Personal Experiences with Night Terrors- What They're Really Like

This is what a night terror can feel like for some people.
This is what a night terror can feel like for some people.

When it comes to sleeping disorders, people most often think of one with very obvious and unnerving affects such as sleepwalking. Obviously this is a person up and about despite the fact that their still effectively sleeping, though sometimes their eyes can be open and they may even interact with their surroundings. But what if a person has sleep-walking issues while they have a nightmare?

Well that, dear friends, is a layman’s approach to night terrors. This sleep disorder isn’t studied in much detail due to the fact that it most often occurs in children ranging from six months to three years of age, where a child’s description of their experience is patchy at best. It occurs in roughly 5% of the planet’s population at one time or another in peoples’ lives.

Night terrors also known as Pavor Nocturnus, and Sleep Terror Disorder. In children of this age range the most often signs of a night terror episode are: screaming, crying, profuse sweating, tachycardia, strange behavior, the inability to waken completely, dilated eyes unresponsive to light, and the impression of extreme fear. This is always characterized by REM, the person or child’s eyes flick back and forth quickly, regardless of whether the eyes are open or closed.

It may seem as if the child is awake, and they may even interact with other people and their surroundings, but technically the brain is still in deep sleep mode. Such episodes can last up to half an hour. Aside from the REM, this disorder is characterized by a person’s display of two separate behaviors. They can appear confused and do not recognize their family and surroundings; conversely they can be absolutely terrified of their surroundings and will flee anyone who tries to approach them as if the hounds of Hell were at their heels. In the mind of the sufferer, they are.

It should be noted that someone experiencing night terrors later in one’s life is incredibly uncommon, occurring in less than 0.001% of the population. My father suffered from head-banging syndrome, a disorder which occurs only within infants, well into his late 20s. I myself am an insomniac who, when he finally does get to sleep, can conk out for up to 14 hours without trouble. In any case, this does give some credence to the suggestion that night terrors have a genetic link. Some people suggest that it’s a trauma induced state, and while it’s possible that me be a factor correlated with this disorder, the fact that it most often occurs in children so very young makes it unlikely.

The exact dream state experienced is little known as most people who experience night terrors have no memory of what they perceived. I have had first-hand experience with this disorder for many years, my brother suffered from it from the age of 5 to this very day now that he’s in his early 20s. To witness it is both worrying and incredibly eerie.

On many occasions my brother was capable of sprinting through a pitch-black room with his eyes closed, hurtling around and over a minefield of chairs, tables, lamps, and discarded items without breaking step or tripping. The agility late sufferers of this disorder display is bordering on Olympian; their hearts pound, their breath comes in gasps, every muscle is taut as a bowstring, and they never utter so much as a peep. This is, of course, not always the case and usually only occurs when the night terror sufferer shows behavior indicating fear rather than confusion.

Sometimes certain medications can trigger night terrors. Benadryl and other antihistamines would cause a night terror every single time, despite doctor’s suggestions that they would have the opposite effect.

I recall one particularly bad episode which lasted well over an hour where we thought my brother was possessed. He picked up and threw a sofa halfway across the room, despite the fact that it weighed more than he did. He then proceeded to run into the bathroom and, light as a feather, scrambled with his hands and feet clean up corner of the tiled walls to slam against the ceiling. He crashed down into the tub and cracked the porcelain soap dish in half on his chin, but never once did he awaken.

Treatment for night terrors can be difficult as not much in the way of definitive research is present. My brother, who prefers to remain anonymous, told me what it was like. He said the real world was overlaid by a nightmarish one, turning the familiar and loving home into a den of horrors. A wall might appear to be hung in chains or made of rusted iron. Leather sofas might be torture equipment from the medieval period, and so on. That is why it is imperative that one never approach someone undergoing a night terror. In the midst of their nightmare, they see their friends and loved ones as horrific and malicious beings who are only interested in doing harm.

Imipramine and several benzodiazepines have been suggested for use in preventing night terrors and have had a generally positive effect. However one must remember that these are substances which can become addictive and abused, so good luck finding a physician willing to prescribe them to an adult, let alone a child.

One less mind-altering alternative which I’ve always found effective is changing the mood in the house to one more familiar and comforting. Turn on the lights and appliances which are typically heard throughout the day and the sufferer has come to associate with normal life. Try talking to the person in a soothing voice such as one would use to lull a baby to sleep. As they don’t visually perceive much in this state, light scented candles if you use them often, and play music familiar to the person.

All this can help to change the nightmare mind-set which the sufferer finds him/herself locked in to one which is more benign. If it works, the sufferer will allow you to approach and you can then put them back in bed with a reasonable degree of certainty that the episode has been dealt with.

Unfortunately, this method only deals with the individual episode and the problem may re-occur in the future. There is nothing which has proven one-hundred percent effective to date, though you’ll be the first to know if I find one.

Have further questions or want to share your own night terror experiences? Comment.

 

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Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

After reading this, I think my three year old is having some sort of night terrors. They are more than nightmares, and he really doesn't remember them, but it is almost impossible to wake him up. Praying over him makes the most difference.


Jarn profile image

Jarn 7 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

I can see that as being beneficial in two ways: of course it's entreating God for aid, but it also might be soothing to your 3 year old if he's familiar with the sound of your voice during prayer. Hopefully your 3 year old will grow out of it. Most children do. Does he get up and walk around, or does he toss and turn in bed?


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

He tosses, screams, cries, fights with his hands and feet, often hits the wall, and occasionally has fallen out of bed, but rarely gets up intentionally. For a while, he insisted he was fighting dragons. When I asked what the dragons looked like, he described Draconians -- man like wingless reptiles, who carried long swords and leather drawstring pouches. He claimed they wanted to kill him and us.


Jarn profile image

Jarn 7 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

That's quite unusual that he remembers what the dreams are about. If you record what he experiences in each night terror you might be able to see a pattern pointing to an issue in his daily life.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Thanks for the suggestion. I will do that.


John 7 years ago

All my life, I have been trying to find someone who had night experiences similar to mine. I thought by the title of your site that I would find personal accounts, but only accounts of people who witnessed people with "night terors". I am now 82, and still remember what they were like, and can faintly bring up the awful (that word isn't powerful enough) feeling-tone that accompianied them. My childhood experiences always began with a roaring noise and vibration. I have had OOB experiences in later life, and they also have the vibrational beginning, so i feel the night terrors are a form of OOBE.


