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Injuring In Your Sleep

Discussion in 'Sleep & Nightmares' started by itsKismet, Feb 20, 2011.

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  1. itsKismet

    itsKismet I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Hi all,

    I am wondering if anyone else experiences this.

    I often injure in my sleep. I wake up with bruises on my arms and legs, ripped clothing, and scratches all over my body. The only way I know I've injured in my sleep is by the evidence that I see when I wake up. I never wake up in the act of injuring, nor is my injuring accompanied by nightmares.

    Right now its pretty bad. My stomach is torn raw. I have cut my nails super short so that i don't tear myself up anymore while I sleep.

    Someone suggested that these may be night terrors? I've had other forms of night terrors before, but those were different in that I remembered them and I didn't injure during them.

    I don't even know how to go about stopping this! I am seeing a sleep specialist, but didn't mention to her that I am experiencing this during my sleep as my prominent symptom at the time was insomnia and I was mainly concerned with getting that under control. Now that my insomnia has improved, my nighttime injuring has gotten worse!


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  3. way_back_when

    way_back_when Active Member

    I haven't injured in my sleep in that way, but I have woken up with a sprained ankle, aching muscles, etc. I'm glad your insomnia has improved and I hope you can talk with someone professional who might be able to help you get good sleep and a calmer sleep.

  4. Vee Lagrome

    Vee Lagrome Active Member

    I do this occasionally when I've been feeling particularly distressed, and it seems to be worse when I've gotten into a significant argument with someone close to me. I actually sprained my wrist in my sleep when I punched the end table. I found out what happened because the sound woke up my husband and the pain woke me up. I don't exactly know how to stop it either. I try to de-stress as much as I can before bed and will take a bubble bath or try some aromatherapy, or if it's my husband who I'm having the argument with, I'll de-stress and sleep separately. This seems to help me, but I don't do it nearly as regularly as you seem to do.
    If you find something else out though, would you please share? I am not entirely sure what to do about it either... my wrist still clicks from that one incident...
  5. shadowchaser

    shadowchaser Well-Known Member

    Many people do this. Don't know the number that do on this site but I do know it's not uncommon when someone has a traumatic experience for this to happen
  6. Jestadud

    Jestadud Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Don't think it's a good idea to withhold information from any specialist you are seeing.
  7. itsKismet

    itsKismet I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I never said I was withholding info from my specialist. You go for MONTHS with getting only an hour or two of sleep a night and see how coherent you are! In addition, at the time it was not a symptom I was experiencing. Since my appointment this symptom has resurfaced.
  8. Jestadud

    Jestadud Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Take it easy SOL I'm not wanting a slanging match, have gone back and reread the post but it still seems the same to me. As you suggest maybe you haven't described it as you meant to ( I'm the worlds worst for that ) or maybe it's me just not taking it in correctly, whatever it is I don't want to get picky about it.

    By the way I don't know why you assume I have had no sleep problems of my own, I'll put that down to tiredness as well.
  9. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    I've injured others, and myself even, by having a sore fist from hitting the bedside table, all without even waking or knowing until morning and being told.
  10. seedling

    seedling I'm a VIP

    I wear wrist splints at night for because I twist my hands and wrists painfully if I don't . It was giving me carpal tunnel syndrome. I did't wake up when I did this. My wrists are good now but I must still clench up because my elbows and forearms are always sore. Not sure if I'm up for full arm splints!
    It felt weird to go to the doctor and tell him I was injuring myself in my sleep but wasn't aware of it. He was great and came up with a solution.
    I have had a few times when I've taken the splints off in the middle of the night without knowing it. Fortunately not often.

    Tell your sleep specialist, maybe there is some way you can limit the painful damage.
    anthony likes this.
  11. Grace11

    Grace11 Active Member

    I had to bandage my face up for a while and get rid of long fingernails because I would scratch at my wounds on my face in my sleep. It typically occurred when I was under a lot of stress. I would wake up to a bloody gash on my nose where I scab was finally healing or even wake up in the midst of doing it in my sleep. It took 4 mos to heal a wound that could have healed in a few weeks. I don't consider it too strange, though, having done other things in my sleep - like scratching healing bug bites - my whole life.
  12. JadeBear

    JadeBear I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I have had to do that also seedling. I kept spraining my wrists in my sleep and had to wear the splints for probably 6 months straight. I still have to wear them sometimes, but it's not as bad as before.
  13. LawPhotos

    LawPhotos Life in the Blender

    I also do the scratching in my sleep. For years I have woken up with scratches on my back and sides and occasionally on my stomach--some of them deep enough to scar. I sometimes wonder what contortions I must go through to scratch the areas on my back the way I do. It has just been recently that I will wake up with bruises--some in strange places. In the past year I sometimes wake up and the entire bed is stripped--even the bottom fitted sheet is off. These injuring times don't necessarily correspond to nights when I have bad nightmares--at least ones that I remember.
  14. Srain

    Srain "Please don't tell me not to cry."
    Premium Member

    I'm so sorry to read this :( :( :( I get night terrors but I have the kind where I get paralyzed so I feel like I'm thrashing around and screaming but I'm not. I've seen videos of what you all are describing and my heart goes out to you. It must be horrible to wake to such physical trauma. I've read quite a bit about it and yes, you can lose conscious Memory of them happening and have fear of going to sleep, as I have had quite a bit in the past.

    I try to keep from going into the deep REM sleep and abort night terrors, that seems to help, also having an actual night light was a help. I read that on a study but everyone is different on how deep they go into them, especially if they haven't had sleep in a long time.

  15. Incendiu

    Incendiu Active Member

    I do it, It is better now but when I was younger I had lots of bruises and my bedsheets was all ripped..and my teddys. Some nights I even walked in my sleep ripping my sisters pillows. The worst time was the night I wake ut with a knife to my wrist, that was when I was about 12-13 years old. First then I became realy afraid for sleeping. Most of the time now days I just mumble, talk or scream, tossing, sometimes I'm sitting i my bed. I still get bruises and ripp sheets and pillows..but not as often. My partner often notice when I begin and wake me up, calm me down "It's just a dream" . For me it's not just a dream, but his words works for me.

    I also is diagnosed with carpal tunel I twist my hands and wrists. I still manage to do it even if I have a splint. at least I still wake up with a numb almost paralyzed lower arm and hand.
  16. itsKismet

    itsKismet I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Jestadud, stop being an ASS!

    I had my six month checkup with my sleep dr and she told me it's a type of Parasomnia. I'm to keep a journal of when I notice the injuries and possible stressors.
  17. Arctic

    Arctic Active Member


    I've been doing this for over a year. Often when i wae up thinking i had a great night sleep are the nights I wake up with the most burises. Its expected under the circumstances.
  18. redflashlight

    redflashlight Member

    I've dealt with these night injury issues. I mostly wake up to having scratched myself raw on my belly, sides and back. This tends to happen during times when I'm more stressed out. I do have tendencies toward skin picking and self-injury in the day time.
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