Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors

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Sceal

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Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« on: April 23, 2018, 06:29:20 AM »
I don't know if it's part of the cPTSD, or if it's just me and my vivid imagination.
But I keep having hectic dreams. Stressful, restless, vivid dreams. Although I remember some of them (I used to remember them all), i can't use my words to re-tell them.
But everytime I wake up I feel worn out. Like I've been working all night. And part of me probably has, but it's quite infuriating. I am very dependant on sleep. Even just a short week with worse quality than usual is enough to set me spinning in the wrong direction.

If it werent for the fact I'm driving almost everyday this week, I'd take my anxiety medication before sleep to see if I'll have calmer dreams. But I can't drive the next 24/hrs if i do take it. Which is really annoying.

Anyone have any experience with changing your dreams to less hectic ones?

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Rainagain

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 08:30:11 AM »
Hi Sceal

I have no method of dealing with the nightmares and broken sleep apart from napping during the day.

I believe what you describe is the worst aspect of cptsd, it is the main symptom and it is very harmful to dealing with anything and everything life brings.

Maybe knowing its the cptsd will help, its not your nature or imagination, its the past trauma that causes this.

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Kizzie

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 10:16:02 PM »
Hi Sceal - Would you be able to drive if you used a supplement? I ask because I am going through some insomnia right now as weaned off a prescription sleep medication I was taking so am going to look into supplements (e.g., tryptophan). I'm hoping there may be something available to help with getting to sleep and then sleeping better when I do drift off (I have very anxiety filled dreams).

Anyway, if I find out anything worthwhile I'll post it here.   I for one would really like to  :zzz:  better! 

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Sceal

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 03:52:17 AM »
Hi Rainagain,
It's not always trauma-related content in my vivid, anxiety filled dreams or nightmares. They usually only inhibit the night terrors. Would it still be a side effect of cPTSD then?

Hi Kizzie,
I haven't thought about it. Or rather, I think I heard someone mention magnesium once if taken at night should be able to calm your dreams. Or have an effect on dreams, but I've never tried. I've no heard of tryptophan before. What is that?
The rule of thumbs is to not have any medication in our system that decreases our natural reflexes. And then it depends on how long it remains in the body.

I've struggled with sleep for years. Sometimes I don't seem to be able to sleep. I lie in bed for hours before I doze off, only to wake up an hour later. Sometimes I have to sleep in bulks, half during the night and half during the day.  Most of the time I spend a long time before falling asleep with frequent wakings during the night - unsure for what reason.  so the quality of the sleep isn't great. but I'm mostly concerned about the content of sleep this time around.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 04:03:49 AM »
Hi Sceal. Sorry this is happening to you. Iíve dealt with nightmares like those before, and I didnít even know I had them. Most of the time Iíd just wake up feeling absolutely stressed, panicked and exhausted.

Sorry Sceal, but Iím not sure thereís any shortcut to this really. Dreams are usually manifestations of deep seated issues you have in your waking life, and healing in waking life will be what causes healing in sleep. In my experience, and from what Iíve seen from others.

Other than that, I have heard of lucid dreaming helping with nightmares. Iíve tried being self aware in dreams before, and the small times Iíve had, I was able to had a vague enough awareness to control my dream to something more relaxing or joyful. Itís rarely done as frequently as people would like to, but when itís used well, Iíve heard major changes can happen.

From what I understand on my research of the psychology of dreams though, is that youíre more likely to dream about something just before your sleep. So if you can find a way to relax just before your sleep, then most likely thereíll be a much more better dreams. More easily said than done though.

Usually I avoid any stressful work before my sleep, focus on meditation or music for downtime. Not even those action- thriller Netflix shows I watch that make me riled up.

Anyway, hereís a hug.  :hug:

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Sceal

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2018, 08:20:51 PM »
Hi Rocket,
I don't really put much belief into dream-analysis and psychology. I know alot of people do, and I wont dissabate them. I might be wrong, but trying to analyze my dreams has never proven to be particularly fruitful. I don't mean the clear cut and obvious ones, like the ones that are my nightmares. So I'm not so concerned about their content...
I just want to be able to have a restful night. Wake up and feel like my body has had some rest.

But thank you though, for your input. It's interessting to read!  :hug:

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ah

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 10:23:30 AM »
Napping during the day seems to be a very common practice. It leaves me exhausted but less attacked by nightmares and night terrors. Both are hard to tolerate, for me.
For me they're very different, my nightmares are abuse-related and cruel, twisted, with a clear narrative, they can be very cruel or just stupid and meaningless, but they have a story to them. The night terrors seem to be early in the morning with no storyline, very vivid and crazy, with nothing to with anything at all, they're just moments of pure horror beyond description. Like my brain is locked into extreme fight/flight and is trying to escape but can't. Urgh.

