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Topic : 01/24 Dreams, Nightmares and Night Terrors

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Created on : Friday, January 20, 2006, 03:03:18 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Dr. Phil's guests scream, punch, fight and even eat — all while they're sleeping. They suffer from nightmares, sleep terrors and other disorders that are destroying their lives. Scott's sleepwalking and sleep terrors have gotten so dangerous that he has attempted to smother his wife, Heather, with a pillow, has walked outside shirtless in freezing weather, and has even kicked Heather in the stomach when she was pregnant. Heather is not only concerned for her safety, but also for the safety of their two small kids. Then, Nathalie has been plagued by the same gruesome nightmare for 20 years, and worries that she's losing her sanity. What's behind these recurring dreams? Plus, Angela has been eating in her sleep for the past 15 years. She wakes up to find chocolate on her clothes, food wrappers in her bed — even tuna casserole on her fingers! Dr. Phil has advice for putting these sleep disorders to bed.  Join the discussion.


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January 25, 2006, 9:35 am CST

Remembering Dreams

Quote From: debbie2424

I haven't remembered a dream either for over 43 years, however, I do remember my reoccuring nightmare.  Wonder why?
Hi!  I am 69 years old, and I have a lifelong interest in dreams. When I was quite young, I occasionally rembered my dreams, but I always remembered my recurring nightmare.  It began when I was no more than 5 or 6 years old and ended completely when I was in my early 30's.  In it I was always among friends or family members usually at church, work, or a social affair.  Always the world had come to an end.  Everyone was taken and I was left behind!  I grew up in a small city in Oklahoma and attended a large church with columns and many steps.  Often I was on those steps either on my way in or out of church, and suddenly the bright light came, and I was left with noone around me!  I would be startled awake, and pledge to myself that I would do better so that I would not be "left behind."  Finally, after having had that dream every two to four months for perhaps 25 years, I had it one morning early, and suddenly the dream became "lucid."  In this context, lucid means that I knew it was a dream, and I realized that it meant that because this was only a dream, I had nothing real to fear.  I have never had that dream again.  I might add that by this time, I had started worshipping in a different church and had begun to read several authors like, Freud, Jung, Adler, and others.  It is true that our insecurities, guilt, worries, etc. do seem to come out in these strange symbols which we shape in our dreams, and I feel now that if I don't remember a dream, I probably don't need to know what that one had to say.  It may not be the same for you, but I hope this helps!    Mia
January 25, 2006, 9:45 am CST

diffrent kinds of help

I was watching Dr. Phil.  The sleep disorders show.  I saw the story of Natnalie.. The little girl that ahe felt was haunting her.  I agree there are many approches to  address issues.   

It did seem to me she was being haunted.  I belive in the spirtual world, I have been healing myself through meditation and tools Iv learned to adjust my energy.  Through aura and chakra work. 

  And the relm between us and "them" isn't that far away.  Especially for spirits that have not crossed over yet.  I would also like to put out their a Transmediumship healing.  This is a healing of the spirt.   These healings are being done in Reno - San Raffel Ca - San Diego.  Tehy can also be done long distance. 

I would be interest on others feed back and their communication to the spirt world. 

Valerie in reno 

January 25, 2006, 10:07 am CST

Cassie, this is a sleep disorder, read on-

Quote From: cassiangel

I watched a documentary on Discovery about sleep disorders and night Terrors a couple months ago, I was surprised at how many people in USA and Canada suffer from this, I was also relieved when I saw a story quite similar to what I have gone through as child (10yrs old until I was 26 yrs old).  #1) I would have nightmares about the Devil coming for my family over and over again, then my nightmares around teen years # 2) turned into something from (nightmare on elm street movie) I would be awake and I would fall asleep without knowing I had (still believing I was awake) and I would get this crushing feeling in my jaw and I felt paralized( at that point I was fully aware I had fallen asleep) and I would sense a presence in the room, I could not see it I just felt it and I was terrified. I would hear a awful groaning and nonsense jibberish (demonic like). I would then have the sensation of levitating off the bed (it was in my dreams). I would fight to wake up. I would almost make it out,only to be pulled back into the dream. The sensation of this fighting to get awake was unbelieveable and all through this I was totally aware I was in a dream (like I was awake).  My Parents were quite concerned for me especially for my mother, because if I was in the same room as someone and I started acting as I was in need of help, it was known to help wake me up. I had read some where that if you were dreaming about the devil or something demonic it was because your Faith was not strong and it was in need of strenghing ( this was in early years 12yrs) I started to fight back with scriptures and holy water and psalms ( I do not know how I knew this) It helped in stopping the nightmares about the devil.  

