Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
25.2k Members
Avatar universal

Vivid Dreams cause of excessive sleepiness

For years I have been "suffering" from excessive dreaming. I have dreams that are extremely graphic, detailed and vivid. Most of the time I am aware that I am dreaming and cannot wake up. It does not occur every night, but several nights a week. I wake up feeling EXAUSTED. I nod off during the day, cannot keep my eyes open. Last night (for example) I got 8 hours of sleep and yet today I'm so tired I could cry! I should also mention that I fall asleep almost instantly and I dream as soon as I fall out. There are some days where I "fall asleep" here at work and begin to dream instantly, it's almost as if It's an instant hallucination. My husband says I'm lucky to fall asleep when I hit the pillow but I'm to the point where if sleeping makes me THIS tired I don't want to. The dreams are often traumatic and I'm tired anyway. What's the point of sleeping?!

I'm not suffering from depression and I have a regular schedule in terms of sleep (Usually get at least 6.5 - 8.5 hours a sleep). My diet is pretty good and I get an average amount of excersize. Everything I do is in moderation (no drugs either, btw).

Can someone PLEASE shed some light on this? Why am I dreaming so much and why do I feel exhausted after a "good" nights sleep?

222 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi i am sure most would disagree but you could be highly perceptive and jsut no aware of it.  Wont use the word psychic but grealty intuitve probably which people dont realize happens in the dreams.  But no for medical you can go to a sleep lab and get test to see if while you are sleeping in you have sleep apena or any sleep distrubance.  
149081 tn?1242397832
Isi t posible you have sleep apnea? Sometimes vivid dreams will occur due to the lack of oxygen-

Good luck
Avatar universal
this used to happen to me, i went and had a sleep test and found out I had obstructive sleep apnea, they put me on some medication to help and for the most part sleeping isn't a problem unless my other diseases are acting up...I would go to a doctor about this.

Avatar universal
I agree that you should see a doctor... and ask about narcolepsy.  The stereotype is that individuals with narcolepsy simply fall asleep without warning.  That is an obvious symptom, but is only one of a few different symptoms (vivid dreams, sleep paralysis, excessive daytime sleepiness are others).  It's at least worth checking out!  
Avatar universal
Its always wise to consult a doctor.
Have you tried to keep a dream diary to see if there is a similar theme. Dreams can tell us allot. You don't have to be depressed to have vivid dreams. Are you waking up afraid after the dreams, or just overwhelmed because their so vivid? There are things you can do before you go to sleep at night to have a peaceful sleep.
I hope you can find some peace and answers about why this is happening.
Avatar universal
Dear Ms. April,

It is a bit relieving to know someone else has the same problem as I do. I have suffered from excessive dreaming for as long as I could remember. I can remember too many dreams I've had beginning from when I was a toddler all the way to last week. The dreams are unbelievably detailed and I always remember every detail clearly. As a result, I am constantly fatigued and always want to sleep or rest. I can sleep any amount of hours and it doesn't matter because I wake up and my brain is tired; my sleep did not help me rest at all. Instead I woke up with a new dream to remember, and my mind is tired from creating such a detailed dream the whole night. I have bad concentration and it makes studying incredibly difficult. I am a pre-med student trying to be a neurologist/psychiatrist and my excessive dreaming problem, as simple as it may seem, is making it so hard to reach my goal. The worst part is how hard it is to diagnose or figure out what exactly is going on in our brains. Loss of attentiveness, excessive dreaming, not to mention constant thinking and slight nerve twitching. It's all so frustrating. I take NO DRUGS, I do NOT drink, no history of abuse, I am completely normal and have a great, loving family. Everything about me is normal and moderate. I have good diet, physical activity, take vitamins, everything is fine. Yet, something is wrong. So I understand what you are going through, and how frustrating it is. I even got a EEG and it showed extra electricity. So i strongly suggest you visit a neurologist and do a sleep study. Then go from there. In the meantime, good luck and I hope we find out what is going on in our brain!!

A Random Visitor
Avatar universal
Also in the meantime, do engage in "lucid dreaming." I've been researching it for awhile and have actually practiced it a few times in the past without knowing it was called lucid dreaming. So through research, people have said that it makes you more restful the next day. So who knows, until we find what is going on, maybe this will help.

