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    Sleeping Hallucinations
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    LifeSavings posted:
    New user here so forgive me if this is a common topic or theme. I am 22 years old and I was just curious to know if having hallucinations after waking up from sleep is "normal"? A very common theme I seem to be encountering is that I will wake up and see big bugs crawling across my bed. Sometimes a brown Millipede and other times a dark Beetle. Another is waking up and not recognizing where I am sleeping. However, at one point I have "allowed" myself to go beyond merely witnessing a hallucination but to violently partake in one. I remember it quite vividly in that the dream I had involved me and that I needed to protect the house from any intruders. I ended up catching an intruder and I was strangling it to kill it. The disturbing thing was was that in reality I was strangling my cat and after a couple minutes I actually realized it was my cat and not a part of my dream even though the cat was meowing for it's (then) life. I was unable to distinguish between the transition from dream to reality and that sort of terrifies me in that I may end up doing this again to another person, unwillingly.
     
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    t_irongirl00 responded:
    (HI THERE I'M A YOUNGIN TOO...ONLY 20...FEEL LIKE I'M FOURTY THOUGH. ) ARE YOU ON ANY MEDICATION AT ALL?? I KNOW THAT SOME OTC SLEEP AIDS ( DON'T WORK WELL) CAUSE ME TO SEE THINGS SOMETIMES AND MAKE ME REAL DIZZY. IF MY MEMORY IS CORRECT, THE ONLY TIME WE ACT (PHYSICALLY GET UP, SLEEP WALK, NIGHT TERRORS, ETC) IS IN DEEP SLEEP, NOT WHILE WE ARE DREAMING (REM SLEEP). THE BODY PARALYZES ITSELF DURING REM SLEEP SO WE DON'T ACT OUT OUR DREAMS. SO THE CAT INCIDENT WAS PROBABLY A NIGHT TERROR...YOU MAY POSSIBLY HAVE A SLEEPING DISORDER. HAVE YOU SEEN A DOCTOR OR A PSYCH ABOUT THIS???
     
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    LifeSavings responded:
    First of all, please take off the caps. It's irritable to read... Secondly, I have in the past used sleeping pills (Trazodone) coupled with Prozac due to insomnia and depression. However, that was roughly four years ago and at the time I was taking those pills I cannot recall any thing like this happening. I do not believe it to be a night terror as night terrors are (apparently) extremely rare to remember yet I remember it so vividly. I could see and feel what I was doing it's just that nothing was registering to let me know "hey, you're awake and that's your cat". I have not seen a doctor or a phych about it yet but they are becoming more and more frequent in nature so it's something I intend to do in the near future.
     
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    t_irongirl00 responded:
    sorry about the caps...hope this is better... maybe you are having lucid dreams, and not slipping in and out of different conciousness at the right time...there's been times that i was awake but i was paralyzed, couldn't move, speak...very bizzare. then after a few minutes i was fine...like a brain to body message delay...
     
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    strawberrygashes responded:
    I am 22 as well and often have hallucinations.while asleep. then i wake up and think its real. I've had them since i was a kid. i wake up in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep and think there is spiders on me or sometimes bees. I also wake up and see people right in my face. I almost have a hear attack each time because i think its someone in my house there to rob me. mine arent very frequent i would say about once a month. my husband hates it because i wake him up in a panic saying someone is in our house. i read that this happens because of stress before you go to sleep. I'm not sure if thats the case,but its a possibility
     
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    jmgarlow11 responded:
    My husband is 26 and he has this same problem. I remember one night it was horrible, he jumped out of bed screaming (he see's spider's on him) and he was pushing me away for probably 5 seconds then he snapped out of it. This all happened when he was under-going deep emotional stress, but when then subsided so did the incidents. They only happen when he is stressed out, so I would have to agree with you there.
     
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    grammarstickler08 responded:
    I am also young (23), and experience something very similar on a regular basis (anywhere from 3 episodes per month to several times nightly). Typically, if major stress or sleep deprivation is a big issue at the time, everything is more vivid and frightening, and I tend to be much more destructive. Have you been diagnosed with any sort of sleeping disorder, PTSD, depression, or are on any type of medication? I know that even certain narcotic painkillers and barbiturates cause me huge amounts of trouble in that area, as well as specific SSRI's/SNRI's/antidepressants and sleep meds. If that is the case, I'd bring it up to whichever doctor prescribed the medication ASAP, as it could mean a severe reaction. If not, maybe doing some destressing and/or creating a "sleep ritual" for yourself every night to set your subconscious up for more pleasant dreaming may be helpful. If neither is the case, or the aforementioned doesn't give any relief, I would suggest visiting a counselor, maybe a sleep therapist, to see if they've got any helpful insight - it might not be a bad idea, anyway, to help move things along and get you out of this mess more quickly. I truly am sorry you're having to go through this. Being someone that lives with it almost daily, I can understand how upsetting it all can be, and sincerely hope that this has helped in some way, or that you've found something that does. Best of luck to you. Don't be afraid to come back with any new questions - everyone here is here to help!
     
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    Sleepymolly responded:
    What you are describing is not usually defined as a night terror due to 2 things. 1. You are remembering what is happening. 2. You are saying this is occurring closer to morning (?). Night terrors usually occur during the first few hours of the night. They do occur during deep sleep, so there is usually no recognition of your actions during that time nor what you were thinking about during the event. The fact that those aspects are present would lead one to believe it is part of a Hypnogagic Hallucination. These are usually associated with Narcolepsy. However, you are capable of physical movement during these events, which is an important clue. The areas you can look at for possible treatment/testing are: Narcolepsy, REM behavior disorder, or Night Terrors (Deep Sleep related disorders).
     
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    sleep8 responded:
    It sounds like there may be two things you are dealing with. The first thing you are describing is known as hypnagogic (when occuring at sleep onset) hallucinations, and hypnopompic (when occuring upon awakeing) hallucinations, it is often seen in narcolepsy but can be seen occasionally in people who are severely sleep deprived. Narcolepsy also has an onset of late teen years and early 20's.. so I would not rule that out. Normally when having a hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucination you should be experiencing paralysis, which is what makes these 'dreams' so frightening. Which is what leads me to believe you could be dealing with a REM behavior disorder. In normal sleepers muscle atonia occurs during REM. In patients with RBD muscle tone is maintained during REM and often times they act out dreams. Also they have been known to act out violently, flailing the arms, hitting, kicking, yelling..etc. You should really go get a sleep study done so you can be screened for one of these sleep disorders. Especially REM behavior disorder because it can be very dangerous to not only you but others. Hope I helped!
     
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    Mainegirl8 replied to sleep8's response:
    Hello,

    I am so happy I came upon this blog. I have been trying to figure what's wring with me for years. My sleep hallucinations have gotten really bad in the last 2 years. They happen a few times a week and more. I am going to a sleep clinic next week so hopefully they can help. Most of my hallucinations are very traumatic and threatening. I see and hear people in my apartment and they want to kidnap me or harm me. I also see bugs from time to time. I decided to visit a sleep clinic after I almost jumped out a window in my sleep a few times. I have also dialed 911, and often get dressed in my sleep. I feel like I am crazy. I hope that's not the case.

    Thanks!


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