Jarn profile image

Jarn 7 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

My apologies for misleading you, John. It certainly wasn't intentional. Interesting theory you have. Sleep Paralysis, which produces brainwave activity very much like Night-Terrors, are widely believed to be a form of Out of Body Experience. I mentioned it to my brother, and he does remember having a strong perception of buzzing or vibration on those nights before an episode, which he put down to a strong case of tinitus and thought no more about.

Unfortunately, I can't really find anything more definitive.


Steph 7 years ago

When I have night terrors, I only have one image in my mind that I can remember each time and that's of a figure standing over my bed. When I eventually gain consciousness I am always hiding underneath my quilt, I'm drenched in sweat, I have severe heart palpatations and my muscles are stiff. I want to be able to get rid of these frightening experiences, but my doctors are less than understanding and put it down to stress (i'm a teacher and i'm studying for a phd) but that doesn't help me to stop these frequent episodes. Is there anything I can do to stop them, without going to the doctor?


Jarn profile image

Jarn 7 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Steph. I wish I could say there was a cure, but my background is in psychology more than it is medicine. I really can't think of a way to self-cure, but I find that nightmares, no matter how horrific, are the subconcious trying to tell you something. The trouble is that we're often too close to the problem to recognize it. (Sadly, doctors seem to be the last people able or willing to help when it comes to actual illness and distress, whether it be of mental or physical origin. Being sick and without successful treatment or definitive diagnosis since the age of 9, I would know)

I'm not saying that by analyzing the dream as it relates to your current life it will stop the problem, but it tends to do so in my experience. If you want to talk about it further I'd be happy to swap emails. Just let me know.


dawnmichelle 7 years ago

I understand that night terrors are comon among children but i am 36 years old and i still have them. I am so tired but so afraid to go to sleep. i was just woken by a night terror a few minutes ago and i am completely disorientated. What can i do to help stop this? Please help i am terrified!


Jarn profile image

Jarn 7 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Well, if you had the money I would suggest you looked into going to a sleep center. http://www.sleepcenters.org/

This link should allow you to locate one nearby. After that, you might try looking for correlations between nights when you have night terror episodes and things you eat or drink. Energy drinks, caffeine, and some antihistamines can be the culprit. If that is no help, consider playing calming music right before you go to sleep. That can help sometimes.

If nothing seems to help, try to pay attention to what the night terrors are about. Sometimes it can be the subconcious mind trying to get your attention.

I really wish I could be of more help, but I'm not much more than a layman when it comes to these things.


david stillwagon 6 years ago

I love that picture. good hubpage also!


sully 6 years ago

i have been suffering from night terrors sice my early 20,s, but the difference with mine is it does always come,i mean always when im alone in bed..when my girlfriend is beside me it never comes.i experience like a small creature(best description)pushing on my chest, im struggling to keep or get awake.its really scary.. anyone has any more info pls mail me on sully-1980@hotmail.com.. thanks.


Darling 6 years ago

Hi there, I really enjoyed reading your article. I have suffered from night terrors my entire life and am now in my early 20's and they are not going anywhere. I've embarked on my own research because quite frankly, as those of you who suffer from them know, they rule our lives. It's helped to soothe the trauma and bring closure to some things, mostly my uneasyness that I have them at all.

You're welcome to visit my wordpress blog: Tales of the Night

http://talesofthenight.wordpress.com/

I'd love to meet up with more people who have this problem and could share their experiences and how they've curbed or are managing things so far.

Cheers*


artcat 6 years ago

That is by far the closest description I have ever seen to my own experiences, I am 28 and have suffered from night terrors since i was an infant. Upon waking I do not have recollection really of the experiences, but they do come to me in what i can only describe as flashbacks.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I think I had these when I was a child but as you point out, changing the atmosphere in the home might have been the ticket! I was raised by a schizophrenic grandmother and many of her episodes left me a little worse for wear I think. Amazingly, I dream now about things in living color - some of them 'memories' and some of them just thoughts and things in general but they never scare me anymore. I am aware (somehow) that it is a dream and can tell myself to 'come out of it' believe it or not and go back to the other channels so to speak and keep dreaming. Only once or twice have I had to abandon sleep to escape where my mind was trying to take me back to but for the most part, I am able to just go on sleeping and dreaming along. I dream pretty much nonstop though but I accomplish so much in my dreams that it is not a bad thing for me. I believe if you are an 'open' kind of person that your dreams become an extension of your day-to-day existence and you can use the 'down time' to work on things and/or solve things that are perhaps bugging you. Of course I may just be crazy so there ya go!


Jarn profile image

Jarn 6 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

If being able to actively use your dreams is crazy, then I think most people would prefer to be called batsh-- anyday :)


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Thank you for such a well written, interesting hub.

My son when aged about 7 yrs would suddenly appear in the sitting room long after bedtime and seem to be awake.His pupils, though were enormous.! Creepy isn´t the word. He´d look straight through me.

I used to try to speak gently and guide him back to bed which sometimes worked well. Other times he´d start screaming , stamping his feet, still staring and obviously not awake. We never got to the cause of it. He just grew out of it.(At least I don´t think it happens anymore. Maybe I should ask his fiancé.!!!)

love your work. thank you, Dim x


William 6 years ago

From about six years old until I was twenty, I remembered suffering from Pavor Nocturnus having researched various symptoms and trends that they encompass. I was interested in the varying stages of sleep and how night terrors factored into this, hoping to find a “way out”. In a standard dream, we are both mentally and physically asleep, be this a good or bad dream, it makes no difference. When experiencing a night terror, an individual was mentally asleep, but physically awake. And that is the important difference. It seemed logical to me to reverse this state by being mentally awake when physically asleep. Some of you might know this as ‘lucid dreaming’, whereby one realises they are dreaming and remains asleep without losing consciousness.

I don’t want to use the word ‘breakthrough’, but in the two years in which I have been lucid dreaming at an advanced level, I haven’t had a single night terror, and before that when I was learning and practicing the various techniques for inducing lucidity, I noted a significant drop in the number of night terrors I experienced.

-W


Jarn profile image

Jarn 6 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

William, that's fascinating. Do you, offhand, know where I could learn more about lucid dreaming?


