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Sleeping Help - What's up with the nightmares?

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  • Sleeping Help - What's up with the nightmares?

    I'm very new to the Primal lifestyle, and finally convinced myself there was something to the "getting more sleep" aspect of things. This has gone pretty dismally.

    Even when I de-computer and de-tv myself and read something light and boring before bed to get myself in a calm state of mind, the quality of my sleep seems even worse than when I was getting less sleep. I am getting to bed earlier and have more time to sleep, but I spend much of the night tossing and turning and having nightmares, so my sleep quality is very poor, and I'm not sure if I'm even staying asleep the entire time I'm in the bed.

    Now, I am 17 weeks pregnant as well, and the hormones and the human furnace I have growing inside me don't make things too comfy either, but this is my second child, I'm having a very easy pregnancy, and have far less anxiety this time with pregnancy than the last. I know during pregnancy the REM phase is shorter and I'm more likely to awaken, so it's possible I'm just *remembering* more nightmares, but either way...anyone have some advice, for any of this?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Funny you bring up nightmares. I was going to start a thread on them.

    I had a thermodynamics exam that day and it was 6:30 in the morning. I had not studied at all and was planning on quickly going over my notes and scribbling down some formulas on the one page 'cheat' sheet we were allowed. Class was at 8:30. I smoked some marijuana then, I don't know why, and ended up not looking over the notes at all. Then I was in the lecture hall, but it was a futuristic lecture hall where the proctors, there were four of them behind the giant desk in the front, the proctors were able to see inside your thoughts and they had microphones in your brain somehow. It's all blurry from here, but they gave me some points for at least reading about the material (it was open book for some reason). It was just weird, man. This is all I can remember. I don't wish to go back to this bad place again. I am so happy to be here. It was a dark, dimly lit room, too. So weird. And the proctors had blue lights behind them.
    Last edited by dado; 12-19-2011, 11:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Weird.

      I guess what I'm getting at is, with more sleep, and more time to sleep I'm having worse sleep. It's almost as if with less sleep, I'm SO exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow I am more likely to stay asleep, deeper and have better quality. Don't get me wrong, I'd love 9-10 hours of sleep, I'm just not making it happen, despite following the common advice on how to have better sleep...

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      • #4
        I have a love/hate relationship with nightmares. They're like movies in your head, so I enjoy going through these fantasy worlds. I also love the sense of relief and gratitude you feel when you wake up and realize that none of it was real. But the fright you experience through the dream is really powerful, and that can't be good.

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        • #5
          You are probably waking up more often. I suffer from a strange little sleep disorder called Catathrenia. This means that I hold my breath while I am sleeping and force myself awake to get a breath. It's very strange and leads to extremely vivid and frightening nightmares from which I wake up so disoriented it takes me several minutes to realize I'm back in reality.

          Things that help me sleep are:
          1. Exercise
          2. stress relief in general
          3. Avoiding alcohol
          4. Taking a tablespoon of honey before bed (strange but it works)

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          • #6
            Marnee - I had no idea the breathlessness was a "thing." Interested to hear about that. That has happened to me on several occasions, but not often enough for me to think anything of it. Horribly frightening for me.

            I will try to get more exercise and de-stress. My life is hectic, pregnant with a toddler...but I think I can make changes to relax more...and I'll try honey. I actually have been taking a homeopathic "Calms Forte" which helps me fall asleep, but apparently not stay asleep. (I used to have the racing thoughts problem so I couldn't even fall asleep.)

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            • #7
              You could try Natural Calm magnesium which helps many people sleep more deeply. I would also suggest trying a carbohydrate/protein combination snack before bed to see if that helps.

              I think some nightmares are common in pregnancy, but it would be nice if you could get some sleep
              Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

              http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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              • #8
                I had horrible nightmares when I was pregnant. My doc. told me to take melatonin to help me reach a deeper state of sleep and it helped. I hope you find a solution soon.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rhee View Post
                  I had horrible nightmares when I was pregnant. My doc. told me to take melatonin to help me reach a deeper state of sleep and it helped. I hope you find a solution soon.
                  I'll talk to me doc about this too...

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                  • #10
                    Hi MomaThom,

                    Sounds like you may be suffering Catathrenia, too. I'm sorry. I hope you find something that works for you. I know how frustrating it can be. Raising a little one, and another on the way, must be very stressful.

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                    • #11
                      Do you get alot of vitamin b6? It doesn't give you nightmares necessarily, it just makes whatever you're dreaming of memorable.
                      Ye shall know them by their fruits.

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                      • #12
                        I'd add that nightmares are only nightmares if you leave room for fear in your mind. I've had some great nightmares in the past few years, but just kept on dreaming because they failed to elicit a reaction. Unless you let it scare you, it's just a dream. Living without fear means just that, nothing much scares you.
                        Crohn's, doing SCD

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                        • #13
                          Has anyone ever experienced sleep paralysis? I did when I was a kid, it was the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced. There wasn't an old hag sitting on my chest but there were shadowy demons in the corners of my eyes wherever I looked.
                          Ye shall know them by their fruits.

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                          • #14
                            That's not sleep paralysis, it's hallucination. Sleep paralysis is when you wake up but can't move your body. Yes, it's happened to me once, in my teens.
                            Crohn's, doing SCD

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                            • #15
                              I had this problem during pregnancy from extra b vitamins for nausea, then again going primal when I was having more protein, especially before bed. It faded away. Natural Calm also helps me sleep better. From some stuff I read, the distressing dreams may be from your mind re-processing things and it is actually helpful.

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