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Dreaming While Awake?
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Dreaming While Awake?

  I have host of problems which my sleep doctor believes to be associated with somer sort of sleep disorder. I will be having a second sleep study done next week followed by a daytime study as well. The doctor is specifically looking for narcolepsy and/or  an Upper airway restriction.
  I have lots of short term memory loss and excessive daytime sleepiness as well. Sleep apnea has been ruled out as of this point.
  The newest symptom I am experiencing is dreaming while awake. I can be standing by the sink or working at the computer and dream- not daydream though actually have a dream. For example- While drying dishes and thinking about the slippery roads I dreamt of being in my car and spinning around the road in a circle and actually seeing the telephone pole I nearly missed only to realize my car did not have tires- it actually have ice skates instead- I could see me in my car like a third party and the color of my car was bright as well.
   What causes us to dream while really being awake and functioning on some level? Does anyone have an experience similar and currently have a sleep disorder diagnosis?
   Sharing your experience or giving any advice is greatly appreciated.
    
6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello.

The stage of sleep in which we see dreams is the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage. And we dream because certain unexpressed emotions need to come out. But these emotions come out in symbolic language. The bright colour or the car means something significant for you.

Usually a period of about 90 minutes passes from onset of sleep to appearance of REM sleep. But in narcolepsy, a person may go from wakefulness into REM in no time. Hence dreams appear in "wakefulness".

Get the second sleep study report.

Regards
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Are you suffering from excessive anxiety due to some reason? Daytime sleepiness does indicate narcolepsy. Do not remain awake past your normal bedtime and avoid caffeine near your bedtime.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been experiencing similar issues, I haven't slept for five days, and about half way through the third day I had a nightmare while walking home from work... Can anyone tell me what I can do? And what these are?
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Avatar_m_tn
This is the first time that I have heard anyone having something similar to what I have recently been experiencing. I'm pretty rattled.  I am a psychotherapist and two times this week I found myself in a "dream" while listening to a client, then saying something out loud to the client that had nothing to do with the conversation!  I said something from the "dream" which couldn't have lasted more than a few second.  I recently started taking the medication, Neurontin (gabapentin) but did not find this when reading about side effects.  Anyone can relate to this, please share...
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had a similar experience of feeling a dream state in the background while I am walking around in my waking life. It came on just after I left physical therapy for my frozen shoulder and lasted for the entire walk to my office. I still felt fully conscious and functional, but experienced dream fragments breaking into my consciousness, fading back when I had to converse or focus on something, then coming back when I was just walking or standing. I was both conscious of the waking world around me but the dreams were flashing through my brain. Very very odd! First time that's happened to me. I didn't sleep very well last night, which may be related. But if it happens again I will definitely see a doc. I am not on any medications.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for posting. I saw starting to think I was going mad, while my husband was passing my experience of dreaming while awake as a hallucination. I contacted my (sleep) neurologist about this latest new thing going on in my brain. I'm also going to contact my (migraine) neurologist and between those guys I should have an answer to post soon.

Background:

Hemiplegic Migraine with "stroke" or "seizure" like symptoms Special Episodes-just about everything will set off a migraine and I get the "special episodes" about every 5 years. My last episode, the paramedics thought I had a stroke, went to the ER and had another episode while in the waiting area to be called, so by the time I saw the intake nurse I couldn't even say my own name- I have never had 2 episodes in one day before and these were only hours apart.

Around 3 years ago I started off with Insomnia- could not go to sleep- no matter how tired I was, it lasted 3 or 4 days-Had a sleep study done, not much came of that one. Then a month later I'm back at my Sleep guru and I can't stay awake for the life of me, once I  almost fell asleep while driving, very scary. I had a pattern of sleeping about 10-12 hours at night, waking up tired, going back to sleep about an hour after I woke up - sleeping for another 4-6 hours straight (no one could wake me up), then awake for a few hours at most and back to bed for another 12 hours. Back to the sleep study suite, spent the night and was woken up every early- then was forced to stay awake ( I tried to even sneak some standing while sleeping in there, I got caught-cause I forgot about all the monitors hooked up to my head)-every time they "let" me go to sleep, I'd hit the pillow and instant REM, then they'd wake me up (about 15-20 mins later) just as I started to get to the good part of my dream-That was pure torture for the entire day.

I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia with Long Sleep Time and went thru a couple of Rx's I turned out to be allergic to until we found Adderall (adderrall) Extended Release worked w/o allergic reaction. Started at 5mg to help combat daytime sleepiness, I'm up to 20 mg and added Celexa to boost my energy and avoid having to boost up my Adderall (adderrall) dosage again. I tried another comparable to Adderall (adderrall) but I ended up having to take twice as much to be effective at all, so back to the Adderall (adderrall). About  less than a year after the sleep issues popped up, I started to notice a loss in my cognitive functions- it was in my thought process, my vision, my hearing ( I can hear you talking, but I have no idea what you just said), my writing skills declined, memory was mush. So I went to my migraine doctor about this and since I could still articulate and be understood, he chalked it up to the aging process . A year went by and I got worse and asked again about getting tested for my cognitive, he declined  to give me the test because he knew I would fail it ( yep, my doctor is funny). He prescribed instead a "memory booster" , used in patients with Alzheimer's -its a very low dosage and it helps when I can remember to take it. I have to break from it every now and then because it suppresses my appetite too much ( anorexia is a listed side effect)- it does help but only so much.

So to the part you all want to know- the day time dreaming while awake. I started noticing this a few months ago. It's a very strange feeling having an actual dream while awake. It's not like when your mind wonders or you're thinking about "future" plans or even fantasies.  Since I am a very vivid dreamer at night and have at least 2-3 dreams per night , plus with the daytime sleepiness (sometimes the meds just don't work) I can see how my mind can easily get caught in between states of really awake and I want to lay down and sleep so I can dream. It happens to me, like I've read here- while at the PC or in the kitchen or even watching tv, walking the dogs. It happens whether I'm in a restful/relaxed position or actively exercising and fully awake. It's not the same as Zoning Out either.  When I first searched for Daytime REM causes, Narcolepsy came up, although I do have signs of that, such as spontaneous muscle weakness and memory lapses, I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Connective Tissue Disorder . Also people with narcolepsy are for the norm, only asleep for a few minutes and its usually "emotionally" (supper happy, sad, surprised, etc) induced - they are for the most part "refreshed " when awake. For me, even on my wakey wakey meds, I sometimes need a nap. I think I'm only asleep for 30 mins at most- then my husband tells me it's been 3 hours. I say why didn't you wake me up? His response, I tried to but you growled at me. (never wake a sleeping bear).

Hopefully soon,  I will have answers to the Dreams while awake and functioning.
* sorry for such a long post, I suffer from diarrhea of the typing fingers
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