William 6 years ago

The following website answers many questions about it:

http://www.lucidity.com/LucidDreamingFAQ2.html

or searching for "lucid dreaming" on amazon/google books

or there's wikipedia if u trust it enough(!)


alyssaj1 5 years ago

I am in my 30's and I have 3 children that all have had some sort of night terrors. My oldest 14 now, used to sit striaght up and like blankly straight ahead. I didn't always see this just when I awoke to go to rest room in which I had walk past. They progressed to sleep walking/sleeping. I say it like that b/c I would find her sleeping in the strangest places. Places I wondered how she even got to. My middle son now 8 stayed in his crib longer (in hopes to prevent the sleep walking) it didn't. He just started later. And now has very very vivid nightmares, but never awakes in terror, but tells me all about them. I thought both of them got this b/c their father was an avid sleepwalker. But now my youngest 19mths, (and not related to my ex)is having night terrors. Awakes at 10 mins til midnight for several nights in a row, then stops for a few days, then back again. He will sometimes sit in bed(crib) and scream, but mostly just lays there screaming. I would not decribe it as a cry really, just a scream. Last 5 minutes top. Up to that point you wont here a peep out of him, after that he crys out about every hour or so. Hardest on me b/c I dont sleep through them all. But I also dont interupt it. I let it work its course. I have been reading that antihistamines can be a cause. And all three of them have at some point in their lives been on them. Youngest is every night. Going to research that some more. But now I am starting to wonder about me passing it on, I do, not often, but have the "dream" that I am paralized. Nothing happening, but can move at all. All so crazy to me.


Anna 5 years ago

I'm not sure if what I had myself was a night terror, but I want to know more. I'm 17, and this happened to me last night. About 4 am-ish, I woke up suddenly, and my eyes started spazzing out. I felt like I was going in and out of dream state whenever I blinked. I felt sick and had a headache, and was very scared. I was breathing really hard too. It took me a couple minutes to calm myself down. (Its easy to calm myself down, I have Panic Anxiety Disorder, so I get a lot of panic attacks). But afterwards I was scared and turned on the light. After awhile I fell back asleep. I vaguelly remember something about mountains when I was going in between dream state and seeign my bedroom. I'v also been having more nightmares recently. Which is extremely odd, considering I never have nightmares (only a couple per year) Eventually I feel asleep. And all today I felt nervous.


Jarn profile image

Jarn 5 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

This site has a lot of good information. Check it out if you get the chance. http://www.nightterrors.org/


lmar.3 5 years ago

I was diagnosed with Night Terrors when i was little & everyones episodes can be different. I could not sleep anywhere but my own home because you never know when the next one will be. I've read a lot of articles where people say that you can't remember night terrors, well they must not of experienced it themselves. I still can recall one particular dream i had before every terror & i even had the dream when i got older.. followed by the terror episodes. If i can give one piece of advice to familys out there it would be DO NOT approach anyone who is in this sleep state. As awake as they might look.. they are not & it is very scary. My family used to come running in the room & sit on my bed & i thought they were going to kill me. It's so hard to explain but i didn't recognize them at all. The flashy out of body experiences were the worst. If you're child is young i suggest just moving them to the floor then keeping your distance (so they do not fall trying to escape).


Jon 5 years ago

Ive been having Night terrors recently again for the first time since i was a young kid. Im 14 now and have been having them for like a year now. I know they arnt nightmares because i hardly ever remember them and people have caught me sleep-walking with my eyes darting around and they say a look of horror on my face. The only thing i ever remember is something standing over me watching me and grinning. I wanna say its a darkish figure with a like a reddish striped face but i cant trust myself on it. To me it resembles a demon but i highly doubt it. Im terrified with demons though as my family has had a pretty rough expierance with paranormal activity... The only thing i can think of is genetics as my mom had very strange things happen to her as a child and my father whom i haven't been in contact with because he just got out of prison ive yet to question. I wonder if it could be self-induced from any type of trauma or events or anything. Another thing: My mom has told me stories about things shes expieranced and i dream about them later for a bout 2 weeks every night - Except every night its becomes a little bit more distorted and frightening. Any help here please?


Jarn profile image

Jarn 5 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Jon, use the link below my avatar picture that says "Contact Jarn" and we can talk privately.


Julieann 5 years ago

Im so glad that i've discovered this site and have finally got some answers and reassurance about my "experiences",I've suffered with night terrors and hallucinatory sleep disorder since i was a toddler,i'm now 32 and it has had a huge impact on my life,i will avoid staying over anywhere or even allow anyone sleep beside me for fear it will happen,my 12 year old daughter (who suffers with sleep paralysis)has on a few occasions been woken up by me having a night terror,it terrifys her and when she wakes me up,gently,i get scared even more and then we both end up screaming like lunatics,what the neighbours must think!!!!.The hallucinations can be very frightening as often it's people i see, different every time and people i dont know,will be right beside my bed,sometimes up close to my face but always with a scary and eerie feeling attached to them ,i have learned to live with this horrible disorder but i would so love not to have it and be able to sleep normally without the dread of having this happen.For the whole day after a night terror i feel like im just not with it and extremely tired,scared and very anxious,does anyone else feel that afterwards???,the only way i can describe what i feel is sheer terror,i also remember everything i do while in this state and while im running down the stairs or running out of my room,to get to safety(in my head),im aware of what im doing(feels like im awake) but have no control, then all of a sudden i will snap out of it and realise what just happened and then feel the terror for most of the night!! and on a few occasions my night terrors have brought on panic attacks!!!!Is this just something i will have to deal with for the rest of my life????


Izzy 5 years ago

I used to have terrors of something/someone standing over me or sometimes pushing down on my chest! I was at the end of my teather after years of suffering when someone- an ex terror sufferer- told me to write a note to the "thing" standing over me asking it to politley go away and leace it on my bedside table! And im not lying, it worked, no more terrors, give it a go, what have you got to lose!


a mom of one 5 years ago

My daughter broke out in hives at daycare. I called the pediatrician who recommended almost twice the amount of the dosage on the bottle of Benadryl. By the time I got to the day care the hives (which were supposedly so bad) were gone. (Also, the benadryl did not cause her to be sleepy nor hyper.)My 2 year old daughter had night terrors for 2 weeks. It was a horrible experience. I asked her doctor whether she had reports of benadryl causing night terrors. She claimed that she did not.

I will never try benadryl with my daughter.


Darryl 4 years ago

My night terrors- when I was five, I dreamed that the bed started floating up near the ceiling and that an angry god or God was about to judge me for the sins I had committed.

Demonic voices telling me that extremists would overtake Europe within my lifetime and declare war on America, will all the armies of Europe marching against us.

Not much of a night terror, more so a night cause for concern but one night I saw four red computers near the foot of my bed that were not there before. I was afraid that the red computers held the names of people who had died that day in America.

