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Violent while sleeping?
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Nicole8124nTX posted:
My name is Nicole, I have been with my boyfriend John for three years now..in this time he has gotten violent in his sleep several times.. ranging from pulling my hair to punching and biting me. I am not familiar with sleeping disorders or if this could even possibly be one or if its just perhaps him dreaming and re-acting to whatever he may be dreaming about.. He never wakes up with any recalection of the night before i have to tell him what happend..and well he doesnt seem to believe he is doing any of these things...I would really like some insight on what could be going on with him.. last night our son was in the bed with us...and i'm not getting any sleep.. this isnt however an everynight occurance...nor does it happen everyweek...If you could help me out and try to give me some answers that would be great! I want to solve this so we can all sleep better at night..to be honest sometimes i wonder if there is more to this issue than what meets the eye! If you have any ideas please help us..we would really like some answers!

Thank you!
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear Nicole8124nTX, I would strongly suggest your refusing to sleep with your boyfriend any longer until he sees his doctor. If he has a sleep disorder or some other problem--it needs to be treated. There is NO excuse for you to have to endure being punched, bitten, and having your hair pulled. That is abusive and you deserve better. It is also setting a bad example for your son. If he told you that you were kicking and biting him in your sleep--what would you do? You'd probably apologise and immediately see the doctor. I know that's what I'd do. His response is to disbelieve you. Makes one think. Yours in health, Byroney
 
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WendieH responded:
Nicole, I had a similar problem. My boyfriend would not always be violent, and not that violent. But if I accidentally touched him while he wa sleeping, he woud kick me, HARD, or slam into me with his butt. I began sleeping on the couch and when I told him about it, he began sleeping on the couch. He has suffered from chronic profound depression most of his life which he refuses to treat. He also carries an underlying rage that is often just under the surface. He would pick fights with me in order to vent this rage and then he would feel better. I could tell when it was going to be a violent night as he would twitch when he fell asleep. If he wasn't twitching, he didn't usually kick, either. I told him he needed help, he refused, and so I asked him to leave. Your boyfriend needs to take responsibility for his actions. If he just denies it by saying he can't remember, he's never going to get help. I agree that it is a bad example (not to mention dangerous) for your son. What will you do if the violence escalates to when he is awake? He obviously has some problems he needs to treat. If he isn't willing to get help, you need to remove him from your home, or at the very least, from your bed. Good luck and I hope you are both able to resolve this issue, but he is going to have to own his behavior or it won't ever change. Wendie
 
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010639 responded:
I am having the same problem, but it is me doing the hitting and kicking. It doesn't happen all the time but seems to be more often lately. I have to use a sleeping pill {Temazepam} to get to sleep and wonder if that is part of a possible interactive disorder to other drugs I take during the day that I take every day
 
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moneylove24 responded:
make sure he avoids eating sugary food or smoking four hours before bedtime find out about any bad habits he may have ie gambling
 
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raturf responded:
Nicole,

I have been married for almost 30 years and my wife tells me that I do this every once in a while (a few times a year). Although I'm not sure about the hair pulling and would defer to a doctor as well, it is possible that his physical behavior is not directed at you at all but you just happen to get in the way. On the occasions that I have had episodes like this (not all involve contact with my wife) I often recall having a dream about an altercation with someone else with whom I might be having a problem at the time, sometimes even another family member, like my father for example.
 
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NeroWolf responded:
Your boyfriend could have a sleep disorder called REM Sleep Disorder. A sleep study could verify this. There are medications that can help. I have found that my episodes are usually related to a food allergy but not always. This can be potentially dangerous since some people have been known to jump out of windows in response to a fire danger in their dreams. In any case I agree with some of the other postings that you should sleep elsewhere until something is done to get this problem under control.
 
