The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

I'm Afraid Of Hurting My Wife While Sleeping!

by L
(California, USA)

L - Afraid to Sleep

L - Afraid to Sleep

I've never been told that I talked in my sleep - not until now. I am in my mid-fifties, and a few years ago my wife noticed that I was starting to talk in my sleep. This was not too concerning and did not happen that often. My sleep talking was a novelty to laugh about the next day.

Now, 4 years later, this has become an almost nightly occurrence. As well as increased sleep talking I have begun to act out parts of my dreams. My poor wife has had to awaken me numerous nights (much to my horror) because I was hitting her! This was a bit worrisome, but I was not hurting her, so much as scaring her. However, that has started to change over the last year.

Apparently I have become much bolder in my dreams, because the hitting (and kicking) is being done with more force. I yell profanities at my adversaries, and never wake up. I am not aware that I am acting out the dreams - verbally or physically - but for the fact she wakes me up to tell me. In that moment when I awake I can usually recall what I was just dreaming of. The dreams seem to have an underlying theme.

My cohorts and I are always fighting against other individuals. These battles have been fought with everything from bows and arrows to flying futuristic craft with laser weapons. So, apparently my sub-conscience does not fetter itself with the restrictions of historical chronology. The dreams may involve fighting an enemy force as a whole, or fighting through a force in an effort to face whomever is directing them. There does not seem to be a good vs. evil "thing" going on. I do not always win either.

My last dream has prompted me to seek answers via the Internet. I was struck down in the dream, and my wife woke me because I was screaming. On awakening there was a particular taste in my mouth. It was the same experience (taste) from a time in my youth when I was violently hit in the head. I felt stunned, and was horribly shaken. I rolled away as if to sleep, but was not able to - for the fear that still gripped me.

I need answers. I don't have a particularly stressful life. I don't take drugs or drink (except the Rx meds that I've taken for many more years than this has been happening). I am somewhat sleep deprived. I am afraid that things will only get worse, and I can't abide hitting my wife!

Learn more about REM Behavior Disorder

Comments for I'm Afraid Of Hurting My Wife While Sleeping!

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 20, 2015
Damn NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem but the only thing is that I can't remember what my dream is about I don't wanna hurt my wife I'm scared IMA hurt my unborn child someone help us.

Nov 29, 2016
Re: damn new NEW
by: Anonymous

It is exactly a year from your post and I'm am dealing with the exact same thing. Unborn child and all. Did you find help?

Oct 19, 2022
Geoff cornwall
by: Geoff Wragg

Just come across your site never though of going on internet. Anyway I have had night terrors for 25 yrs it started after the death of my brother my life changed l have awakened with my hands around my wifes neck she trying to calm me down or me throwing my arms all over place many times hitting her. l have slept on my own with Windows & doors shut mattress on floor around bed as I stand on bed & five of or roll out of bed. This as caused me lots of cut fractures & many bruises. I also have sleep apnea I have a cpac machine to keep me safe. Does any one know if you can get any financial help with electric or equipment?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Stories of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.