And that was when I was given many stuffed animals to keep me company at night time and I still hold them close so that the night terrors never return.


hopeless sleeper 4 years ago

I'm twenty-six and ever since I was little I had night terrors/nightmares. I don't get the two confused because I can tell the difference. When I have a nightmare it is just that, just a horrible dream, but when I have a night terror it is like a horrible entity is with me even when I wake, I'll lay in bed afraid to move when the fear starts to die down I turn on the light, it seems to help. In fact when I sleep with a light on I just seem to have nightmares or I won't dream at all. After awhile when I was young I started to sleep during the day, and I wouldn't have nightmares or night terrors, but you can't keep that up as you grow older. I know it says that many can't remember their dreams but I do, I can even remember ones from when I was young and truthfully I have very vivid ones where I can go into full detail. I have tried treatments but they don't seem to help expect that one, dream manipulation but even sometimes that doesn't work. Now when I go to bed it has to be late, I find if I sleep any earlier than 4am then I will have a night terror but if I sleep after that time it will be just a nightmare. If I keep to certain methods I can hold off for a while on a night terror. I'm just happy that I don't have them everyday like when I was young. It is a horrible experience, I feel sorry for anyone who has to go through it, I know what they go through. I can say I ended up an insomniac because of it. It is hard to treat but having someone to talk to after it happens always helps, whether it is hours later or right after it happens. I try to talk to someone right after it helps deplete the heavy doom feeling off my chest. The reasons I have mine the doctors say when I was little was because of pts disorder and as I got older it was because of sleep breathing disorder.


Adrian 4 years ago

I suffered from night terrors up to 3 times a week from as young as I can remember till I was about 12 or 13 when, like most cases, they just eventually stopped happening. I am now 23 and just last night had what felt like the worst night terror I have ever had. As it was when I was young I was awake during the entire episode and there was no point that I felt like I "woke up" after it. I woke up and it happened and as far as I knew I was already awake and didn't go back to sleep. Just lay awake terrified for about 2 hours. All the night terrors I have experienced are as vivid and real to me as the person beside me right now and I remember every detail even from when I was very young (have no memory from being so young as I slept in a cot but can vividly remember a night terror that happened while I was). As I said though the night terrors just eventually stopped and it has been about 10 years until last night. Is there any reason that it can suddenly resurface in an adult and become a reoccurring incident? I have also never had an out of body experience. I am always me and wide awake throughout it. Thanks for all the info I myself wasn't sure what they were and palmed them off as bad nightmares till I read this site.


Shannon 4 years ago

I have a 2 year old daughter who has had night terrors since around a year old. From birth to over a year she had severe reflux and would scream and cry all hours of the night and wasn't ever a good sleeper. The night terros are getting worse and my husband and I sleep with her just to get any sleep. We wake to her screaming bloody murder, running to the wall and banging her head, throwing her self back, trying to scratch my face, pull my hair and bang me with her head if I try to restrain her from hurting herself. It's a crazy way to wake up and she can't be soothed or reasoned with when she is like this. It is really scary for my husband and I to watch and it's really starting to stress me out and depress me to see my little girl doing this to herself. She also is banging her head against the walls, floors, glass etc. during a tantrum. My husband and I joke that she acts like she is possesed, but sometimes I wonder! It's funny that I'm reading some who have had terrors on here describe a being over them watching them sleep, almost like a demon because my husband described that happening to him once in a dream & we at one time thought our old place was haunted. Is there a relation between terrors and demons? Could you please contact me and let me know? Thanks


Jarn profile image

Jarn 4 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

While I accept that such things as demons exist,I haven't the faintest idea in what capacity. But children under the age of 5 banging their heads during tantrums and while sleeping is an actual sleep disorder which you may wish to take your daughter to your pediatrician if you haven't already.

It can also be indicative of epilepsy. So, before you start considering more esoteric possibilities, you may wish to look into medical causes.


Erin 4 years ago

I am 14 now. I have them and they are so horrible. I hate it. When I was little I'd wake up but not really. My eyes were open but I could still see them. I'm so afraid to go to sleep. I'm afraid one day I'll wake up and the man will be there for real. I'm an artist and I draw my nightmares. Sometimes the pictures are so horrible I crumple them up and tear them apart. My mom only knows because she dealt with me when I was little she thinks I've grown out of it.


Christie 4 years ago

My 4 year old daughter has every symtom when she is sleeping. It worries me and confuses me why she would have these. It's been going on now for a year maybe year and half. Started giving her melitonin, sometimes she does great, other times it seems worse. She has a well child check coming up in April, going to discuss with doc. Do you have any suggestions?


Jarn profile image

Jarn 4 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

None beyond making sure the doctor knows all her symptoms and how distressing it is, I'm afraid.


pete 4 years ago

I have had night encounters since i was 14 now 48.They still occur but not that much.They use to shake me up, now i roll over and go back to sleep.I too can see them for for a few seconds after i open my eyes. They usually drift through the wall.I"ve even woken my wife up quick enough to see a streak of light.The demonic beings you see are liars they can't hurt you but can scare you if you let them.I can be in middle a nice dream and sense their presence.I use to struggle with them now that i am a christian i over power them in that place. Now they occasionally will jump at me and i say whatever. I'am a healthy person i have good life and a lot of stories i just thought i would share thanks


adanmrocha 4 years ago

Hello, first i would to talk a little about me, i'm an engineer in an automotive factory, i'm 27 and i live in mexico. Getting to the subject, i have had since i was little nightmares while sleepwalking or put into other words, nightmares while awake, in my case i don't ussually see frigtening things while that happens, the thing is, it's that things as common as a door, floor tiles or even windows become an object of fear and who posted this thread is true for my case, your brain or mind overlays things on your environment, i once woke up and saw aloe plants growing on the floor, all of the same size, simetry and evenly distributed across the entire bedroom floor. Now over the years i have gained more control over myself while this happens, my episodes now last between 1 ~ 2 min before i realize it is just a dream, and now i'm able to remember what happened most of the time, now some advice for the other out there like me, something that has worked i don't know if it is because of my mind or it is universal, but when i have awake nightmares that are very intense i run to turn up the lights i don't know if everyone is able to do this, but this works for me everytime, it's like shutting down the illusion created by the mind, of course it hasn't always been like this, while sleep walking i drove my car to buy cigars, when i was little i walked to my secondary school and when i was in college i just stood all the night in the backyard until i woke up on my own. I know it is not easy to live like this, i have scared the shit out of my girlfriend more than once, of course she laughs the next day about it but on the inside i still believe she is a little afraid of what i might do while sleeping. Anyway if anyone would like to exchange experiences for whatever that might work i'm up for it. Take care everyone.


Mom 4 years ago

My daughter has had night terrors since she was very little to still now at 12. Sometimes they were effected by things in our surroundings, a movie she had seen or something she heard but almost always they involve her hands. She is absolutely convinced her hands have become tiny and are Sharp like knives. She is afraid to touch me or anything. When she was smaller 3 and maybe again about 5 I immediatley ran to the emergency room with her thinking this was a seizure (i am a nurse) and it scared me more than her. I needed to put a name to it and fix it. We were told night terrors and I started researching. We too have found antihistamines are a trigger. Some foods also, candy and caffeine.