(Honestly, I say lucid dreaming because I've already tried melatonin, nyquil, sleeping pills and even the dream journal. This is a last resort sort of thing.)
Avatar universal
I am glad to hear that i am not alone in this.  I am in the military and am scared to do a sleep test because i do not want to get kicked out.  I tell people that my dreams make me tired. It is like during the night i lived this other life and now i have to wake up and live this one. My husband also tells me that he wishes he could fall asleep as fast as i do.  I fell asleep last night and had a very vivid and detailed dream while my husband took a ten minute shower.  I just wish i could go to sleep and rest.  I am tired of being tired.
Avatar universal
Tired of being tired..how many times have I said this! :( In good news though, my mom recently told me that in Japan they are creating a device where you go to sleep, and you record your dreams directly onto a screen so you can watch it like a movie! Scary..huh?
Avatar universal
I ALWAYS have vivid dreams... and even if I get 9 hours of sleeps I feel SO tired in the morning.. my brain never seems rested. I also feel like I live a second life at night! I don't drink caffeine, don't do drugs, no alcoholic drinks, good diet, I work out daily, no abuse history... so I don't know why I have CRAZY on-going dreams. I have tried every type of sleeping pill possible and nothing will just pass me out... I am still dreaming up a storm. The worst is when I take naps... I start hallucinating and it takes a while for me to wake up... it's too much. In my dreams I know I'm dreaming... and I always dream that I am getting up and getting ready for the day and then my alarm goes off and I am still in bed. I am sick of always feeling tired when I get "good" sleep. What should I do?

144586 tn?1284666164
I know exactly what is causing your problem.

You have an insulin utilization problem and need a glucose tolerance test and an insulin clamp protocol.

The hallucinations are called "sugar people".

They are quite realistic and often you can see a dead relative in front of you and they are very real. The hallucinations can be tactile as well.

These can also be induced by fasting, and are the source of the mystical visions seen by Shamans who do so on a periodic basis.

Metrformin or glybiride will usually make them go bye-bye.
144586 tn?1284666164
I meant metformin or glyburide.
144586 tn?1284666164
I might add another comment about your "dreams", which are undoubtedly sugar halucinations. They tend to be extremely realistic. Sometimes you can't tell reality from the dream. This can be very worrisome. You can reach out and touch people and feel tactile feedback. Colors are vivid. People and sensations are present. They can be fun at times. Sometimes they can be terrifying, and you aren't sure if what you do in the dream will harm you in real life. Sometimes they can be pleasant and you can re-visit long dead relatives.

Yes, they can occur when you are sitting in a chair in a warm room, and suddenly you are in the halucination. It's almost like the movie "Matrix".

I suspect people who swear on ten bibles they were "abducted" by aliens experience such dreams.

I suspect there is a genetic predisposition to them, but sugar imbalance is the trigger.

I coined the term "sugar people" to describe the characters in these "mental movies".

They are more like halucinations than dreams. Another term would be "dreams plus".
Avatar universal
I am really relieved to find there are people with the same problem as me! I dream EVERY night, no exceptions. The dreams range from believable to downright ridiculous, and I often wake up wondering what is dream and what is reality. I once spent two hours looking for boots that I now think I never owned. I don't like to take drugs to go to sleep, expect for liquor sometimes, but even when I'm SO drunk I should pass out cold for HOURS, I still dream all night long!
I've always been an active dreamer, but in the last year or so it's gone to a whole new level. I wake up tired all the time despite getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night and the dreams are so vivid I can't tell reality at times. Also, I'm a Canadian living in Korea, and on top of the huge communication barrier I doubt the doctors here would think anything of excessive dreaming. I will get it checked out anyways, but I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing! It feels good not to be alone in this!
Avatar universal
Me too! Vivid dreams, always tired, sometimes mistake dreams for reality. I also have horrible night sweats. My clothes, my sheets, and my body are drenched with sweat! Not every night, but maybe3-4 nights a week. Glad to know that I am not the only one. Just wish that I had health insurance so I could go to a sleep lab. I wonder how much I could accomplish in a day/ week/ month/ year if I wasn't always about to fall asleep!
Avatar universal
for whatever it is worth, i do have some thoughts that i would like to share.  First and foremost, the theory i have is that dreaming is a process that has a "quantity" to it.  While not all persons will remember their dreams, which is a different issue, but in essense what I am saying is my theory, absent drug or other things interfering, people need a certain amount of dreaming per night if you will.  Just for sake of example and not that my numbers are exact, but say an average person may be expected to have say dream #1:15 minutes, dream#2, 20 minutes, dream #3, 25 minutes and then dream #4, 30 minutes.  So if something is interfering with sleep QUALITY, you are essentially sleep deprived, possibly for years worth of.  And so you go to sleep and roar this dreaming engine that will not stop because you are not getting QUALITY, DEEP sleep.  In that state of deprivation, your system then kicks in and puts you in overdrive dreaming which itself does not solve but aggravates your sleep deficit.