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a_marieroc responded:
The first thing I would suggest you do is to stop sleeping in the same room with him until you have a serious discussion with him. You should request that he go to his doctor, explain what is happening and ask for a sleep study to be done to confirm these events of violence while sleeping. If he truly cares about you, he should agree to go at your request. If he refuses, and wants proof, you can set up a video camera in your room. However, having to prove it to him is very telling about the health of your relationship and your future together. Do not allow your baby to come into the bed with him there, it is dangerous and could result in injury for the child. If he flat out refuses to seek medical attention, then you may ask yourself what he's trying to hide. The fact that you mention "there's more to this issue than meets the eye" tells me your intuition has already figured out what's going on, and you're afraid to trust it. Insist on a sleep study. If he refuses, there's something suspicious going on. Good luck to you, dear. I hope it works out for you.
 
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ScubaJudy responded:
This happened to me with my husband once about 10 years ago. He admitted that he was having a dream about an altercation with a student and hit me instead. We laugh about it now, but it was disturbing at the time.
 
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Cfick responded:
Hi there - I am in a very, very similar situation as you. My boyfriend of several years has hit, punched, yelled, and slapped me in my sleep and then does not remember any of it and will not go see anyone because he doesn't believe me that its happening. It happens about 2x a year (so far).

Please let me know if you find out any information about this condition because I am not having much luck figuring it out. Thanks, and good luck Christie
 
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Cfick responded:
Hi there - I am in a very, very similar situation as you. My boyfriend of several years has hit, punched, yelled, and slapped me in my sleep and then does not remember any of it and will not go see anyone because he doesn't believe me that its happening. It happens about 2x a year (so far).

Although I don't feel like he is acting out a dream because he usually refers to me in the dream and calls me bad names and kicks me. He never mentions anything about someone else. And most times he laughs when he does it. And our relationship is good so maybe its underlying rage towards me he doesn't tell me about? Another issue is he is in the military and he could get discharged if he gets diagnosed with...anything....I think (that's at least what he tells me) He goes through bouts of depression but I haven't really linked anything between the two.

Please let me know if you find out any information about this condition because I am not having much luck figuring it out. Thanks, and good luck Christie
 
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Windels1985 replied to Cfick's response:
My husband has been violent numerous times in his sleep. Some nights it's nothing, others he would kick or pinch me, others he's tried to strangle me. Call me naive but I knew he could change. So we went to therapy and saw neurologists. Finally found out he has epilepsy and an REM sleep disorder. He's now on proper medication and things have never been so peaceful. Don't give up. They're are answers out there.
 
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cs1127 responded:
This has happen to me also I have been woke up on several occasions where my husband has punched or poked me in the eye or squeezed my belly. He always acts like it never happen and as if I'm dreaming it up and goes right back to sleep but always apologizes. He just minutes ago poked me in the eye and had no reason to support why it happen the first time he said that he was having a dream that he was fighting a giant snake and that he punched the snake in the eye not me. I have thought several times that the only answer is to tie his hands together before we go to sleep I'm afraid that one of these times he might do lasting damage. if anyone finds any answers I'd really like to know!
 
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An_253245 replied to cs1127's response:
So I am only going by research from another site, though it seems reputable, and plausible as well. Fighting ones partner while asleep has been noted as being a sign of childhood sexual abuse...and noting that many of the fighters mentioned here were males, and likely to not admit or remember it--other sites claim that 1 in 6 males report some form of sexual abuse as children. I would also like to mention the prevalence of these abusers being women (which of course adds into the denial factor--"I wasn't taken advantage of--I enjoyed that babysitter/teacher/neighbor's actions, it was great"). But of course any rational person who knows a twelve year old boy and a thirty year old woman can understand the dynamic--and even if the male did not feel threatened, the thirty old was in the power position, and using the male in ways he could not possibly understand the complexity of. I am in no way suggesting this is the only possibility, but I would like to hear feedback on this possibility in these cases (and new ones of course). I have stumbled upon this website as I am looking for answers and have awoken fighting my partner. Sorry no links but for reference google ("possible indicators of sexual abuse". And "sexual abuse in males, statistics")


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