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Screaming In A Dream, Can You Do It?

Discussion in 'Sleep & Nightmares' started by Simply Simon, Jun 7, 2011.

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  1. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    I usually can't scream in nightmares. I try, but it always comes out as a faint whine, and I'm pretty sure that the whining noise is the sound I am actually making while asleep. Sometimes I whine loudly enough that I wake myself up, but it is so disconcerting that I can't scream in my dreams.

    Sometimes I try screaming into a pillow every once in a while to make sure I can still do it, because when I think about potentially dangerous situations, my mind goes back to my voicelessness in dreams, and I panic in thinking perhaps I really won't be able to scream. I try to yell for help in the dreams, but hardly any sound comes out.

    Does anyone else experience this?
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  3. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior
    Premium Member

    I once had to be sedated because I was cursing, hitting, kicking and screaming in my sleep. I even hit my partner without realizing it. Usually though a scream in a dream or nightmare will come out like a silly sounding croak.

    Anyway, there are times when I can't scream and I wake up with a voiceless scream, which is a lot like crying with no sound coming out. It is really disturbing to me not to be able to scream in my dreams. I guess when I was being traumatized I wanted to scream but couldn't and so it makes sense to me that I need to scream sometimes in my dreams. Sorry If I am rambling, I hope I answered your question.
    Simply Simon likes this.
  4. Reclusive

    Reclusive I'm a VIP

    Yes, absolutely. I lost my voice once for 2 weeks and could only make these scratchy squeaky noises. That's what my screaming and yelling sounds like in my dreams. I know I've only woken myself up once with the dream screaming, but I just woke up, no external reaction or re-enacting or anything. And my hunny can't tell the difference between nightmares and regular dreaming, so I'm pretty sure I don't lash out or scream or cry or anything like that. It might be healthier if I did.
    Simply Simon likes this.
  5. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    Aghhh I'm glad I'm not alone, sorry that others experience this at the same time.

    One time I sent a text message asking for help in a dream, but by the time my phone started ringing, I was already surrounded by enemies and being bound.

    There was another time where I called 911 in a dream. The operator said, "Sorry, but we can't help you" and hung up.

    My T said that if I concentrate on some visuals before I sleep where I can give myself a way out of the dream (such as a rope hanging from the sky or a staircase or something), I may be able to make it happen in my dreams. I've been falling asleep envisioning myself with wings recently, but it hasn't happened yet.

    I wonder if I gave myself some way to summon help if it would work. Though, thankfully, multiple times in my dreams in the past months, B has saved me in my dreams, even if I can't talk or scream or otherwise signal him. Let's hope that keeps up in the future.

    Then again, maybe I should be focusing on saving myself.
    Crl1983 likes this.
  6. Muzikluvr

    Muzikluvr No one can hear your thoughts.
    Premium Member

    During the OJ Simpson trial, my husband and I were staying at a hotel and I saw OJ coming at me with a knife in my dream. I screamed really loud. I woke up screaming. My husband held me, and looked toward the door thinking someone might come and check on us! People don't do that though. He tried to help me laugh it off after he asked if I was okay. I was shaking afterward, cold and crying. It took a while to settle back into sleep. I guess I was watching a little too much court tv! I didn't see it all, I must have quit watching after this incident. I remember thinking "Why couldn't I scream like that when I was really in trouble?"
    Simply Simon likes this.
  7. Reclusive

    Reclusive I'm a VIP

    I would definitely focus on saving yourself, Sunshine. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but you don't know how things will go with B in the future.
  8. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    No Debby-Down-ness to it, Reclusive. I also don't want to reinforce that I need someone else to save me, as that is a complex of mine.
  9. njray

    njray Well-Known Member


    I recollect after my trauma I could not speak in my dreams/nightmares. Because i was feeling guilty of myself I did not yell to persons with in earshot around me to call the police or even seek assistance from someone that drove by the incident and saw it and asked me if I needed help..(I was not trained properly as a youngster on how to ask for help appropriately I was trained to just accept things as they are and "Deal with it")...Hence not being able to summon for help during these reoccurring dreams would haunt me so bad i did not sleep but winks at a time as I was afraid I might not be able to call out if i was to be attacked again.........

