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screaming in my sleep
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#1 emlis22

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

Not really sure if this is the right place to ask, but I have to start somewhere.

About 3 years ago when I moved into a new house I started waking up in the middle of the night, thinking that somebody was standing over me. It was terrifying, and I used to jump out of bed and turn the light on in a panic.

When I got together with my DP, the same thing happened when I stayed at his house (so I don't think its just that house IYKWIM). One night, I screamed so loudly that I woke up his housemate in the other end of the house, and my DP jumped over me, swinging punches thinking somebody was there.

Now we've moved into our own home, and it's still happening. Sometimes I'm calm about it, sometimes I will just gasp and maybe mumble a few things, like NO!, and others, like last night, I let out a piercing scream. But it's ALWAYS the same scenario of somebody standing over me.

I'm at my wits end, and my DP is getting frustrated as well. I don't know where to start. My mum is quite spiritual and has offered to get someone in to cleanse the house - but given that it's happened at 3 places, I don't know if that will help.

Should I start with the GP? Has anyone had any similar experiences? I can't put it down to a trauma of any kind either if that's what you're thinking.

TIA.

ETA: this is happening 5 nights of the week, not just every now and then.

Edited by emlis22, 26 November 2012 - 01:16 PM.


#2 Escapin

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:34 AM

It sounds awful. I would talk to you GP and get a referral to a sleep specialist. They might want to do a sleep study or be able to suggest some options to help. Good luck, you must be exhausted.

#3 Riotproof

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:36 AM

You poor thing, that sounds dreadful.

Have you tried looking up meanings of elements of the dream?

like
Sleeping
To dream that you are sleeping denotes peace of mind. Alternatively, it means that you are ignorant of the conditions and circumstances around you. If you are sleeping with a stranger, then it suggests that you are avoiding some issue or situation that is being symbolized by the stranger. Perhaps you are refusing to recognize a negative or hidden aspect of yourself. Sleeping may also be synonymous with death in that it beckons renewal and new beginnings.

Stranger
To see a stranger in your dream signifies a part of yourself that is repressed and hidden. Alternatively, it symbolizes the archetypal dream helper who is offering you insight and advice.

Scared
To dream that you are scared indicates that you are experiencing feelings of self-doubt, incompetence, and lack of control in your waking life. Perhaps you are having second thoughts about a decision you have made. Anger often masquerades as fear, so also consider issues about which you are angry about in your waking life.

From here http://dreammoods.com

#4 Feral Becky

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:37 AM

Do you know what I think it is? Panic attacks when you sleep. Discuss it with the doc, a small dose of anti-depressants might work wonders.This happened to me, not so much the thought of someone being over me, but the gasping. Happened every night and a few times a night and i know it makes you scared to go to sleep.
Otherwise with the gasping look at sleep apnoea.

Please don't wast your money on spiritual cleansing.

#5 PrincessPeach

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

Think a trip to the GP might be in order, but i'd be inclined to take your mum up on her offer first. It will be the least invasive I think.

My dad has diagnosed PTSD (courtesy of the vietnam war) & he constantly calls out in his sleep. It is also increadibly possible that you don't remember the traumatic event that causes your night terrors - the human brain will block out a traumatic event in order for "protection".



#6 qak

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

It does sound awful, especially as it is so often.

When I get stressed, and even when I get overheated in bed, I get bad dreams, and will call out.

#7 ~Jot~

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE (Riotproof @ 26/11/2012, 08:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You poor thing, that sounds dreadful.

Have you tried looking up meanings of elements of the dream?

like
Sleeping
To dream that you are sleeping denotes peace of mind. Alternatively, it means that you are ignorant of the conditions and circumstances around you. If you are sleeping with a stranger, then it suggests that you are avoiding some issue or situation that is being symbolized by the stranger. Perhaps you are refusing to recognize a negative or hidden aspect of yourself. Sleeping may also be synonymous with death in that it beckons renewal and new beginnings.

Stranger
To see a stranger in your dream signifies a part of yourself that is repressed and hidden. Alternatively, it symbolizes the archetypal dream helper who is offering you insight and advice.

Scared
To dream that you are scared indicates that you are experiencing feelings of self-doubt, incompetence, and lack of control in your waking life. Perhaps you are having second thoughts about a decision you have made. Anger often masquerades as fear, so also consider issues about which you are angry about in your waking life.

From here http://dreammoods.com

Wow interesting!

I just wanted to say, I know how you feel OP. I have the same problem. Usually it's pretty rare, once a month or so, but it's been every night for the past week! I don't scream loudly, I gasp or yell NO or give a little yelp. Sometimes I'll take a swing at the 'shadow' But I have a very clear dream of someone coming into the room and leaning over me before I wake up. I think the pregnancy hormones are amping up the dreams right now.

Edited by ~Jot~, 26 November 2012 - 10:50 AM.