I have a few suggestions:
A) try as best as you can to stick, 7 days a week to a schedule of say 7 hours of sleep and maintain a bed a wake time that is close every day.
B) avoid all things with high glycemic content especially say after 5 PM.  Alcohol, sweets, carrots are very high in sugar content.  I beleive sugar in the blood stream before bed time is pumping up brain activity and decreasing the chance of deep restaurative sleep.
C) Condider a sleep study.  You may not realize it and may have a sleep disorder such as apnea.  I did.  The easiest and cheapest way is to insist that the Dr. does the regular AND the CPAP in the same night, when they wake you up say around 2 or 3 to see if air pressure solves apnea if you are prone to it.  Doing it over 2 different nights I feel is a waste of money and shows how parts of the medical system milks you and the insurance company to bill twice.
D) have sex.  It will  relax your body and help you possibly get a deeper night of sleep absent other issues.
E) avoid caffeine ( also in sodas ) after 1 PM.
F) if you are a smoker, stop.
G) if you use marijuana, you are cooked!  it is known to interfere with brain waves big time and is a possible why someone may be sleep deprived.  It does not matter much when you use the weed.  Just the fact that you use it is a total brain wave scrambler.  Yes, you may want to go to bed when you use it BUT just because you fall asleep after it mean that your brain wave pattern will be conducive to deep restaurative sleep.
H) ask your doctor if a small dose of LIQUID nortriptyline
of about 3MG taken under the tongue may be worth  a try.
I) do you have a lot of body pain?  Do you wake up stiff and sore and toss and turn early morning before you wake up??  You may have fibromyalgia and it can disturb your sleep.  A good Rhumatologist can help BUT he  must be a specialist in Fibro.  Dr Daniel Wallace in los angeles is a good choice.
J) a hot bath or tub about 1 or 2 hours before bed time, ( and the sex!) will help relax you.

I am free of fibro now but i had it before and a compounding factor was sleep apnea.  That got resolved too. But unfortunately due to an accident, i have a condition that  is messing up with my sleep again so i get to bed and like you dream and dream and dream and wake up in a fog and unfortunately it has really done a number on my life but you have to take on these problems head on and get involved, trust your gut and line up as many things on your side......my theory is that sleep deficit haunts us until we finally catch up with all the deficit and until then, you may be prone to excessive dreaming.
the best.

Avatar universal
G) if you use marijuana, you are cooked!  it is known to interfere with brain waves big time and is a possible why someone may be sleep deprived.

Interesting, as this is a method  (2-3 hits a night before bed) that has helped me in the past, at least forget the dreams if they occur. And the brainwaves are an increase of Alpha state, much like being at a church with singing or using a binural beat to induce them.

I have also used dream pillows with specifically rosmary and some other herbs to at least make sure they are pleasant dreams, this too has helped. (Cinnamon for romantic dreams).

Ive used crystals for this as well. but they seem to interfere sometimes causing very unusual what I would call si-fi dreams or etheric dreams basically other relms with things I've never seen in this world or life.

During the day, if I nap I find the dreams are like of another life, reality or like living another life. At night, sometimes the same other times just mundane.

In my case, sometimes prophetic, like meeting someone in dreamland and then a few days later meeting them in what we call real life. Or having a dream of a daughter being born 6 months before wife was pregnant and we weren't trying for a baby.
The toltecs and aboriginals and some eastern teachings teach that this too is just a dream.

It is like living or visiting many different lives.

I have also tried 5-HTP to regulate serotonin levels (it didn't work for me at all and also left what I call dry head, feeling of dehydration of the brain)
Valerian root
Dropping multi vitamins (to reduce the B count).
Gaba, an herbal Valium like root (causes dehydration feeling of the brain) but is very relaxing.
coffea cruda (homeopath) this is used just to stop excessive thinking before sleep and works very very well for me.

Side note, I have Jupiter in the 12th (Astrology) this is indicative of shamanic dreaming and dreaming of things buried in the unconscious (often cave or underground dreams). Might get a reading or a chart and see whats in your 12th house (unconscious) maybe you have a lot going on there.

In my case, I was told both my grandmother and sister had to learn to train them selves to either stop dreaming or go lucid and control their dream activities.  I watch almost no TV maybe 2 movies in a week.

You might try a toltec or shaminic book that discuses dreams, not so much for stopping the dreams but for controlling them and/or understanding them a bit.

The following books have been helpful to me regarding dreams...

Toltec Dreaming By Ken Eagle Feather
Kabbalah and the power of dreaming by Catherine Shainberg
Making herbal dream pillows by Jim Long
sorry, don't have the shaman book at hand, but that's where I started.
If you going to have them, might as well do what you can to play with or control them or enjoy them.

For those of you that have had dreams of people past out of the blue read  the toltec book, very interesting.
I have those too. From 40 all the way back to 1st - 2nd grade!

Im still looking for a way to stop them rather than having them 1-3 times a night.