    My T reminded if not for my ability to speak/negotiate the outcome could have been worse In the attack........ at least now I get 3-4 hrs of sleep..... and although I do not yell in my nightmares I sometimes am able to negotiate my way out of situations in my dreams....... I might suggest those defensive classes for you again we chatted about not to long ago.....Hmph
  10. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    Yeah. Who cares if I can scream or not if I am trained to flip someone into a wall instead. :D
    hazen, KP the nut and njray like this.
  11. KP the nut

    KP the nut Tigger is back!!!!!
    Premium Member

    In my nightmares I always end up screaming but in reality it is usually a shout or an Aaaaaaarrrggghh. It is usually loud enough to wake my Husband (good thing he has a strong heart :inlove:). Prior to waking I will be fighting, yelping, twitching and mumbling - not a good look me thinks.

    I am having a lot more nightmares recently. In the past 2 weeks I seem to go from one to another, each more vile than the last. The one common thread is that I am in mortal danger, trapped and unable to escape.
  12. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    KP, what are you doing in my dreams? :cautious:
    Really, though, welcome to my nightlife. :p
    KP the nut likes this.
  13. freakofnurture

    freakofnurture Well-Known Member

    I scream a lot in my dreams; not 'Argh' but 'Leave me alone', 'I hate you', 'Stop ignoring how I feel' and all the other things I should have yelled at my p*rents and extended f*mily when I was little. They still don't hear me or take me seriously, though. Instead they follow me around and smother me with attention to everything but the pain they're causing me - so I might as well be mute. It's incredibly frustrating and I feel unbearably desparate, overwhelmed and suicidal in those dreams.

    I don't know if I actually yell in my sleep but I doubt it. I have pretty strong sleep paralysis, apparently and it's often incorporated in my dreams instead of the other way round.
    Srain likes this.
  14. hazen

    hazen Cat Man

    I can't scream in my dreams. Have never been able to do it.

    Luckily I don't often have nightmares, but the ones I have had have been memorable, and I can't make a sound. One nightmare involved me creating an elaborate plan to escape a jail, only to get caught, and then I went outside of myself and watched the guards beat me to death, and I couldn't make a noise no matter how hard I tried. Ugh.

    That one stuck with me. Ah, childhood...

    I agree with njray. Defensive classes!
  15. SimplyComplex

    SimplyComplex Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    In dreams I used to scream but no sound would come out (I don't know about in my sleep, but nothing would come out in my dreams, I was voiceless, which happens when I am terrified awake too).

    I would also try to hit and it would be like trying to fight back under water. I assumed both were from sleep paralysis but after learning to box, going to therapy I can now actually hit in my dreams. I have way fewer bad dreams as long as I write and talk in therapy enough. So I haven't found out if I can scream in my dreams now.
    Crl1983 likes this.
  16. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    Me too. : (

    Yes! Yes. I am afraid to fight back if someone tries to hurt me, because I am so scared that, as in my dreams, my fists will just fall like fluffy pillows against them.
  17. LawPhotos

    LawPhotos Life in the Blender

    Wow! I never thought about it before but in my nightmares I often am trying repeatedly with everything I have within me to scream and it just comes out as a little airy nothing. I don't know if I am actually doing it in my sleep.
    If it isn't the lip-synching scream then I am often so incredulous and disbelieving of what is happening to me that I can't speak or react at all. Like I am stunned into silence watching my mother cut me (much more graphic but we'll leave it out)--a recurring one for me--I am just so shocked in my nightmare that I can't speak. I am in disbelief that she has finally killed me after all this time. It's like the guy in the movies who gets shot or whatever and is just so stunned that he just staggers a bit and collapses without really reacting.
    I seriously believed as a child that my mother would go too far one day and kill me. I knew that there would come a day when it would happen. I guess I am just finishing myself off.
  18. Sethe

    Sethe I'm a VIP

    I have screamed in dreams. I woke up 'screaming' once, but it was kind of like a cross between a whisper and a moan.
  19. freakofnurture

    freakofnurture Well-Known Member

    I wonder if it has to do with sleep paralysis and the brain being too aware of how your body actually feels while your consciousness is experiencing a dream.