#8 Magnus

Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

I think you should start with your GP too. It sounds like it could be night terrors, or another sleep issue, so you could get referred to a sleep lab.

Or it could be a psychological issue like anxiety or trauma that is interfering with your sleep.

#9 CherryAmes

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:06 AM

Maybe google "sleep paralysis". I've had a few times where I've been awake but unable to move and feel as though someone is pressing on my chest. It's where the paralysis part of sleeping stays but you're awake - apparently it's the origin of all sorts of mythology. It can be in isolation or related to other sleeping issues, so maybe chat to your GP about it.

#10 emlis22

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

Thank you all for the responses so far. Yes, it's terribly exhausting, and given I share a bed, it's not just me who is waking up night after night.

I've managed to get an appt with the GP for this afternoon, so I hopefully make a start on this!

#11 danielle1985

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:25 AM

I have similar where I might sometimes sleepwalk and sometimes not. It gets significantly more frequent when I am stressed. Like you I don't have any significant trauma in my life.

I have even had an similar story. I was asleep in bed and woke thinking there was someone under my bed and in my cupboard and they were going to hurt me. I woke screaming (apparently like I was being murdered, which in context makes sense). I attempted to run and my husband (bless him) grabbed me, not knowing what was happening. Of course it made it worse and I bolted from the room. My cousin who was asleep in the next room, woke and managed to restrain me until I woke up properly. I was at the front door... I dread to think what would have happened if he wasn't there.

There is also a phenomenon where you might hear a noise outside (as an example) and you effectively half wake up but your body is still asleep (called sleep paralysis) your brain then comes up with a story to explain the noise (it is a theory behind a lot of alien abduction stories when people think they have been taken from their beds).

A GP would be a good start I think.

#12 Flaxen

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

I sleep talk, have for years, and also suffer nightmares from which i wake screaming, never the exact same thing though. DH is used to it now, and the accidental punching him in the night  ph34r.gif
While pregnant though, I was having the worst nightmares of my life, sometimes would wake up after the worst dream ever and refuse to go back to sleep i was that upset by it. After i had DD they were still with me while i was having the hormonal night sweats (which were horrible in thier own right), but after those subsided so did the nightmares, and now i only have bad dreams 2-3 times a month.

I would try going to a counsellor that has experience in dealing with dreams, talking about the feeling accociated with the dreams and perhaps what your routines are prior to these episodes. A friend found this to be very helpful, and i was going to do it too but never got around to it.....  unsure.gif

#13 kittennic

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

OP I have a similar problem. The 'dreams' are so incredibly realistic. I see people, shadows, I sense incredible danger. I'm out of bed and into the hallway before I've even realised it. Sometimes I've started laying into poor sleeping DH thinking he was someone else. Once I ran and grabbed DS2 out of his bed and sat crouching in the hall with him, with my doona round us, trying to keep us safe. It's really truly terrifying. It has only happened in our current bedroom, fairly frequently over about the last 5 years. When I sleep in the lounge or in the boys' room it hasn't (yet) happened. I don't usually shout, but the terror is there.

#14 Neeily

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:45 AM

All the women on my mothers side of the family do this, except for me! We've never gotten to the bottom of it but it does really sound scary when you're asleep in another room and hear someone start to scream! They say they're dreaming of someone standing over them.

Good luck at the doctors!

#15 ~Jot~

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (emlis22 @ 26/11/2012, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you all for the responses so far. Yes, it's terribly exhausting, and given I share a bed, it's not just me who is waking up night after night.

I've managed to get an appt with the GP for this afternoon, so I hopefully make a start on this!

Please let us know how you get on OP, I'd be interested to hear what the GP says.

#16 emlis22

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:16 PM

OK so I've been to the GP and as a starting point I have been prescribed a low dose of anti-anxiety medication for night use only.

He mentioned a few things, asked whether I am happy during the day (he knows that depression is in my immediate family), stress related etc and mentioned a few things we can do if the meds don't work, including a brain scan to look for any tumors.

I'm not loving the idea of being on presciption meds, but if it helps, it helps.

#17 starsg

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:53 AM


There was an ep of Embarrassing Bodies on awhile ago (you might be able to find the segment on YouTube) where a guy had similar issues and his gf was getting quite frustrated!

He went for a sleep study and it turned out that he was having night terrors, and in his case they were caused by frustrations/subconscious fears that he wasn't dealing with during the day which were then coming out at night. He started seeing a psychologist and I believe he had quite a drastic improvement . If things don't improve I would be inclined to request a sleep study to ascertain what may be causing the episodes, and whether it is physiological or psychological or a combination. Hopefully the anti anxiety meds work but if you're not super keen on staying on them long term I would be looking into it further original.gif

#18 MrsBouquet

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

Sounds like sleep paralysis to me too, especially the part of someone or a shadow type thing lurking over you. I have had them all my life. They are terrifying, but harmless.




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