it was moving about (tippling), I was AWAKE and started shouting and moving to get out, at which point my fiancé  woke up, looked up to see what I was seeing, and asked me “ what, what??”  and then, the spider started to blur, and then it was gone??? First I thought that I had finally lost my marbles, but after some research, my fiancé  says it’ s called hypnagogia, or hallucination on waking. What the hell causes this, and why is my brain so much more active than anyone else’ s??

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSleep Expert

You're right - this sounds like hypnogogic (and hypnopompic!) hallucinations. You also seem to be having what is known as sleep paralysis - the feeling of not being able to move when you wake.

The most common reason for this is a condition called narcolepsy - if you tend to fall asleep during the day you probably have it.

These experiences are obviously bothering you. There are various medications which are likely to help, but I would strongly suggest that you get to see a sleep doctor to work out exactly what it is you have, and what should be done about it.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Heidi | 2011/02/01

I have had the same thing all my life, and it doesnt feel like any NORMAL occurence to me.I''ve sometimes been seriously scared for my life, and sanity!surely this must be dangerous?i almost had a heart attack the first time I experineced sleep " paralysis" , and i FELT something heavy on top of me.something pushing down on me.i physically felt it, and couldnt do anything about it!move, scream, nothing. It does seem as if science has an answer to everything, doesnt it?all i know is, everytime it''s happened to me I''ve prayed as hard as i can, and it eventully lifts.it''s nice to know im not alone though!

Reply to Heidi
Posted by: anon | 2010/12/10

dude science might think it has answers for everything but it does not always .... some times you have to get some spiritual help as well. I have seen prayer overcome problems alot more times then science has. Got nothing against doctors but getting advice from a spiritual point of view won''t hurt...

Reply to anon
Posted by: Sleep expert | 2010/12/09

You're right - this sounds like hypnogogic (and hypnopompic!) hallucinations. You also seem to be having what is known as sleep paralysis - the feeling of not being able to move when you wake.

The most common reason for this is a condition called narcolepsy - if you tend to fall asleep during the day you probably have it.

These experiences are obviously bothering you. There are various medications which are likely to help, but I would strongly suggest that you get to see a sleep doctor to work out exactly what it is you have, and what should be done about it.

Reply to Sleep expert

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