Avatar universal

Why can't I stop dreaming?!

Here is some history: I'm 24, I have Anxiety/Panic disorder. I have been taking Effexor XR since April, and it seems to help with my symptoms. I also take Xanax as needed for panic attacks. This also helps. However, I have not been able to have one night's sleep without dreaming in 8 months! I told my psychiatrist, and she prescribed Ambian, which helped me fall asleep fast, but I still had dreams all night. Then she suggested taking the Xanax every night, starting with .5 mg. When that didn't work, she told me to try 2. Nothing helps. I dream all night long. Nightmares, stupid dreams, ex-boyfriend dreams, vacation dreams, high school dreams, etc. All freakin' night! I wake up in the morning feeling like my brain hasn't rested! It is getting really annoying. This happened to me a few years back when I was first diagnosed with Anxiety/Panic disorder. But it went away after about a month. This has been 8 months now!!! Does ANYONE out there know what is causing this and if there is some kind of medication out there that would help this?
101 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey , I noticed the same thing when I took a tylenol 3-4 times for a headache and got some deep sleep with no dreaming although I dont recommend it to anyone.I started dreaming nonstop everynight since 4-5 years ago am currently seeing a pschiatrist who stated it was normal but I disagree cause I didnt before and now I wake up so tired mentally and physically.Ive tried the assortment of sleep aids both perscription and herbal they just get me drowsy but the dreaming is still there (bad quality of sleep).Ive also seen a neurologist and he stated it might be a chemical imbalance. Ive also had lots of blood work done that came back normal too and am currently on meds for anxiety,depression although the dreaming was there before the meds mind you although I did have some rootcanals /dental work done right before the dreaming started I wonder if theres any relation?Anybody else have any dental work done or surgeries Prior to the dreaming state?Has anyone seen a holistic healer or witch to ask them what causes this?Hey you have to try all avenues.I use to only need 5 -7 hours sleep tops but it was good sleep, miss those days.
Avatar universal
I used to take effexor xr for generalized anxiety disorder and I have had dreams like this before, during, and after...  i can think of a handful of times i have gone for a bit without recalling my dreams.  i have studied dreams as a psychologist and interestingly have never made this connection.  i literally am so sick of my dreams that i googled "how to stop dreaming" and came across this blog.  i think it is more to do with anxiety than the meds.  especially when you read all of these entries, that seems to be the one thing we all have in common...high anxiety.  I can relate to the ruining of ones life because currently what i dream about is all i can think about during the day and just when i finally get my mind off it...i wake up in the middle of the night wanting to cry (or worse) because i am so upset from my dreams.  i want to keep  my mind right and positive in a particular situation, trust my heart, but my head keeps interferring and making this compulsive replaying of my memories lose grasp on reality and the sub conscious fears.  
Avatar universal
i am 39 yrs old and have been having nightmares EVERY night for the past 23 yrs. i have been to several sleep clinics, taken too many prescribed medications to mention and have been to psychologist/psyciatrists and the list goes on. nothing has ever helped me get rid of the nightmares. it's very aggravating to have medical professionals tell you that dreaming is normal but have no real answers for nightmares.  i'm sure it is normal for people to dream every night but to have nightmares every night is entirely different.  i would pay anything to have just one nights sleep without nightmares. i have recently been prescribed Seroquel and started at 25mg and have just started 100mg. the only result of taking the medication is a more vivid nightmare experience!  i have heard every suggestion listed in the prior comment before, believe me. any new suggestions will would be GREAT!!!!
Avatar universal
I am 29 yrs old and feel like I am crazy. I recently broke up with my boyfriend, who has moved on very quickly. I have had non-stop nightmares and dreams which wake me up about every hour or so. I am on the anxiety/depression med. Lexapro and I am seeing a therapist which help control the emotional rollercoaster. But these nightmares are preventing me to move on because I can't get him out of my head. It literally consumes my whole day because I am not getting enough deep sleep and all I am thinking about is how horrible my dreams are. I really don't know what to do . . . I am afraid if these last much longer that I am going to go crazy. My friends and family are already seeing the negative change in me and they don't understand what I am going through. I feel so distant from everything and everyone. I really want my life back without these nightmares. Can anyone help!?

Desperately looking for answers. . . .
Avatar universal
I've had similar experiences for years now. I also have an anxiety disorder and I dream nonstop every single night and wake up feeling exhausted and sore, like I've been working out all night or something. The only thing I've found that helps this is to clear my mind right before I go to sleep. My therapist taught me a great relaxation exercise that helps me get to sleep. It's called progressive muscle relaxation. Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_relaxation
You might want to ask your therapist about relaxation techniques and such. I found that it really helps me when I'm feeling especially anxious and my anxiety overall isn't as bad as it used to be.

Also, try not to dwell on the negative and find positive things in your life to focus on. I find that focusing on something nice right before I go to bed gives me better dreams. They're still dreams but at least they're not nightmares.

Just know that you aren't alone, people go through this kinda thing everyday. I've been dealing with this for a long time, and am doing just fine these days. Once you learn how to cope with it, it gets a lot better. Hope I've helped and hope things get better for you.
Avatar universal
It most definitely seems like anxiety has a lot to do with this dreaming issue we're all sharing. Like a few of you have stated, I also remember having this "over dreaming" problem before the medication and the anxiety, which begs the question 'is this possibly a reason for the anxiety?' I couldn't really believe when after 100's of tests my doctor told me I had anxiety, and sent me to a psychiatrist (which has been a really good thing i must admit), but i've never really been depressed or anxious as far as I can remember, and then about 3 years ago I had an attack. I think that maybe after an extended period of bad sleep, maybe anxiety develops due to the lethargy that comes from this somehow.
It seems really odd that doctors and psychiatrists have not looked into this further, as clearly there are quite a few people out there going through this.
Anyway, sorry I couldn't post a cure for you all, but I thought i would give my 2 cents, and give a big thanks for starting this post, as it does help to know i'm not alone with this.

Cheers all.
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