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Joe90
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13 Feb 2011, 7:13 am

I really don't know why I am doing this lately. I don't have any trouble getting to sleep or waking up, and I enjoy sleep because I love escaping from life for 8 hours a night. But lately, about once a night, I keep waking up from a deep sleep and, still half asleep, I find myself feeling around for something what's not there, then slowly I begin to wake up more and more, until I suddenly think, ''wait, what the hell am I doing?'' And I get back into bed and go back to sleep. At least I remember doing this, so it is not sleep-walking, and I never have been prone to sleep-walking anyway. I bloody hope I don't start something like that!! !!

But here's what I have done 2 nights in a row. (It is starting to worry me):-
I've half woken up thinking there is, say, something like a balloon floating about in my room, and I have to go and get it. So I quickly jump out of bed, and trying stretching my arm towards the ceiling to try to grab it. But because there's nothing there, and my mind still thinks there is (since I'm still half-asleep), I panic because I have to get this balloon down, and I have accidentally knocked some books off my shelf - which made me jump so much that I woken up properly and quickly realised that there is no balloon, and I get back into bed and fallen asleep.

And on the second night, I done a similar thing. I half woken up thinking there's a wire moving about, joined from a socket in the wall to somewhere in the ceiling, and I was worrying about it knocking some of my ornaments over. So I quickly got out of bed and started taking all of my ornaments down, then after taking about 3 down, I realised what I was doing, and put them back on the shelf and got into bed, feeling annoyed with myself again.

What the hell is this about, and what is causing me to do these strange things? I told my mum, and she says that it's not that bad if I can remember that I was doing it, in the morning (which I always do). But I still want to know what it is. I've tried googling it but it doesn't seem to come up with anything relevant. I thought it was just something old people do when they're ill with things like Dementia, but it can't be because I'm not old and I don't have Dementia.

Does anyone else get this?

(ps, I think my past, present and future tense had got a bit muddled when I was writing)


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mgran
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13 Feb 2011, 11:48 am

Are you on new meds?

It sounds as though, when you get to the REM part of your sleep, when you're dreaming, that you're waking up a little bit too much, and are having "hypnagogic" hallucinations, which are quite common apparently, among people with no mental health disorders as well as those with. So, don't worry, they don't class as "real" hallucinations.

It sounds like your "dream architecture" is fragmented at one point of your sleeping pattern. You need to talk to a psychiatrist about how to get your sleeping back to normal. But don't worry too much.



Joe90
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13 Feb 2011, 12:18 pm

mgran wrote:
Are you on new meds?

It sounds as though, when you get to the REM part of your sleep, when you're dreaming, that you're waking up a little bit too much, and are having "hypnagogic" hallucinations, which are quite common apparently, among people with no mental health disorders as well as those with. So, don't worry, they don't class as "real" hallucinations.

It sounds like your "dream architecture" is fragmented at one point of your sleeping pattern. You need to talk to a psychiatrist about how to get your sleeping back to normal. But don't worry too much.


Yes, thanks.
I'm not on new meds or anything, and this also isn't a regular thing, so it doesn't happen at certain times of the menstrual cycle. It happens on random nights.
I'm also wondering if it's to do with depression. I'm not depressed exactly, but I have a very high anxiety disorder, and so I am wondering if it might be to do with being anxious, which might be affecting my sleep.


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merrymadscientist
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13 Feb 2011, 4:18 pm

I get something similar and I think it is somewhat stress related. I am really sensitive to hearing other people's noise in my flat and I go through phases where I don't care too much about it and others where I become hypersensitive. Frequently in the hypersensitive phases I have dreams where I wake up in bed and either shout at someone to be quiet, or get up and open my front door and tell people to be quiet, or even just walk around in my flat. These are very realistic and I can't be 100% sure that they aren't real, but often there are little clues such as the position of things in my flat being distorted, or flashing disco lights in the corridor (once there was a ghostly like lady that I explained away as a hallucination in my dream), that give away that it must have been a dream. Often I get more than one of these dreams consecutively - once rewaking into a new dream of waking up in bed 4-5 times in sequence. I don't know whether they are triggered by hearing noises externally whilst asleep or are just random.

I think my REM sleep is slightly abnormal and crosses over into reality more than most people's does. I frequently wake up having had a dream which is more like a normal thought process than a dream with events - i.e. I have been thinking about something as I do normally, but when I wake up the subject matter is so esoteric and often completely illogical that I know I was thinking it whilst asleep. Recently I have been woken up by my alarm several times, on days when my alarm was off and at times it wouldn't go off anyway (the first time this happened it was only 5 minutes after my alarm normally went off and I woke up from the dream it had intruded into and put my arm out to silence it before I realised it wasn't actually going off. Annoying when you want a lie in!

I don't worry about these things though because they don't really bother me. The actual noise is far more bothersome than the effect it seems to have on my dreams. As these things have happened only since I came off antipsychotics after being depressed/paranoid, my hypothesis is that either the depression or the medication slightly damaged my brain and as a result I have more connection between the conscious and subconscious than I used to do and than most people do. Not only does reality slip into my dreams very often, but whilst fully conscious, particularly if partially sensory deprived in bed, I can sometimes 'hear' what my subconscious is up to (random fragments of thought and conversation that disappear whenever I focus on them). It is just the brain sorting through the events of the day.

I don't know if it might one day develop into something more serious, but I'm not going to waste time worrying about it - occasionally when very stressed about noise and fully wide awake I have started to 'hear' my neighbors talking or TV inside background noise (e.g. tap running), and only realise by turning the tap or whatever on and off that in fact it is basically my brain converting the background noise into what it is expecting to hear in it's stressed state. It is just irritating rather than anything else and a reflection of the stress rather than anything bad in its own right. Maybe if I was really stressed it would get worse, but only because my mood would get worse, and I already try to avoid stress as much as I can - that is the best thing to do unless things like this are really taking over your life.



Joe90
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14 Feb 2011, 10:52 am

I'm not really letting the worry take over my life - I am just very curious.

But yesterday my uncle told me that he got out of bed in the middle of the night and saw the moonlight shining brightly through the landing, and he thought that was his girlfriend in the bathroom with the light on (his girlfriend wasn't there that night). And he crept out into the landing to the bathroom to see what she was doing in the bathroom, and said, ''come to bed!'' But then he realised he was still dreaming whilst awake, and he felt ridiculous, and got back into bed. So what I do in the middle of the night can be that abnormal, because other people do these sorts of things in the night too. My Nan even said she used to find her lamp was switched on in the morning, and she had remembered switching it off before going to sleep. But she said she was going through a really tough time with lots of serious family issues going on at once, which might have explained the reason why she kept turning her lamp on in her sleep.

But I have made sure that all of the type of stuff what are likely to fall right over by just being gently touched are put to the back of the shelf where they can't be knocked by me in the night.


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mgran
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14 Feb 2011, 12:14 pm

Sounds like you're being very sensible about this Joe... Hope your sleep settles down soon.