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Nightmares

Do you experience nightmares as part of your narcolepsy symptoms and do they affect you even after waking?

  1. I really, really struggle with nightmares. They are so intense and I sometimes wake up having a panic attack and struggle to calm myself down. Other times, I have woken up and still felt as though I was in the dream and shoved my head under cold running water to bring myself back to reality but I couldn't feel it. I did this for around five minutes until I finally was able to come to some sense of reality.
    They absolutely affect me afterwards, the day after I really struggle. My entire body feels heavy and doing anything feels like I'm doing it in slow motion. The best way I can think to describe it is like a dissociative state. There have been times when I have been unable to leave the house the next day when I've had a really intense night.
    Nightmares are one of the symptoms that I struggle with most I would say.

    1. Hi Bella, thank you for sharing your experience with nightmares. I am so sorry you have nightmares so often. I don't have them as often but they are never fun when they do happen. Please let us know if there's any resources we can show you or if there are any questions you may have. Warmly, Tara (team member)

  2. I experience nightmares a whole lot unfortunately but I actually think I experience nightmares, sleep paralysis and hallucinations more often than most people. It's one of my main symptoms that follow daytime sleepiness and cataplexy.

    My nightmares sometimes make me wake up with palpitations and more often than not are so real, that it takes so long for me to calm myself down and believe that it wasn't real.

    1. Hi Iris, I am so sorry you experience nightmares, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations so often. I think every person with narcolepsy experiences each of these differently. I personally never knew I was having each of these until after I was diagnosed and did more research on narcolepsy.

      Have you found anything that helps minimize each of these for you? Or if certain things make it better or worse? I have found for me personally, when I am highly stressed each of these are so much worse. Thank you for sharing your experience with nightmares! Warmly, Tara (team member)

    2. Hey Tara! Yes, I found out that I cannot sleep on my back. For some reason, I always experience nightmares and sleep paralysis every single time. I don't know if this is just me, but it will happen every single time. Also, as I suffer from insomnia, I sometimes go 2 or 3 nights without sleeping a single wink...that's when I also have a higher probability of experiencing cataplexy which usually makes me have hallucinations and paralysis. So weird!

  3. I do get nightmares but a lot of the time it is only when I get sleep paralysis. It is often hard for me to tell the difference on if it was a dream or not.

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