Medical marijuana helped me weaken both a bit but they keep coming.

I used to be mad at myself for going to bed so late ever since I was a kid. Fought and fought with myself, till I read about PTSD and how daytime napping seems to lessen the pain and realized I'd been doing the same for as long as I can remember.

Nowadays what I do is I literally just give up. I read books all night long instead of trying to rest. If I can manage it I make use of time. I just ignore the fact that it's dark, makes no difference, I do what my body demands. And if I surprisingly doze off at some point once in a while, well fine, mistakes happen. Not pushing it and not trying to force myself to relax into sleep (an oxymoron anyway) seems to make it a little easier. Maybe.

But I guess it's hard to sustain long term. My body goes through "waves" of sleeplessness: I don't sleep at all for a week or so, then I'm so tired and out of it I get one night's sleep (I guess it's either that or brain damage) or two at the most, then no sleep again. In general, I think I never slept well in my life.

On the rare occasions I've been able to meditate and relax my body before I went to sleep, it had a really positive effect. But it's not easy... nighttime is when I usually feel the worst, fewer distractions, so sitting quietly with myself at night can be rough. Still, when I managed it it's been worth it. Getting myself properly tired, too. Physical exercise (back in the day) helped as well. But (for me) nothing makes the sleep craziness go away completely.

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Rainagain

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 11:42:06 AM »
Ah's comment about giving up fighting sleeplessness is my conclusion too.

If I don't sleep for a whole night I just accept it, I don't fight with myself over it.

I have nightmares clearly trauma related, vague anxiety or struggling against something dreams, all sorts which I put down solely to trauma.

If I get upset about something during the day I tend to obsess over it and then sleep is impossible, again, I just accept it.

Easy for me to say as I don't work so my time is my own, but accepting it seems the way to cope.

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Sceal

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 04:13:49 PM »
I had completely forgotten I started this thread.  :disappear: Sorry! I've read a little bit up on the topic since.

In my teens I was terrified of sleeping, at the time I didn't understand why. I was safe in my childhood home where no one ever hurt me (For me,  my traumas happened outside my home).  But I couldn't lie down in bed and be defenceless, it wasn't until 8-10 years later til I understood why I was so afraid of being defenceless. But that's another story.
I refused to sleep for about a week straight, I kept myself awake doing all sort of things to keep me awake. But for me, I started halluscinating. Proper down-right scary *. And very far out there stuff. I had hallucinated before, but after that period it didn't go away. I'm not schitzophrenic, I've been tested.

Sleep is something we all need, there's tons of research on it. They haven't figured out 100% WHY we need sleep, but they have figured out what happens when we get sleep depraved. And it is a lot of things. And none of them any good.

Proper sleep also will help with healing, but for those of us who has PTSD or cPTSD sleep can be very difficult to deal with due to nightmares and night terrors. I follow the sleep hygene recommendations, but I still struggle. It's better than it's been in a very long time, but it's not great.

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Just Hatched

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2019, 01:26:36 AM »

I refused to sleep for about a week straight, I kept myself awake doing all sort of things to keep me awake. But for me, I started halluscinating. Proper down-right scary *. And very far out there stuff. I had hallucinated before, but after that period it didn't go away. I'm not schitzophrenic, I've been tested.


Many years ago, I didn't sleep for about a week and started hallucinating/experiencing psychosis. Unfortunately I was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but there was no test, and I was wondering how you were tested? If I had been tested properly, I wouldn't have been mis-diagnosed and forced to endure the medical trauma which followed.

I also don't have schizophrenia, but that didn't stop them saying I did, putting me on heavy medication, which caused akathisia which almost led me to suicide. As soon as I got some sleep, the psychosis went away, when I stopped taking the medication, I started feeling a whole lot better.  But the effects of the mis-diagnosis and trauma from the whole frightening experience of psychiatric hospitalization have lasted a long time.

But my question is... how were you tested for schizophrenia?

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Sceal

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Re: Restless sleep, nightmares and night terrors
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2019, 07:02:37 AM »
I'm sorry you had to go through such an awful misdiagnosis and mistreatment. It's really hard to go through that stuff.

As for the test, I don't remember a whole lot about it. Except that it took all day and it was a bunch of questionaires. It was math and logical questions. I am sure there was questions about my perception about reality. There was blood tests, and eye-tests. I also had an EEG taken (But I suppose that was to rule out epilepsy). I am not sure if I understood what the testing was for at the time either. It was at a neuropsychology centre.
I know where it was located (they have either moved or closed down), and I can tell you which floor. But more than that, I don't remember. Except for the reluctancy of my psychiatrist to give me the results afterwards. I got the rapport somewhere in my files.