Avatar universal
BTW, my daughters name (the one I drempt about many moons before she was born) is April as well ;)

has a free binural beat deep sleep mp3 you can try (I am going to try this one tonight, I have been using others for other reasons myself and just got started with this angle)

I have also found that 1/2 hour or more meditation seems to work wonders and help energize me after a sleepless night of dreaming.
Avatar universal
AlwaysSleepyHead, Feb 20, 2009 03:11AM
Me too! Vivid dreams, always tired, sometimes mistake dreams for reality. I also have horrible night sweats. My clothes, my sheets, and my body are drenched with sweat! Not every night, but maybe3-4 nights a week. Glad to know that I am not the only one.

I went through the night sweats too (I am a guy btw) Thing was, at the time I was reading some ascension **** on the net and it mentioned night sweats some times just the legs, some times puddles in the solar plexes other times whole body.

I am now working with soy due to what I read about soy suppressing the thalamus gland

After a week, My dreams went from very memorable to well a scene from 3 nights ago then just a glimmer 2 nights ago and not a thing last night!!!
Will update here.

ps: organic soy only due to other things I read about non organic soy it and tumors.
Avatar universal
I suffer from most of the simptoms listed here. Vivid dreaming does not happen every night for me, but it does occur several times a week. I sometimes have difficulty going to sleep, and almost always feel tired when waking. (more so than when I went to sleep). I feel like I do much more thinking than sleeping, and sometimes I go to sleep with a problem in my head and wake up in the morning with the answer. I can also wake up and then go back to sleep and continue my dream. Sometimes they come in parts, like a story, and I can change parts or go back if I don't like what happened. Very infriquently I dream that I am being suffocated/ drowned and everything fades to black. I suspect that I actually pass out at these times.
I've seen people recommend anti depressents on other boards (they are supposed to cut back on REM) and I tried taking klonopin and it helped tremendously, but due to it's addictive nature I'm a little hesitant about using it on a regular basis.
Avatar universal
I am now working with a program (freeware) called Subliminal Blaster
It places subliminals on your computer when you are working.  
It has a dreaming section, but I created a new one via the options section that was to forget dreams and have dreamless sleep etc. I'll update here with the findings.
Avatar universal
Hi Ms.April, nice reading from u on this forum. I must admit that from ur vivid description of ur way of life, u, i am convinced that the only thing that can still keep u in that situation can be psychological espectation judging from earlier traumatic dreams. So each time u go to bed, the sub conscious mind keep reminding u in that wise.
Hence i propose that u do as follows:
1. drink lots of water. This could cause more rehydration and subsequent system relaxation(just do that. dont feel u have enough bodily fluid).
2. Pray hard.
Avatar universal
I'm in the same boat!  Rather than rehash all the same symptoms we all seem to share, let me add one.  About a year ago, in addition to the dreams, I began to develop sudden uncontrollable muscle spasms or "twitches" as my husband lovingly refers to them, which occur when I'm sleepy (which, due to the dream thing is often), at increasing frequency the more tired I get.

I recently discovered that my brother has the exact same symptoms.  This leads me to believe that either a) it's genetic, or b) we are both suffering some kind of chemical imbalance due to our family's diet in our growing years (about age 8-18), when we lived entirely off of fast food and cereal.  Incidentally, my brother and I both have scoliosis and TMJ as well, and I'm curious if any or all of these things might be related.

I am on a waiting list to have a sleep apnea study done in December, so I'll keep you posted if that is at all enlightening.  I have a hard time believing it's sleep apnea because I sleep incredibly deeply and don't even snore.  But who knows, maybe it is a lack of oxygen.

I also plan to look into the sugar thing and the soy diet, though if you have any more information on how to do that, please share!
1085993 tn?1256510234
I'm nearly 70 and have suffered from these dreams all my life. Unfortunately for me i'm almost always working under great pressure in the dream- trying to accomplish the impossible and I'm exhausted in the morning. The main point is that I now know I have Fibromyalgia (which involves Restless leg Syndrome- Twitch_chick!)
For that I found an OTC  Vitamin supplement called Celadrin  (Omega 3 and 6 etc oils) worked wonders. And if you for sure have fibro, then an RX pill called Lyrica (pregabalin) really works for all symptoms by stopping the brain from sending out unwarranted pain and spasm signals. When I take that at night I get a good night's sleep. But I usually just take 1 in the morning to get through the day pain free. At $1 per pil plus I want to keep my drug useage as low as possible, I only take it at night when I really need to.
So maybe the brain is sending out false signals causing these dreams in some instances. I lead a quiet life so by no means is my brain overstimulated by daily activities!
I'm sorry for all of you but...thanks for the company! I thought I was somewhat alone in this. I will take the advice to see my doctor about it- I never would have thought to do that.
Top General Health Answerers
363281 tn?1590104173
Nelson, New Zealand
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
19694731 tn?1482849837
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr. Raymond Moody examines what really happens when we almost die.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
When it comes to your health, timing is everything
We’ve got a crash course on metabolism basics.
Learn what you can do to avoid ski injury and other common winter sports injury.
Here are the pros and cons of the top fad diets and weight loss plans of the year.