    You know, I often sleep with my eyes open and sometimes what my eyes see is incorporated into the dream my consciousness is having. I think those dreams where you can't really use your arms and legs because they're so heavy and limp (I experience this quite regularly in neutral dreams, too) might be just the same phenomenon, just not with visuals but with the feedback from your paralysed muscles. The chest and throat muscles that you'd need to activate for a scream are just as out of reach for your voluntary orders to move as is the rest of your body.
  20. hazen

    hazen Cat Man

    This happens to me as well and has always been a recurring theme of my dreams. My punches slow down to a crawl as if underwater, and any time I have had a gun I can't pull the trigger no matter how hard I try.

    And yes freakofnuture I have heard the same thing about sleep paralysis... you literally just CAN'T do some things when asleep and your brain isn't able to move your body. But I don't remember if that applies to your whole body while sleeping, and of course there are people that sleepwalk and what not... is it only in certain stages of sleep that the paralysis occurs?
  21. freakofnurture

    freakofnurture Well-Known Member

    It's only during REM sleep, when dreams occur. Only your eyes move then. Sleep paralysis is necessary to keep you from acting out all the movements in your dreams (most of the brain can't tell the difference between reality, dream and imagination).

    Sleep walkers lack paralysis. That's why they walk around sometimes during REM sleep; they can even appear to be awake and lucid, in extreme cases they can complete tasks, etc. and later not remember (in general you only remember dreams during which you wake up).
  22. Sethe

    Sethe I'm a VIP

    I incorporate outside sounds into my dreams. I guess part of me is always listening- alert. It's getting to the point that I know what happened outside of me when I wake up.
  23. Sethe

    Sethe I'm a VIP

    I used to kick my ex in my sleep a lot. He'd get angry about it, but then again he was angry and sulky about everything I did because I didn't do it 'right.' I do get a giggle that I used to kick him. He deserved it so much.

    For the record, I do not kick my current bf in my sleep or at all (not that I ever physically hurt my ex despite what he did to me). Maybe my body was expressing itself in the safest way it knew how? I don't know.
  24. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    I used to sleepwalk a lot as a child. Someone told me that this was common for PTSD in children along with night terrors, which I also had and often didn't remember anything from. My sister would tell me in the morning (when I was maybe 6) that she heard me screaming and ran to my room, and I would sit up and say a couple of words, and then I would be back to sleep without a beat in between.

    Sleepwalking was more extreme. I apparently once tried to leave the house. I walked downstairs and upstairs. Never remembered a thing.
  25. jasmin

    jasmin Active Member

    I think I used to sleep walk and/or have night terrors as a kid.. but there were no witnesses and my recollections of the period are hazy and jumbled so I can;t say for sure.

    I used to have horrible nightmares in my teens where I was running from something but I couldn't operate my legs so I would always get caught.. haven't had nightmares like that in a long while though. Now my nightmares are more sensory based, like normally I wouldn't be scared by it but certain sounds smells and feelings make it particularly terrifying. Then I have brutal violent dreams that don't scare me at all.

    I have woken up crying or screaming numerous times though but not that often.. sometimes as a whisper or a whine and sometimes a full blown wailing scream...Though I can never remember why.
    The other night when a stolen car crashed through our yard and stalled in front of my bedroom window, I heard the loud crashing sound while I was in dream state and yelled out 'Holy f*cking christ, shit f*ck f*ck' I don't know what I thought had happened but it was something REALLY bad like a huge catastrophic accident of epic proportions.
  26. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    I used to have dreams where this was the case in my childhood. In more recent dreams, a frequent occurrence is being bound invisibly, feelings hands all over me but I can't see them, often hearing my brother's voice in surround sound.
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