She had an allergic reaction this week and is on regular antihistamines now so the terrors are happening frequently right now. She is older now and they are harder on her. She can't look at her hands. She feels the changes 100% in her mind so the incongruity of seeing her normal hands makes her feel " like she is going insane and can't stop it". It's so hard to hear the person you love the most struggle with that. We have a few tricks I sing to her, we turn on lights, sometimes she is fully awake and just needs to shake it. She holds a pillow because it is soft in her Sharp hands. The fact she won't hold my hand is still heart breaking. No matter how much I tell her it isn't real and how much she says back to me it isn't real when my child can't bring herself to hold my hand because her mind still says she will cut me... Well... We all suffer her night terrors. Not just her.


Brad 4 years ago

I'm 18 and still often have night terrors when I was a kid I had them almost every night sometimes with no recollection but other times toward the end I can rembember quite a bit. As a kid when I was having them my parents would ask me what was wrong I would keep repeating I could not tell them he would not let me. I did not remember this the next day but this said I would say. All these night terrors I am completely horrified and it seems there is something after me sometimes I see my house but any one in it I can't see no one in my family ever becomes an attacker in my dream but I cant see them and can see my house the next day sure enough they remember me walking around flipping out. I never see the attacker tho I just feel hes always there in my dream. It seems to me I'm being torched by demons in my sleep. I've had a night terror so real I thought I just woke up in my bed so I went in my living room to watch tv and was chased out side by a dark figure I locked my self in my Truck and was being torched in my mind I would of drove off but remixes I was having a night terror but was still to skared to get out and this went on till it wore off almost like a medication wore off I did not fall back asleep and remembered all of this it was one of the worst ones I've ever had


Lucas 4 years ago

I have to say that I am really happy to find this page. English is my second language so I apologize in advance if I abuse it.

Since a few years a go I have been doing some research on my sleeping disorder and actually this page is the closest I have come to find an answer, I am 32 years old and I don't know what dreaming is, I have no recollection of a dream, I know everyone dreams and don't remember but I have never known what a dream is, in my research I've tried every single thing there is to be able to remember my dreams, the little note book next to the night stand, waking up and trying to remember what was it that I dreamed about, etc....

I also have a really hard time falling asleep, sometimes it takes me from an hour to 3 hours to fall asleep and the feeling in that period of time is scary, like if i was scared to sleep, it is very difficult and I get tired but cant fall asleep its like if someone was looking/staring at me all the time sometimes I have gone from 2 to 3 days without sleeping just because of the feeling or sensation someone is looking at me, I don't know how to describe it..... then the few days a week I sleep I don't really feel rested the next morning, is like if a truck ran over me the very last night its awful, also when I'm awaken by someone let's say my wife (Beautiful) I wake up scared out of my mind, she has tried many ways to wake me up softly but still I jump like if she was a murderer and I feel like a little boy right after defenseless and sometimes I cry like a little baby without reason but this does not happen when I am awaken by the alarm clock, it just happens when a real person wakes me up.

Most people have told me to go to the doctor but if there was another doctor somewhere I could go I would go, the doctors told me that I do have a sleep disorder they prescribe many pills which worked for a few days and then back to "normal", I have taken melatonin, Valerian, oxygen, sleeping pills under and over the counter and so many other stuff I cant remember the names. that's why I gave up on doctors and started my own research unfortunately there isn't a lot of info on my specific case that's why I wanted to share it with you to see if maybe you can point me in the right direction.

Yes I have been to the shrink and to every single doctor you can imagine.

This is taking a toll in my life, my beautiful wife cant stand it anymore and she moved to the "other room" I somehow don't know if I'm asleep or awake, right now is almost 3 am and I have to be up in 2 hours but I still feel SCARED even though I know there is no one there.

I would really be thankful if you can help me out, point me in the right direction.

Thank you very much and once again I'm sorry if I abused your language.

Cordially.

Lucas


Morgan 4 years ago

I've just recently found out that I had night terrors as a child. I don't remember anything of them but my family told me about what had happened during them. Apparently I would scream, at the top of my lungs, and huddle in the corner of my room- as if trying to hide from something. I would also have my eyes open and be looking around.My parents said that they could never get a response from me and that I didn't even react to them being there. I was only reacting to whatever invisible situation only I could see. After a while I would just drift off back to sleep. The next morning when they asked me about it I always had no idea what they were talking about. I'm really interested in finding out more about night terrors but it seems no one is certain as to what goes on, it's rather scary but interesting.


Kala 4 years ago

For aslong as i can remember i have been sleepwalking or had some kind of night terror, ranging from walking down the street when i was a child, to physically throwing a sheet over my sister at the age 0f 21 and jumping on her because i thought i was catching a tiger, as funny as it sounds it is terrifying that i could attack someone and not be aware that its a person rather then what im seeing, luckily my sister knows how to deal with it as we used to share a room and i attempted on one occasion to throw her stereo out of the window, im assured that im told to go back to bed and i do as im told, though when sleeping alone i have no-one to control my behaviour, more common episodes are jumping out of bed throwing covers on the floor and running out of the room or to turn my light on and just stand there, i have woken up sat on the floor or stood in a corner, i have also arranged teddybears in a pile on the floor, and pulled flowers off one of the bears and left it thrown on the floor.

I am able to travel across my room in the pitch black either in a panic or casually without tripping up over anything on the floor.

I have been told i talk in my sleep sometimes to the point were i could be mistaken for actually being awake.

I see spiders a lot crawling in my bed or close to me and that causes me to shout and point at things that arnt there, alos to inform people in the room that what im seeing is there

I have not as yet caused anyone any serious harm but it is a problem that i cant control, to me i am awake and what im seeing is actually there and i try and get away from it in whatever way i need to.

I have read a lot of sleepwalking stories some really aggressive so mine is rather calm in comparisson, since i don't seem to be growing out of it at 22 i just accept its something i do.


JudiPoodi 4 years ago

Thank you for posting this, you are a very caring sibling! I feel a little less alone, after seeing all these comments.

I never had night terrors, until I began taking steroids for Addison's Disease. Even though I was vigilant in taking the pills that were to keep me alive from now on, I would awaken a short while after going to sleep, and panic, believing that I had not taken some important pill. I would grope through my pill bottles, looking for that one I thought I would die from, if not taken. I would come to my senses quite soon, and that would be that for the night...I would go back to sleep.

