The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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In your dreams...

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Colourful Sevens, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Colourful Sevens

    Colourful Sevens

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    I've had very obvious symptoms of consistent ME/CFS for several months now, but a new one for me has emerged these last few weeks and it's something I was hoping someone else had experienced. Before my ME/CFS started I could get 9 hours of comfortable sleep each night without an issue, but that slowly decreased to an average of around 7 hours of what I'd describe as disturbed unconsciousness rather than "sleep".

    Only, for years now, and even more so since I came down with ME/CFS, I've never really had proper dreams. I'd wake up to my girlfriend telling me about her curious stories but could never respond with a tale of my own. Until recently, when I started dreaming twice a week through 8 or 9 hours of disjointed sleep. But something is different this time - my symptoms are creeping into the dreams I'm having.

    When I find my character running in my dreams, my brain tells my character to stop, or to slow down. My fear of crashes is creeping into my sleep. Does this happen to anybody else? I've heard of people being able to control their dreams based on who features in them and who doesn't, but my brain tells my character to slow down and take a breath whenever they're running, or jumping.

    I can't be the only one, can I?
     
    Wayne likes this.
  2. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Sometimes it can be your subconscious trying to adjust to the recent changes in health. A grieving process through the lost of old identity. I had heard of many others that had dreams like this in regards to moving or getting sick, lots of different things, the good news is you won't get pem in your dreams lol.
     
    Colourful Sevens likes this.
  3. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 svetoslav80 at gmail.com

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    Generally, all people have dreams (about 4-5 a night), but some don't remember them in the morning. I guess CFS makes remembering dreams difficult. Also, everyone has had nightmares. Your fear is that you must not overexert because you'll crash. My fear was that someone is chasing me. There is something you can do. It's called lucid dreaming. With proper training you can:
    1) remember more dreams per night. I was able to remember 2-3 out of 4-5 per night, some are able to remember all dreams.
    2) overcome your nightmares. I succeeded to do that, well at least once. I dreamed that I'm being chased (that used to happen often), and I climb a cliff and the rocks crumbled and I had to climb higher and higher so that I'm not being captured. And I suddenly realized that I was dreaming. Then I let off the cliff and I flied. That was my first conscious lucid dream, it was so cool. It lasted only a few seconds though. Usually when I have a nightmare, I would wake up shaking, but that night it ended in a good way.
    3) control your dreams. I'm not able to do this, maybe it's because I gave up lucid dreaming training right after my first lucid dream.

    So, if you decide to train, do your research, read websites, keep a diary with your dreams, make reality checks. In other words - be obsessed with the idea of lucid dreaming and you'll succeed.
     
    Sherlock and Colourful Sevens like this.
  4. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    When I was around 5 or 6, I had recurring nightmares of the Wicked Witch of the West (she's the scariest, not the flying monkeys!) and her leering green face. One night I told her that I knew she wasn't real, and she disappeared. I never dreamed of her again, at least not that I remember.

    It was odd. I had never heard of lucid dreams at that age, but I guess my dreaming self knew what to do.
     
  5. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    When I remember my dreams, and you have to have REM sleep to dream if I recall, I am conscious of being sick in many of my dreams. I might be more comfortable with it since I've been sick for so long it's my normal.

    I think a lot of us feel like shit when we wake because we don't get have all the stages of sleep.
     
  6. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I don't seem to dream much these days. If I do I can't remember them when I wake up.

    I remember a strange dream many years ago before I got sick. I had one particular dream about someone who I had not seen or spoken to for years and I also had not been thinking of them at the time of the dream. I dreamt they rang me and I was shocked when they actually did a week later. What was weird about that dream was when I woke up I had a strange feeling that it was different to other dreams, it felt kind of real. So, that was a really odd one.

    I use to work at a place 25 years ago with lifts that I use to get stuck in a lot. It was a 12 storey building and the lifts use to sway quite unnervingly at times and I was often having dreams of those lifts swaying so badly that I could hardly hold on. It was always a relief to wake up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  7. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I have found that I sometimes dream about feeling ill.... And then I wake up and Lo and behold, the dream is true! :meh: It hasn't happened so much recently. It does seem that my subconscious is telling me strongly that something is wrong, and perhaps I should wake up....
    I miss those nights of completely calm sleep with that wonderful sense of complete comfort and ease on waking.
     
    rosie26 likes this.
  8. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    B6 deficiency can cause problems with dream recall.
     
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  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I have studied dreams since I was fifteen and have led dream groups in the past when I was healthy enough to do so. Many people's anxieties manifest in their dreams, and it's not unusual at all to dream about them. Dreams are feedback from your unconscious mind. They convert feelings into visual scenes in which your dream-ego gets to choose how it will participate.

    If your fear of crashes is creeping into your dreams, then that might be your psyche's way of giving you the message to better monitor your energy during your waking life. If you are running from something in a dream, then it's always good to investigate what that is... especially if your dream specifically tells you to "stop" or "slow down." What fear are you running from? What fear are you not acknowledging or avoiding? How is avoiding that fear affecting your life? How would stopping or slowing down be beneficial in the bigger picture of your life? Those questions might be helpful to explore.

    Controlling one's dreams with lucid dreaming only works some of the time. If an issue needs to be addressed by your conscious waking self, a dream will persist until you "get the message" and do something to address it. At least that has been my experience.
     
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  10. Colourful Sevens

    Colourful Sevens

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond, everyone. Dreambirdie, the following:

    Really helped me come to terms with what I'm dealing with here, it's just a shame for me that what felt like my only true release from the real world has now developed the horrifying vignette that M.E. isn't something I can just escape.
     
  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I've had similar experiences in my dreams, but mine have been more about food... where I am about to eat a big slice or scoop of something I have not eaten for nearly 40 years, and would never consider eating in reality, yet there it is before me looking really tasty and tempting. Then my dream voice says, "Wait, you can't eat that! It has _______ (fill in the blank--sugar, dairy, gluten, non-organic ingredients). I wake up thinking, DAMN, I can't even pig out on ice cream in my imagination!

    So I get where you are coming from. There are way too many limitations and restrictions with this disease. It's annoying and exasperating... and really unfair.
     
    ahimsa likes this.
  12. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I dream of excessive fatigue and PEM when I am having severe PEM crashes. Otherwise my dreams are normal. I think it is because I can feel the fatigue in my legs, and the sick flu feeling, and it reflects in my dreams. So annoying!
     
    catly likes this.
  13. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    Years ago when I quit smoking, I'd frequently have dreams where I still smoked, and I'd wake up thinking I'd failed again. That went on for quite awhile.
     
  14. Lissa4811

    Lissa4811 20 year CFS/Lyme/fibro(?) warrior

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    I have lots of dreams and on rare occasion a lucid dream. One dream I remember getting dressed, my mind was aware that is was cold out in 'real' life so I made sure to bundle up. At a young age I 'turned off' bad dreams by befriending the boogie man (and other monsters) convincing myself that they just wanted to play.
    I talk in my sleep a lot too. Sometimes I yell and wake myself up :thumbdown:
    My dreams became more frequent and more vivid when I started taking Paxil many years ago, and even more since I recently added Lamectil.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  15. catly

    catly Senior Member

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    I've often complained of "PEM sleep", where I'm not really sleeping but experiencing bad PEM that actually keeps me on the edge between sleep and consciousness. It's a bad place.

    Fortunately through better pacing I've reduced my PEM and my sleep has improved although I still can't get to sleep without ambien. My dreams have somewhat normalized again recently too and some days I even wake up feeling like I had a really good nights sleep.
     

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