Nightmares during naps

Charbella

Confident
I rarely have dreams at night, at least not that I can remember, however I do have dreams when I’m semi-napping. Anyone else get these?

They’re always super disturbing and I wake up in a complete panic even though I was in the almost awake sleep. Ya know the kind where you’re still aware of the TV or other things going on but your also asleep. I also get the whole body jumping just as I’m drifting off sometimes.

I had one today about my mom and it was horrible! I woke up unable to take a breath right away my heart racing. It seemed so real even though there is no way I would’ve responded the way I did in the dream.
 

12birds

Confident
How are you sleeping at night? I've heard that nap nightmares may be linked to sleep deprivation. Have there been any big changes to your routine?
 

Charbella

Confident
No changes to routine, but sleep deprivation at this point is more a way of life. I’m on summer break so a month ago my routine changed to not working but nothing more recent.

I’m not having frequent nightmares nor naps but I noticed the pattern so I wondered if others experienced the same.

Originally I was thinking I don’t really have nightmares then today happened and I remembered a bunch of others but they always happen when I’m taking a nap, or at least attempting to.
 

Sideways

Moderator
they always happen when I’m taking a nap,
I don't know if this helps make sense of it, but whether or not we remember our dreams is linked to the way we come out of REM sleep, basically quickly or slowly. That varies from person to person, but obviously can also vary if you wake quicker than usual, or slower than usual.

So, it may be that you rouse from REM quickly when you're napping, but slower when you sleep deeply overnight.
 

Charbella

Confident
@Sideways That does help! I did think REM was only after sleeping for awhile though and the naps wher it happens are never longer than 30 minutes, usually closer to 20.

But also, deep sleep? What’s that? I slept 6 straight hours this weekend and I’d say it’s the most continuous sleep I’ve had in more than a year.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I did think REM was only after sleeping for awhile
Yeah, a lot of "this is how sleep cycles work" will plot out the different cycles as they "normally" occur. But the truth is that there's a lot of variation, not only from person to person, but also for any single person. The reason there's such a broad range of sleep disorders, and why they come and go, is because it actually changes a lot depending on a whole range of factors.
 

Friday

Moderator
Yep yep.

The whole waking-sleep thing is most often a “safe”? space away from nightmares, I think because of the anchor to reality where I’m still totally aware of everything going on around me, even if in black-sleep or dream-sleep… but IF I’m dealing with flashbacks during the same time? f*ck. Me. It can be an exceptionally brutal not-flashback zone. IE it’s like a flashback starts, but my dream state alters it.

I have 3 kinds of nightmares, typically:

- Full on fiction
- Mix of fiction & reality (too much nightmare fuel)
- Flashback (in the RIGHT time & place IE nightmares belong in bed, asleep, not attempting to be living life).

Flashback nightmares are the rarest kind of dream-state for me; it’s far more often a too much nightmare fuel situation. But? The waking doze thing has its own set of rules. Part of which is that I’m totally aware of reality. Which completely nixes flashbacks. Part of which is that I’m dreaming. Which allows flashbacks. It’s an odd sort of in-between with its own rules, attached. That I’ve never fully worked out.
 

Charbella

Confident
@Sideways That makes sense. I’ve done a few sleep studies for sleep apnea but they don’t get a lot of data because I can’t sleep, especially in an environment where I’m being watched. They tried a few sedatives but none worked.

@Friday do you find you struggle to know full on fiction from the mix? The dream was so vivid. It’s still giving me a bit of anxiety. I’m wondering if the reason it was vivid is because most of the things in it have happened but not in the order and not usually directed at me.

Do you find information in your nightmares? Is there some meaning you feel you’re supposed to get like learn something or is it just your mind torturing you?
 

Friday

Moderator
@Friday do you find you struggle to know full on fiction from the mix? The dream was so vivid. It’s still giving me a bit of anxiety. I’m wondering if the reason it was vivid is because most of the things in it have happened but not in the order and not usually directed at me.
Not really.

Taking the present, and mixing it with the past? GUTS me. The past alone, I can generally reconcile. Adding the present to the past? Breaks me. In a lot of different ways.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Taking the present, and mixing it with the past? GUTS me. The past alone, I can generally reconcile. Adding the present to the past? Breaks me. In a lot of different ways.
Those are the worst nightmares for sure.......they mess up the current the past and trauma stuff.....the no more sleep even though you were only asleep 40 minutes ones...
 

Charbella

Confident
Those are the worst nightmares for sure.......they mess up the current the past and trauma stuff.....the no more sleep even though you were only asleep 40 minutes ones...
You’re right! They are the no more sleep ones. Something to be thankful for, mine only seem to occur during a nap so at least it isn’t at night when I have an expectation of more sleep.
 
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