Sunday, January 11, 2009

Night Terrors

The food mares that I was having are starting to subside. Far Guy brought me home a Pizza Hut pizza one day, and the next day I made some chicken and dumplings. So some of those food related cravings have been laid to rest. I rather enjoyed those dreams.

When I was little I was a sleep walker, a sleep talker and a bed wetter. Thank goodness I grew out of the bed wetting. It was always a problem, an embarrassing one if you happened to be staying over at someones elses house. One time I wet the bed so much that one of the little girls that was sleeping in the same bed as I was woke up with wet curlers.. very embarrassing.

I am still a sleep walker and a talker. I have a REM behavioral disorder, most people when they go into Rapid Eye Movement sleep are paralyzed and can not move. I never reach the paralyzed part. So this coupled with my Night Terrors makes for a few interesting stories over the years.

It is particularly hard for Far Guy, his sleep is interrupted by blood curdling screams. Sometimes I sit up and scream sometimes I scream and run at the same time. Sometimes I wake up at the stairway, sometimes outside. It is a fight or flee situation. FYI ..the cold snow on my bare-feet usually wakes me up.

Sometimes I fight...one time Far Guy awoke to me straddling his chest, hitting him with a closed fist just like a boxer. Another time he very innocently rolled over and gave me a sweet little kiss and found himself in a headlock. Then there was the time that I dreamt Far Guy died, in bed. I was screaming..he reached for me, just what you want to see a dead body reaching for you. Since that night he no longer touches me during a Night Terror, he tells me to go back to sleep. I usually go back to sleep quite readily, but poor Far Guy is wide awake. Sometimes I remember the Night Terror and sometimes I do not. Far Guy reports that I look like I am awake..but it is quite obvious to him that I am not.

Many are repetitive terrors that I have had all my life. Snakes covering a sidewalk, thousands of them, and a sign on the grass that says "Keep Off The Grass." Of course there are no snakes on the grass. A few years back I finally told myself " Self, you CAN ignore all stupid signs when dreaming." My common thread is snakes, flying, falling, slithering, snakes in toilets, snakes in the living room and me jumping from one piece of furniture to another.

The other repetitive dream is a dark shadowy figure who tries to kill me and the girls. I cannot out run him or lock all the doors and windows fast enough to save us all. I am getting better at out smarting him..usually I throw stuff at him..one time I vomited all over him.

I do not have nearly as many episodes of Night Terrors as I used to. They seem to come in cycles, if I am over tired or a bit claustrophobic or sleeping in a strange place they are more likely to occur.

The only "cure" I have found is doing crossword puzzles, or playing word games on the computer before going to sleep. I think it puts my brain in a different gear. Sleeping with the television on all night works well also. I have far less episodes when I sleep on the couch.

I have never met anyone else with Night Terrors, I guess it's not the kind of subject that comes up very often. I do know that I am not nuts, crazy or a raving lunatic. My Doctor is and has been very supportive with my Parasomnias, offering medications (which I would never take anyway) and a referral to a Sleep Clinic. I have lived with this most of my life, what would the point be? I have it under control, with the help of a very supportive husband:)

14 comments:

  1. Wow Connie, that's scarey. I had a brother who sleep walks, he's also diabetic and we associate the high levels of sugar to his sleep walking. But what you have....geez....that's just plain scarey.

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  2. Oh My!! And here I thought that you just had a very interesting life during the daytime. But now I find out it's at night too!! And not just interesting, but very scary!! Snakes!! Yipes!!

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  3. I can relate -- I have another life in my sleep - sometimes I don't want to wake up until the end!!

    Dena

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  4. Nalley has severe sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome which make for a terrible night's sleep. He NEVER goes into REM and never feels rested. Oh, I do sympathize with you. Glad you have an understanding hubby. I do worry that you might hurt yourself though - have you thought of closing/locking the bedroom door to prevent tumbles down the stairs?

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  5. Connie, that's so scarey..
    and so amazing that puzzles help and sleeping on the couch helps..Julia ♥

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  6. I read an article about this in National Geographic a few years ago. The article it's relatively common in older men (70+) and almost unheard of in women or younger folks. They said one of the subjects broke his collarbone when he dreamed he was playing football and tackled the dresser thinking it was another player.

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  7. The greatest blessing(and one that is so obvious in this post) is that you have a wonderful husband.

    Good luck

    David

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  8. Far Side, I'm sorry to hear you deal with this, but through it all you sure do have a great attitude. One of my children had night terrors. I guess it is a little more common in children through a certain age but boy was it freaky to us to witness. It didn't seem to have any effect on him, from what we could tell. We learned it was better to not get too worked up; that only made it worse. Poor Far Guy, though. The things he must see. Never a dull moment in the middle of the night at your place. :)

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  9. When he was young, my son had night terrors. It was scary at first, then I noticed he only had them after a stressful day. Thank goodness he outgrew them.

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  10. I never had the terrors, but used to have had nightmares quite often. One was of a black bull chasing me and me just barely getting away. That dream went away when we started raising calves and had a black bull to breed our milk cow. I also used to dream of Indians chasing me and killing me, but that went away, as well. Now it's just DUMB dreams not scary ones. It must be hard to go to bed knowing something like that could happen!!

    Hope they get better, as they seem to be doing.

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  11. It doesn't sound to me like you actually ever get a good night's sleep. That is too bad. My brother slept walked as a kid but grew out of it. Don't think you will grow out of it.

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  12. You're on my wavelength! Nightmares are the pits!

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  13. Is it wrong that I found this hilarious?!
    The friend waking up with wet curlers from your bed-wetting started me off laughing and it increased from there!
    Your poor Husband, how he suffers! I hope you haven't given him too many bruises or broken bones!
    I'm here via David McMahon's blog... Congratulations on Post Of The Day!

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  14. My son had night terrors. He seems to have outgrown them (thank the Lord, because you cannot comfort someone who can't see you). I used to have lots of snake dreams, someone once told me you have a hidden enemy--or you imagine you have a hidden enemy and so it appears as snakes in your dreams. Don't know how true that is, I didn't feel like researching it. :-)

    Great post and congrats on your POD over at authorblog!

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie