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Sleep Terrors: Is There A Way To Stop the Fear?

by Melissa E.
(Houma, LA USA)

Living a 'normal' life

Living a 'normal' life

I am a 45-yr-old female. I was so excited to read about others who suffer from this! I went to bed thinking I will be able to manipulate my dream to where I would be in control & hopefully end the terrors.

It begins every time exactly 30 minutes after I'm asleep. I left the T.V. off knowing I will dream. I did! But this time, it was only a females voice telling me that I couldn't change the dream & b/c I was trying I was being locked outside my home as a punishment. As my dream was occurring it appeared I was. Everything was extremely dark &
disorienting which is unusual b/c I can always see lights from windows (like my room usually is). I panicked in the dream & when I ran to grab for the door in real life I slipped injuring myself.

This is the 1st injury. I did sleep walk as a child but that stopped by the time I was an adolescent. Now I'm more frightened than before about going to sleep which brings on different problems.

When the dreams 1st occurred it was millions of varmints or insects crawling or running all around me. Then intruders, now it has remained into what I believe are dead people. Sometimes it's 1 to multiple. Sometimes it's children to elderly, sometimes demons. They are either grabbing for me or just in my face. No matter where I am the room is exactly how the room is @ the time & place of where I am, making it so much more realistic.

This has been going on since my 20's. Someone mentioned maybe I have a 6th sense, but I can't get them to talk for the startling fear it gives me. Now I'm reading the article saying maybe I could have some underlying psychological/medical problem. Whatever the case
may be I want this gone. It's a problem b/c I end up terrorizing people around me for screaming. Yesterday was the 1st time I felt happy/normal about going to sleep 'cause I wasn't alone. But now I'm back feeling like I don't any control of these dreams.

Please advise.

P.S. I am capable of having other types of dreams; it's just not as often anymore.

Kevin: Hey Melissa, thanks for sharing your story! The first thing I would mention is that there is a difference between sleep terrors and nightmares, and that finding out exactly what you are experiencing will be key to you overcoming it.

The biggest difference between the two is that nightmares take place in REM sleep, like all your other dreams, while sleep terrors take place in non-REM sleep. If you are interested in finding out which stage of sleep your episodes take place in, you could get a Zeo Personal Sleep Coach (you can check out their website here).. Zeos are these really cool new devices that let you monitor your own sleep at home, giving you data on your progression through the different stages of sleep. Essentially it's a do-it-yourself EEG polysomnography.

If the Zeo shows you that these episodes are nightmares taking place in REM sleep, checking out Stephen LaBerge's Lucidity Institute could give you the tools you need to hone your lucid dreaming to the point where you can deal with the nightmares. If the Zeo confirms your episodes are sleep terrors taking place in non-REM sleep, you'll likely want to see if you can get in to visit a sleep specialist to see what kind of recommendations he or she has for you.


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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