Picture this: It’s 4am. Dark outside. You’re sleeping in bed with your pretty little wife next to you. Suddenly, out of nowhere you are awakened to her screaming, screaming at the top of her lungs, “Don’t do it! I’ll kill you!” You sit bolt upright in bed reaching out to grab your shotgun as you prepare to see someone standing above your wife in the bedroom. The dogs are of course freaking out about mommy screaming. Your eyes focus and you see that your pretty little wife is sound asleep.
That is some of the fun my husband gets to experience now. It’s that whole continuing life is an adventure thing.
Yes, since my POTS symptoms started my dreams have been incredibly realistic and vivid. Sometimes I have one dream that lasts all night long (or for as long as I am sleeping). Some dreams feel so real that it takes a couple hours of being awake to realize it was not real.
I wake up in the middle of the night covered in sweat with my heart racing and it’s hard to catch my breath. This is becoming more frequent and of course this causes an adrenaline surge, which is part of the autonomic nervous system’s job if you remember from my post all about it Autonomic is All Powerful.
The more research I do, the more I see patients with POTS reporting vivid dreams and nightmares, even night terrors. It is unknown whether this is directly related to POTS itself or possibly a combination of beta blockers combined with other meds. Either way, I can honestly report a change in my dreams.
I have also several times dreamed about fainting and passing out. These dreams include the symptoms that go along with passing out exactly as if I was awake.
I have been researching quite a bit and it looks like there was only really one study done looking into ‘passing out while sleeping’. I think it definitely occurs and most likely when I am dreaming about passing out, I am actually passing out. That’s a crazy thought. Kind of like an inception thing. Dreams within dreams. Loss of consciousness while already in an altered state of consciousness.
That hurts my brain to think about. I read a bit about it on the wonderful blog Irish Dysautonomia Awareness. The way she explained her experience of possibly fainting in her sleep is very similar to my experience. There is really only one medical study that I can find on vasovagal syncope interrupting sleep. If you have time and want to read it, it’s right here.
Here is one excerpt: The syncope was of short duration and was often accompanied by profuse sweating. After regaining consciousness most patients felt very weak and could not remain upright but were orientated.
Now, let me explain a little thing about me. I do not appreciate or like snakes. I know that some have a purpose in mice control, etc. I just don’t like them. When I met my husband I explained a few things to him first thing. 1) Don’t make me pick between you and my dog, Sarge. We’re a package deal. 2) Do not ever under any circumstance think that it will be cute or funny or well received to ever, EVER pick up a snake and walk near me with it, run towards me, or throw it at me. This isn’t like a haha, oh you are being annoying by chasing me. This is a serious matter. I explained it in a very firm way and it has always been understood that this is a horrific idea.
Why am I telling you this? Because in my nightmare my dad was throwing a giant snake at me. Now, in real life my dad would never under any circumstance do that.
I don’t know why. Dreams are weird.