Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.

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colourfulrain

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Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« on: March 15, 2015, 12:05:54 PM »
Hi new here but been on Out of the Fog forum for a few months.

One of my worst CPTSD symptoms are waking nightmares or night terrors. These are not simply nightmares, though I get my fair share of those! No, these are hallucinations had between sleeping and waking. So I will see people standing by the bed or over me. Its sometimes an indistinct malevolant force above the bed.

Last night was the worst one yet. I was rolled over cuddling my husband and as I woke I saw him as not just dead but a decomposing corpse. I screamed and screamed. Then I sobbed.

Temprature is a factor, if I get too warm it occurs. If I need to pee it can happen (because that pulls you out of sleep). But I can only assume these are physical triggers for essentially a psychological issues.
These have occured since early childhood but have got much, much worse in my twenties.

Does anyone have any experience of this? Any thoughts? Also is there anyway to control or stop them? Its becoming more difficult to cope.

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keepfighting

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 06:06:54 PM »
Hi, colourfulrain,

and welcome to OOTS!  :wave:

I am so sorry you are confronted with these terror nightmares. What a horrible, horrible dream you had last night.  :hug:

Alas, I cannot offer you any advice on how to deal with them, just wanted to let you know you are not alone.  :hug: I had one of those once and was terrified to go back to sleep. I dreamed there were two men at the footend of our bed and I wanted to scream and wake up my husband but could not use my arms (muscles wouldn't obey me) nor could I use my voice.  Completely terrifying. When I got control of my 'faculties' again, there was no one there and I realized it was a kind of a nightmare like I'd never had one before.

It must be horrible for you to have them increase in frequency.  :hug: Do you also suffer from insomnia?

I once read that these terror nightmares occur whenever the brain 'wakes up' and is already active while the rest of your body is still in sleep modus (only milliseconds in between but enough for your over active brain to make up a whole story). So needing to pee in the middle of the night or being too hot/cold sound like a likely the cause for this fenomenon - but I really don't have a clue if it's true or not. My one terror nightmare did indeed occur in the small hours of the night when I woke up because I needed to pee....

I do hope that these nightmares will stop for you soon. Nowadays, I sometimes still have the 'normal' nightmares and often find that I am working through something in the night for which there was no time during the day. Sometimes I even have dreams that feel good and empowering, like when I am reliving a frightening event of my childhood, grownup 'me' appears on the scene to protect and comfort the child 'me'.

Best wishes and I wish you pleasant dreams tonight. You deserve to have a peaceful night!  :zzz:

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Kizzie

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 04:22:41 AM »
Hi and welcome Colourful Rain  :wave:   That really was a frightening dream you had, I hope tonight you have a much better night  :hug:

I don't have the same thing but I do often seem to pass through a really gray, depressing landscape when I am falling asleep or waking up, like my shields are down or something.  I get right up now so I can ground myself - I don't know if you're awake enough to do that though.  It's interesting what KF has said - I've never hear of that before but might be worth doing some searching.  One other thing I thought about are the night terrors children often have - these might be the same thing perhaps? I think though that they are sleeping when they have them and don't normally remember them.

Anyway sending good  :zzz: wishes your way

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keepfighting

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 07:36:53 AM »
Apparently, what I experienced is called Sleep Paralysis. I found a link that describes it: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1740

Is this what you are experiencing, colourfulrain?

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lonewolf

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 08:08:21 AM »
Hi colourfulrain,

I have sleep paralysis. It's not fun, and it can be terrifying as you know. It still happens to me sometimes, but typically only when I am under a lot of stress or anxiety. I also have to be careful re: the environment. It can happen if I fall asleep with the light on. I typically have a dark presence that presses down on me and I struggle to get it off of me (but can't because I am paralyzed from REM). Either I fall back asleep or I have to force myself to completely wake up. If it is a bad one it can unsettle me for a few days afterwards. I wish I could add something more helpful.  :hug:
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 08:10:36 AM by lonewolf »

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Kizzie

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 08:38:21 PM »
Wow KF , I just read the article and :hug: to you and Lonewolfe and colourfulrain. That sounds really frightening! 

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colourfulrain

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 11:01:09 PM »
Hi all, thanks so much for all your kind words, means a lot.

I've been suffering from this for years. I thought cutting contact with my abusive father would end them but the fallout has made them worse at times. I did manage to tell the 'dark shapes' to leave me alone and stop bullying me one night though!

I think Sleep Paralysis is very closely related to whatever I have. It definately occurs in the no mans land between waking and dreaming. It is certainly equally terrifying. Thanks for link KF.

It does unsettle me badly the next day as you say lonewolf.

Its funny you should mention children having night terrors Kizzie - my husband has suggested getting a night light. Its kind of obvious but might help because it would define awake and asleep more clearly, whereas in darkness there is no clear division.
I doubt it will solve it but I hope it might reduce it a bit.

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Trees

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Re: Waking Nightmares/Night Terrors - Any advice welcome.
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2015, 03:58:11 AM »
Hi colourfulrain,  you mentioning that your husband suggested a nightlight reminded me of a time when I was having a lot of trouble with nightmares about my childhood.  They would wake me up but I would still think I was trapped in the nightmare, so I had to sleep with the lights on so I would recognize where I was when the nightmares woke me up in a state of terror.  I kept the TV on, too.   And I put Christmas lights on all the bedroom walls!  And big signs telling me I was safe now.  (Of course, all that might be a problem for your husband!)