Then I started taking a Zantac each night before going to bed, for gerd. Over the years, the terrors have beome much worse. A scenario might be that the world is set to blow up, and everything in it anihilated (sp), if I didn't take a certain pill or if I didn't do something before 6:00 in the morning. I might run down the stairs and burst into my elderly father's room, and declare that we are all going to die....or ask him if I am dying, etc. The first couple of times I really scared him, but now he barely bats an eye, and asks if I might have been dreaming.

Another might be that the lights on my TV box is actually a bomb, and other times, my partially closed door is a heavy, iron door that is sealing me in. My poor heart, which I hear after I awaken, is beating through the roof. It is almost as though I go through a small death, every single night. It happens from 20 to 30 min. after I go to sleep. Since you mentioned antihistamines, I have learned that Zantac is one, and I suppose that could be why my terrors have become so much worse. I'm not looking forward to going to bed, as I know it will happen again.


tyler 4 years ago

I've expericed this night terrow thing one time when I was 13 it was horrible I felt as if everything was out to get me and idk why but I felt crazy it feels like ur scared and confussed I remember walking around and being frighted about every detail in my sorroundings it was truly horrible It lasted for about 15 mins then just went away randomly


JudiPoodi 4 years ago

Hi, I was disappointed to see that my comment was not posted. Was there a reason for that?


Jarn profile image

Jarn 4 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Maam, I'm not sure what's wrong. Maybe you should refresh your browser. I posted that comment several days ago and can see it just fine.


JudiPoodi 4 years ago

OK, thanks, I'll try that. Sorry!


indigosmosh 4 years ago

haha this is an awesome blog. thank you posting this jam, and thank you everyone for sharing your personal experiences with everyone else. alright..i used to have night terrors between the ages of seven and eleven and it's funny because unlike most people on here, i actually want to begin having night terrors again [maybe it's the nostalgia and missing yesteryear]. sorry for maybe offending those that currently have night terrors and are desperate to rid themselves of them, but i don't know. of course my night terrors brought fear into every night that i had them, but it was transient; i would only be afraid during the nightmare leading to the night terror and the night terror itself, but when i finally awoke everything was alright, and i was never afraid to go back to sleep in fear of the night terrors [generally i love dreaming, whether it'd be a grand, paridisal dream, some abstract, odd dream, or a nightmare or night terror]. i'm quite happy that i found this blog because it's interesting reading what other peoples' experiences are or have been and what they dream of. as for me, my terrors are just as scary as anyone else's, but each person has his or her own fears that may not cause the smallest flinch in the next person..okay.

so normally my night terrors consisted of a several different, shadowy monsters that are hard to recount now, and a huge fifteen foot or so shadowy and vague figure that would almost always loom ten feet behind me threatening to crush me [kept thinking of a huge industrialized fisher price push chime would be rolled over me] and swallow me up into himself. normally i did paint faces onto my brother and my mom [my mom far more often], but generally i didn't ever run away from them. my brother would be downstairs all of the time staying up and he would just tell me to go back to bed. i understood him, but i kept telling him that i couldn't [because i was still being chased]. one of my daytime night terrors had me running outside into the front yard and running around to the side of the house to discover that i was completely naked, so i ran back inside to get a blanket to cover myself before running right back outside and hiding behind the trash bins in fear of my life. it was all good fun though haha..

most of the time there would be a nightmare to prelude and maybe even be an exodus for my night terrors. it wasn't necessarily always the same, but more often than not consisted of me wondering around a forest of gigantic forty foot tall thorns. and throughout all of this i had one of the worst feelings of discomfort that i have ever felt, a feeling of softness yet hardness and sharpness [*try pressing your forearm against the side of a table as hard as you can, almost attempting to cut right through your arm with the table. now imagine this feeling all over every inch of your body]. other of my nightmares have been one where i rode my big-wheel into a steep, twenty foot puddle of water after it rained, or was being chased down my neighborhood by a horse that went into my neighbors garage and transformed into a cyborg rhino, or having the thought that everyone in the world is out to get me and i don't know where to go and everything around me is foreign..

i would love to rant on about my dreams, but this is already long enough. oh and i'm nineteen and thought that it would be cool to give an interview to scientists so that they could further understand night terror disorder [seeing as how most kids who went or are going through night terrors don't remember them, but i have].


indigosmosh 4 years ago

first off, sorry for misspelling your name Jarn. and secondly, i feel that some of these other people need a lot of help. i somewhat wished that you, jarn, would have replied to those other people about their problems, if you replied to JudiPoodi. for example pete who seems to be facing actual demons and hauntings, not night terrors, or someone's "mom" posting about her daughter who is absolutely difficult to get out of night terrors no matter what. i was most surprised by lucas and his issues. how, very frequently, he can't sleep for days on end and when he can he's not getting the stages of sleep, three and four, that he most needs.

adanmrocha and morgan, would love to talk to you guys. or actually, i would love to talk to anyone about your issues. though, as mentioned in the above post, i am only nineteen and naturally don't have much education in this area. though, i do have some experience with night terrors.


Jarn profile image

Jarn 4 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Well, Indigo, I read every post, but I try to refrain from answering. You see, I do have several degrees in psychology, but I'm not licensed as a mental healthcare practitioner. I encourage people to talk as much as they like, and if people would like to share with one another so much the better, but I have found that by replying I inadvertently lead people down the path of self-diagnosis. The result is that, for example, a person who may be delusional ends up reinforcing their delusion by latching onto a diagnosis I am not qualified to make. Telling someone they are or are not possessed, for example, can be detrimental to their ongoing wellbeing, so all I can do is let them talk.

That's why the common therapist's stereotype is that they sit there going, "interesting," and not saying anything on their own. They do not wish to lead, or put ideas into the head of someone in need of aid, at least until they are sure of the diagnosis and appropriate course of treatment.

I agree that the people you have mentioned are in need of aid, but I am not the one to give it, and to attempt to do so may cause more harm than good.


indigosmosh 4 years ago

understood..thanks again for creating this. as several others have said, you seem like a very caring sibling to be writing about your brother and putting this together.


Jarn profile image

Jarn 4 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Kind of you to say. It's slated to be the first episode of a television show on the Health Channel sometime around Christmas. I don't think the production company has come up with a name for the show yet though.


