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Sleep Disorders/sleep hallucinations

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Im 23 and I've had what I call Dream Hallucinations. I don't know what else to refer them to. It all started when I was around 15 years old. It started as a black figure. Now what happens is I will be fully asleep ( at least I believe I am) and I'll open my eyes and see whatever it is that I'm seeing that night. I know what going on . I'm so aware that I remember everything down to detail. Every single moment. Now when this happens its only 1 of 3 things I see. A black figure, a black shadow of a snake, and a black shadow of spiders. They're always black. So anyway the first insident was when I was about 15 and I saw the black figure. I never use to get scared of it. I would see it and just stare. Then go back to sleep. It started out at a distance . about 10 feet away, and it was always staticy . like a TV without signal. It happened about 3-4 times a week. At first.. Then started most every night. I got so use to it after awhile that it didn't phase me. But after a year or two I started losing sleep. It slowly got closer and closer to the point I have jumped out of bed very fast and put me in tears. So Ive tried sleep aids.. But none of them worked. I've always had issues falling asleep. At least  2-3 hours to start to dose off. So now I am married and it has been so bad these last few weeks that once again im losing sleep. I'm scared to sleep in fear of it happening because it scares me so bad. My husband is losing sleep just trying to get me back in bed because I run out of bed from things I see. I saw the figure the other night for the FIRST time in color. White male, blonde hair, cuts all over. Scared me so bad I was up for the rest of night and day. I've had my weeks of this happening for so long that its almost apart of me. But I need help. I'm So tired during the day it hard to function. I've never seen a sleep spealist , I believe they'll just give me meds and to be honest I'm weird about taking meds. Is there a reason for the way I dream..anything I can do to stop it. Please help.

Answer
Unfortunately what you have are hypnangogic hallucinations with sleep paralysis.  They also can be symptoms of narcolepsy since its affecting your daytime alertness. Unfortunately you need to go to a sleep center and get an overnight sleep study.  My guess is that you don't have narcolepsy which is the uncontrollable urge to sleep at inappropriate times, but you do have a rem disorder.  rem rapid eye movement, thee are 2 types nrem and rem nrem is when we are just falling asleep our eye are closed but rem is when we are dreaming we are asleep and the eyelids are moving back and forth that is where the glitch is its in your dreaming system.  What you would need is a antidepressant which holds back the dreaming to a point but we all have to dream ,its the way our bodes replenish themselves.  the antidepressents are given in baby doses as they work to hold back the rem.  Sometimes just knowing you are not crazy, the dreams are usually of being chased , or getting something thrown on top of us, bugs and even after its all over. it can scare you so that you will still be checking under the bed to see if the monsters are there.Now the worse thing one can do is touch you or shake you when this happens as then it pulls you out of it but will only happen again when you go back to sleep.  The person sleeping next to you should just simply call your name out over and over and so so and so its me, you are allright, open your eyes, and constantly repeat your name when we hear our name called it somehow pulls us out of it.  Also I suggest 3 hours before bedtime you stay away from the following alcohol, chocolate, exercise, computer, caffeine, caramel colored soda especially coke, pepsi, and gingerale.  All these make for restless sleep. 30 minutes before bedtime take a hot bath and place the palms of your hands under the water, palms up, latest research in john Hopkins is when this is done it sends waves to the brain to tell you to get ready and relax for bed.  Now the most important thing is 15 minutes before you go to bed drink a 8ounce glass of plain warm milk. Milk when heated contains tryptophan a natural amino acid inducer which also makes for a deeper, quieter sleep.  Try this for about a month and see if the episodes lesson.  Sometimes just knowing its natural phenomenon when this happens helps the person having them to know they are not going crazy.  If it still persist then you must see a sleep center and be evaluated. feel free to email again. Karel.also if at all possible have your boyfriend when this happens say to you your name and move your eyes from right to left this instantly breaks the pattern.  

Sleep Disorders

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Karel Sleis

Expertise

all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms

Experience

i have narcolepsy since age l6

Organizations
past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
member of narcolepsy network

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