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Night terrors and the morning after

Discussion in 'Sleep & Nightmares' started by Chelcea, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Chelcea

    Chelcea New Member

    I'm having such a tough time with my night terrors. They are what sets the tone for my day. And its usually a "whole day" situation. Its so real and I can see my "unconscious" working.
    After years of therapy only recently are the themes and characters changing. Last night my grandmother (like my mother who died) was in it. She pulled me to her to sit on her lap. That was wild. I've never had a dream with her in it.
    As much as I think I'd be happy. I woke up scared, exhausted, and of course the why did I dream that...
    Can anyone help me with dealing with them and getting through a normal day.
    Missycat likes this.
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  3. Missycat

    Missycat Well-Known Member Donated

    Oh im so sorry you are going through this. I suffer myself so totally understand and how they make us feel , almost take over.
    Doing emdr and trauma therapy has helped me and they have improved/ reduced and my t also suggested something called ‘planned dream intervention’ . There’s info in the internet and you tube. You basically make your own end to the nightmare ... i talked it through with my t a few times and then before i went to bed or when i woke up from a nightmare i would play through my ending either read it or say it aloud. It did work on some occasions and i was able to settle and in many cases get back to sleep.
    Its not a big fix and my t recently suggested i try meds for a while , but i see it as something in my coping strategies tool box that i can call upon.
    Might be worth looking up.
  4. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I’m confused. These sound like nightmares, not night terrors.
    Fadeaway likes this.
  5. Chelcea

    Chelcea New Member

    What is difference?

    I am not a child. And most night terrors happen in children. However weeks at a time, I wake to find myself in a state of panic, clutching my chest, gasping for air, drenched in sweat. And usually yelling something or asking question. The other week I awoke to ask if my mom was alive. I'm going through intense therapy and nightmare night terror either one they suck. I wake feeling horrible
    Physically and mentally. After I have awoken from it then falling right back asleep. What can I do in am to help my mood during day?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2018
  6. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    Most basically / general rule of thumb :

    Night Terrors - You don’t remember them .
    Nightmares - You do.

    Night Terrors get their name by the terror they cause others. (Someone screaming, appearing to be wide awake, but completely unable to be awoken). They’re more closely related to sleep walking, than nightmares.

    Night Terrors? Not only do you not remember them, but usually wake feeling pretty awesome, like you got an amazing night’s sleep. (Only to have the people around you all :eek: OMG, do you know what happened last night?!? It was terrifying! We couldn’t wake you! You just kept screaming and screaming! :eek: // :bored: No way. I feel great. What are you on about?)

    Nightmares, even when you don’t remember them, tend to haunt the next day. Either mentally/emotionally, or waking up all sweaty, bruised, stinking of anger and fear, :wtf: >>> They can also kick off panic attacks / anxiety attacks. Which is what it sounds like you’re dealing with.

    Fadeaway and joeylittle like this.
  7. Elmez

    Elmez New Member

    @Chelcea this forum is a great place to start. Many here have similar experiences. The next day is one of exhaustion for me only will power and coffee get me through. We are with you.
    Chelcea likes this.
  8. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I still can’t figure out what’s going on with me. I experience every aspect of night terrors.....except I am in a state of being somewhat awake. It’s crossed with confusional arousals, but that doesn’t explain it all either. It’s definitely not a nightmare thing. I’ve got a combo disorder lol.
    Chelcea likes this.
  9. Chelcea

    Chelcea New Member

    I'm not a coffee drinker. But like now im still upset or just exhausted? Emotional
  10. LuckiLee

    LuckiLee I'm a VIP

    When I have nightmares or freaky dreams (never on the level the people here have though) I like to look them up online. Whether it's about a person or event. You can google dream interpretations and if you're having a nightmare with water, dogs or any thing else you can find out what it means. You're able to break the dream down to better understand it. Good luck!
  11. lostforgottensoul

    lostforgottensoul I'm a VIP Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Not really. I have night terrors and always have. I sleep walk too and have always done that. The definition of night terrors is just being very active during sleep. Unusually so. Usually connected with sleep walking.

    I will run in my sleep (which almost became deadly when the recliner I sleep in was facing the window. Thank god I hit the frame of the window and didnt run through the window but was close. Had to angle the recliner after that so I ran into my dresser instead), scream crazily, hurt myself with my finger nails, hit or kick or both (have hit people in my sleep, one being a nurse when I was in the hospital with pnumonia that was trying to take my vitals without waking me. Needless to say, my doctor woke me by calling my name from the door the next morning), and the oddest one of them all is I will be walking around for up to 15 mins, eyes open, and talking to those around me looking completely awake but be completely alseep and saying some crazy stuff (whatever I am dreaming about it sounds). And many other crazy active stuff.

    That said, I don't wake up feeling fully rested. Ever really. I don't necessarly remember them but I still don't feel rested. I suspect I also have narcolpsy and that maybe why but I've never felt rested after a very active night.

    My service dog in training helps me out a ton here. He will try to wake me but if he can't I have trained him to come over me and lay there until I am not moving anymore. He also wakes me from nightmares. Very handy for sure! Especially when I was hurting myself in my sleep and getting up running. Helps that he is 80 lbs pure muscle as well. Can't move him if he doesn't want to be moved.

    I also have super vivid dreams (connected I'm sure). I would have bloody murder nightmares that my family was murdered in front of me and wake up at 2am calling those family members thinking it was real. Happened many times in a span of a few months. I also have nightmares of being stabbed and feeling blood down my ears, nose, and mouth and when I wake up I can still feel it for 5 or so mins and run to get something to "clean off the blood" and can't figure out why there isn't any. I've died many times in my dreams and am still alive by the way. I have even dreamed of getting fired and didn't go into work cause I thought I was fired. It's really f*cking annoying if you ask me. I have to sit there for like 15 mins to try to figure out if it actually happened or not. Super f*cking annoying!
  12. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Sounds more like nightmares to night terrors to me too. I have night terrors...they’re not really like dreams...,they are more being active in your sleep with unwanted behaviours. I think, when I am having a night terror that I actually believe something real and terrifying is happening right therecand then. I run, I thrash about, I scream, I’ve hit my partner...and I have no conscious awareness of doing any of that stuff.

    @Friday is right that most people tend not to remember their night terrors. Not always the case though.

    I agree with @lostforgottensoul though, that I don’t generally feel great the next day. I don’t feel well-rested and I have a bit of an emotional hangover that took me years to recognise and understand what it meant. I feel strange the next day...sometimes maybe not until hours into the day. It’s a bit like depression, fear, dread, grief rolled into one...a feeling I can’t quite put my finger on but, after all these years, I recognise it as meaning that I have done something strange in the night. My body seems to hold a memory of the terror of it the next day, even if my brain can’t remember what happened.

    Back to the OP - have you any effective self-soothing tools? Ways that you can reassure yourself, comfort yourself and calm yourself and remind yourself that it is a dream and nothing real in the hear and now and that you are safe?

    Personally, I would actually avoid getting too hung up on trying to find literal meanings behind dreams. I’m not sure it is that helpful to try to find a definitive answer to interpreting dreams.

    Wishing you more peaceful sleeps.
    lostforgottensoul likes this.
  13. Fadeaway

    Fadeaway I'm a VIP Donated

    The only way I know I have night terrors is because my husband tells me. It took a while to realize he wasn't joking.

    Nightmares are the ones that mess me up the next day. I can't just let them go.
    lostforgottensoul likes this.
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