Izzy Williams 3 years ago

When I was younger about 4 years of age, which I am now 14, I had one Night Terror that I remember. If anyone has seen the movie The Labrynth with David Bowie, then you will know what I am talking about. When the Sister just walked into the Maze you know how the Maze just keeps on going for miles and miles I dreamed I was running and I was sooo scared Crying and Panicing and Yelling out while my Mom held me trying to wake up and Yes I am a girl if they try to make it seem as if only Boys will have these Night Terrors. I was touching my mothers face saying Mommy mom mom. This is not something to be thrilled about my mom was about to call the Ambulance because she thought I was having a Sesiure. But I know from expirence that this was horrible!! They say some people dont remember I remember every second of it!!


adanmrocha 3 years ago

Hello indigosmosh it's been a while since i checked the forum, i would like to exchange information about this as well, it was a year ago when i posted my original comment and well my situation remains somehow the same, maybe talking to someone with the same situation might help... let me know how can i reach you. Best regards,


indigosmosh 3 years ago

hey adanmrocha. my email address is apk237@email.vccs.edu should you want to talk. i currently don't have night terrors anymore. they ceased when i was around twelve, but i would still be more than happy to talk to you.


astralConfuzion 3 years ago

Id like to share my personal experience

As a child I occasionally had night terrors since I was a baby. Around the age of 10 I had a couple that I remember very vividly. I would start off in a dream consisting of a sky blue background with tiny white dots scattered everywhere (this would occur in every night terror I can remember) once I awoke in a frenzy, seeing the white dots everywhere. They lead me to my mothers bedroom where I opened the door and saw a huge ball of red "energy." For some reason this ball absolutely terrified me. I began screaming and my mother tried to comfort me (which she did on all ocassions but was never succesfull) I could see her and I knew she was present but it was like I was between two worlds. Real life where my mother was saying "its OK, its OK", and somewhere where I was completely terrified to the point of being unable to stop freaking out.

The second occurrence that I so vividly remember: I was sitting on the top bunk of the bed my brother and I shared, once again in a complete frenzy of panic, watching the guard rail on my bed transform into glow-in-the-dark colored "cells" that were slowly disapearing. There was my mother, trying to tell me I was alright but it was as if my mind didn't want to acknowledge she was there. I believe this was the last night terror I had but it was the most terrifying. If anyone has experienced or heard of anything similar to this I would appreciate the comment.

Thanks for reading :)


grannybee 3 years ago

I am searching for help for my two year old grandaughter she is having what we think night terrors she is unconsolable when they start , she is a very clever little girl ..she could count to ten by 13 months ..count to 10 backwards by 16 months and also knew all her colours etc by 16 months ..she has a very good memory fact the nursery that she started not so long ago was shocked they shown her photo's on the wall of all the kids and there names then within an hour she returned to the wall and named everyone after only being told once .. But she has a problem with concentration she can't stay on one thing for longer than a couple of minutes and can't sit still in a chair or car seat without holding her breath and tensing her body and rocking , she is over the last few months started with what we think is night terrors she has a bedtime she has a story and goes to bed every night at 8.30 after going to the toilet , she sleeps in a bed and has since 13 months old and the room has to be dark and nobody in with her ..she then wakes at around 11.30 -12.30 with screaming uncontrollable screams and gets her self out of bed pulls off all the covers and sheets and is throwing her self round the bedroom screaming mummy even though mummy is with her and is saying mummy is here darling she don't hear her due to her loud screams ..she can then become very violent kicking , scratching and even head butting the wall ..her dad has actually been attacked an his back been scratched to bits ..then after between 10 minutes to an hour she will settle her self down and mummy shall we take you to the toilet she will go and then back to bed without even knowledge she has just had this attack and sometimes it can happen again after an hour or so ,but not always . My daughter use to sleep walk but never had terrors . but she also had grand mal epilepsy could this be linked ?


Jarn profile image

Jarn 3 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

I'm so sorry for going so long without replying to your question. I must've missed the notice in my email, and while I keep responding to commentary on Hubpages I've not found it equitable to spend my time posting new content. Epilepsy has not medically been linked with night terrors, but in every case that I've encountered thus far there is a family history of epilepsy, which at least in my mind suggests there is a strong link.

I'm not medically qualified to offer advice, but in my experience benadryl will either makes the night terrors worse or stop them altogether; kind of a kill or cure approach. Aromatherapy, at least in my brother's case, has been beneficial, particularly the scent of lavender. Also, what you might try is to play some soothing music while she goes to sleep. Then, when she experiences a night terror, play the same music. It will establish a link that will allow her to return to her pre-night terror state and calm her enough to go back to sleep.


JudiPoodi 3 years ago

Just an update to my terrible terrors...I have had to care for my daughter's Chihuahua for a couple of months now, while she is away, and the other morning I realized that I had not been having the terrors! The little dog sleeps at the bottom of my bed, and apparently, my mind finds her comforting, and puts it at ease. I'm curious to know what will happen when she brings her home...perhaps a warm water bottle at the foot of the bed, might trick my mind into thinking she is there.


Callum 2 years ago

I had major night terrors since I was 2 till the age of 12. I am 14 now and they seem yo have subdued. I can remember almost all of the experiences well and they were very diverse...at first it was the walls and furniture moving but later in life it was people chasing me through the house and as if I was a soldier clearing a house. I genuinly think that they stopped occuring because I began to read books like Stephen King and Lovecraft before bed and the already strong state of fear possibly reduced the need for my own subconcious to create one. You can bet your fur on that one (anyone who has read It will understand


Lene!! 2 years ago

It's black and white. There is only two different things I can remember about my dreams... Im scared and I'm hiding under my blanket, my blackets get tighter and tighter somehow there's more Blankets on me I feel like I'm running out of air.(1) the only way I can explain it is with String chesse as we all know string chesse is a cheeses you can buy right about anywhere you eat it by tearing it from top to bottom in my dream I'm being teared apart in that kind of way.(2) At first it would just happen. my parents said that I would be pretty much awake screaming, crying nothing aggressive just scared out of my mind my father says that when he tried to comfert me but I would just look at him like a stranger trying to do me harm. He said that I would shack and cry for almost 40 minutes i said that I would sweat a lot! This stopped for a couple of years My mother discussed my dreams with my sister in law her mother gave my mother holy water and a rosary my father would pray for me at night and use the holly water on my four head it was the only thing that worked. Now that I'm older theses are the only things I recall about my dreams. I have been having theses dreams again! But it's almost like I can sence them coming on I'll be laying in bed and this awesome sleepy feeling comes on to me and it feels like those times when you come home really late and pass out it's this vibration thing that goes through my body, I literally start to zone out. And boooom! The dream starts again but not like it used to I could sleep through it! It's hell and I feel like I might die in my sleep! My dad told me that I woke up and asked him to make me a sandwitch and by the time he came back into his room I was passed out on the stairs! The first couple of times that the dreams came back were like the very fist once back when I was like 9. I think I under stand The concept after all this research! But I know it's not terror dreams for sure there similar but not quite like that! I thought I would shear my experience (:


David 2 years ago

Dear Mom,

I had to comment. This is a reply to the Mom comment. I'm a 20 year old man who used to have night terrors. I googled this because I wanted to if others had my same experiences. When you said the word HANDS that are sharp and tiny you gave me GOOSEBUMPS. This is exactly the same thing I experienced as a young child. I would wake up and be in fear much like the other experiences but the only thing I would remember is my sharp tiny painful hands. It sometimes feels as if they are filled with cotton and shrink and become sharp like knives. It sounds crazy but trust me when I tell you it is the most terrifying experience. I'm so glad I found your comment and I'm not alone. I feel terrible for your daughter that she has to go through the same thing. I outgrew it as I got older and she will do the same. I'd say the best thing you can do is just be there AND DON'T BE ANGRY. Be calm and reassuring. My mother made that mistake and came in angry and made my night terrors WORSE. It's too hard to completely describe but it literally is like life is replaced by a nightmare. Like an awake nightmare.


Andrea 2 years ago

I started getting night terrors when I was about 12, more or less, though I would sometimes get them when I was little and had a fever. I'm 19 now and I still get them, though not as often as I used to. During my sleep terrors it's as if I'm awake in my room because everything usually looks the same except I feel like I'm paralyzed and I can see some shadowy figure or sense someone in my room. Sometimes I can feel a pressure or weight because of them. Last night they kept rustling my blankets. It is sheer terror, absolutely terrible. I feel so helpless because I can't move, no matter how hard I try the most I can do is twitch my fingers.I also always call out, in a very strained voice, for help so someone can wake me up because I'm aware of what's happening. When I wake up my heart does a weird skipping beat thing, and if I fall asleep again right away then I will fall right back into my night terror.


Andrea 2 years ago

I'd also like to add that one of the most bizarre parts of my experiences is that I can sometimes actually feel when a night terror is going to happen even before I fall asleep and even though I haven't had one in weeks!


Amber 2 years ago

I am wondering if I'm having nightmares or night terrors... I don't sleep walk nor do I scream. (that I know of) I am a single mother and my three year old sleeps with me. My child's father, who lived with me for a short while, pointed out to me some very weird things I did while sleeping. One night I repeatedly punched him in the kidneys (very hard) and I woke the next morning wondering why he was on the couch. I talk to him with my eyes open and never remember the conversation. I awake several times a night drenched in sweat and have to change my clothes. I sleep with a window unit on 60 degrees so the room is freezing, I have a very fearful feeling... I know I had a nightmare but I can't remember it or sometimes I may only remember a piece of the nightmare. Several times I physically kicked my daughters father out of the bed. This scares me bc of my three year old. What if I hurt her and I don't know? The other morning I set my alarm for 7:30 I had it set to go off every five minutes until 8:30 I woke up on the first one, hit snooze and fell back asleep. I woke up at 8:45 drenched in sweat and breathing rapidly. I remember being eaten by human zombies, only a piece of the nightmare but enough to leave me nauseated and distressed. Am I having night terrors or really bad nightmares? This happens almost every night... I'm exhausted... I sleep fitfully.


Amber 2 years ago

I would also like to add one more thing... Unlike the wide eyed conversations and the physical hitting and pushing ppl out of the bed, I also have nightmares of literally hearing someone frantically banging on my door. It jars me out of my sleep and I run to my door to swing it open only to find no one is there. One night I injured myself by running down my hall in my sock feet and slipping and falling, all my body weight landing on my right shoulder. This dream has happened maybe six times in three years. It seems so REAL. I want to understand this. All of it. I've been dealing with these nightmares for years and years. I'm now 25.


natalie 2 years ago

Im 27 and I have no memory of disapearing At nite or what I do when I'm gone. People tell me bits and pieces but there's always giant empty memory/gaps in time. I feel like I'm living fight club


WakeUp 2 years ago

I am very glad I found these stories. No one close to me quite understands how truly terrifying my dreams can be. I never had terrors during my childhood, I am 27 and was diagnosed with PTSD approximately 3 years ago from an assault and have had the terrors ever since. Lately, my terrors have become more frequent and more scary. There is one significant piece of my dreams that I have not yet heard mentioned on this blog that I have found to be truly disturbing for me... for instance my last terror happened two nights ago while sleeping next to my boyfriend. While in my dream, I was in my bed in my home with all my normal surroundings but with terrifying happenings. I would continue to believe I was waking up from my dream only to find out I was still asleep and would continue to be threatened by my dreamworld horrors. Every time I would believe I was out of my night terror I would reach out for my bf as if he could help me escape my terror somehow but he was a dream delusion. During my dream state I could tell my heart rate was out of control which made me dream that my bf was talking to me and telling me my heart was beating too fast and I needed to calm down. This happened over and over maybe 5 or 6 times where I thought I woke up but I was still trapped in this terror and more and more horrible things would happen. Finally after I don't know how long I finally woke up and reached out for my bf, touched him all over, woke him up and made him talk to me just to be sure it was real and that I was not still sleeping!!!! I could not escape this dream!!!! I was so drenched in sweat that I had to change all of my clothes and lay on another part of the bed. My bf later told me that that night and many other nights, he can hear me breathing very heavily and gasping for air, after holding my breath and jerking my legs.

Another instance... I was again asleep next to my bf but thought i was awake... A "creature" with scary big eyes in some sort of a human form crawled up next to my bed and was eating my hand which dangled off the bed... in my dream I begged my bf to please help me and he proceeded to wake up and look next to the bed and let me know there was nothing on my hand and I assured him there was. I then woke up realizing it was ALL a dream, drenched in sweat and I had never actually talked to my bf.... it always seems SO real and I feel that I am awake when I actually am not.

I normally always have dreams or nightmares every night that are very vivid and I don't mind them... but when I have night terrors I wake up exhausted and scared with a horrible feeling. It's different. I feel as though my mind is playing tricks on me. I don't take any medication over the counter or otherwise... I jog daily and try to live a healthy life but I can hardly stand these night terrors. I wish I could be a part of a study to help adult sufferers because I've heard it's very rare.


Brooklyn 23 months ago

I am 12 and I'm not sure what I experienced. My mother says that I was scratching, kicking, punching, screaming, and crying. I don't know what is going on. I don't even remember it. I don't even remember a nightmare! Is this bad? My mother thinks I had a psychotic break, caused by my dad leaving again, and her putting a lot on me. I'm scared.

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