Like I said the nightmares changed, what to do now? I started fighting in my dreams and they were so draining emotionaly and mentally, trying in not believing they had a hold on me and using my will to say go away your just a dream I can wake up. It did help in lessing the nightmares and I started to have a little more nights to actually get sleep. this change in nightmares happened when I was around 16 yrs old. I continued to have these nightmare until 26 yrs old, But they were lessening and each time I would have it, I would not acknowledge and give the dream any power, I had the power. At 26 yrs old they finally stopped. At 29 yrs old the dream decided to come back I didnt even give it a chance to manifest I told it to get lost, and then it was gone. I know this is different from people who sleep walk, But if someone is suffering from nightmares similar from mine, Believe me when I say to you that you can stop it, you have to give yourself the power. Maybe self confidence, maybe faith. I had no one to help me and like I said I only found out other people suffer from similar nightmares only a couple months ago. I was at a lost, was so tired ,to scared to go to sleep and felt so alone, I to felt like I was slowly going mad, crazy, was going to lose something.  I did it myself, yes took along time, BUT the nightmares were not as frequent they got lesser and Then I was able to get sleep and get mentaly and emotionaly STRONGER. 

To this day I still wonder if it was actually real and was I being attacked by something demonic? or had I really just manifested these dreams from something from my own mind and emotions? 

 I do hope I was able to help someone or at least give someone a little Hope and a little Faith 


I watched this episode with interest mainly because I have experienced similar things to what you described, mostly around the age of early to mid twenties.  I thought it stemmed from insecurity and being afraid to be alone at night, however, after mentioning my experience to others, I found that it is actually quite common.  I searched on the internet one day and found it to be called "Sleep Paralysis, and the experience you describe is called "hypnagogic hallucinations".   I was so relieved to read that it was actually a disorder and not really anything 'evil' harming me.  I also would dream I was awake, and thinking I truly was awake, not being able to move, having the feeling of a presence in the room, being levitated, etc. etc.  None of it actually happened, but it seems so real at the time.  It is absolutely terrifying.  For a time, I thought I was going crazy, I thought that I had a  brain tumor, and/or being visited by evil spirits.  It is very scary to deal with, to the point that you are afraid to go to sleep.  When it did happen, I would pray and it did help, and I think it helps to wake up the brain and that is what snapped me out of it.  I don't have them as often now (I'm 41) but I do have them occasionally, although I'm not afraid of them anymore.  Go to this website and read about them.  I was hoping Dr. Phil would address this disorder on his show.  Perhaps when he does a follow up he could talk about this disorder as well. 


January 25, 2006, 10:30 am CST


Sylvia Brown, the psychic and medium has done extensive research in this arena and has written a few books that may help you overcome these night terrors or horrible dreams that you have.  She says that alot of dreams have to do with past lives and things of that nature.  She has a website also,, that may have some answers to help you.
January 25, 2006, 11:20 am CST

Dreams, Nightmares and Night Terrors

I dream a...lot. Most of my dreams are just plain weird. I do have this reoccuring dream where I'm at Australia Zoo with Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter and he takes me into one of his crocodile ponds and I get attacked by the crocodile, but he pulls me away without a scratch. And, he's like, "Wre gotta get you to the hhospital, mate," and I'm like, I don't have a scratch on me though." It's pretty weird. Now, the scariest nights I've experienced, was when I was 13.  I was over at my friends house and we watched the movie, "IT." And, that night after we went to bed I got up to go use the restroom and I was walking down the hallway and I hear this loud BANG. I started screaming, AAAAHHHHHHHH.....! And, flew back into the bathroom, into the bathtub, ripping down the curtains and getting tangled up in them. And, my friend and her parents came running in like, "what happened, what happened!?" And, I told them that I heard a noise and it turns out it was just their cats playing with each other downstairs and knocked a chair over. And, her parents just shook their fingers at us saying, "We told you girls, that you shouldn't watch that movie." Oh...I love having dreams, well...except for the bad ones.
January 25, 2006, 11:41 am CST

medication for night terrors

I would be happy to talk to anyone that has a child suffering from night terrors.  My son suffered from these for a couple years and we finally got help from a neurologist that specialized in sleep disorders.  My son was diagnosed with reflux which in turn interruped his sleep all night long and therefore he was totally exhausted by the time bedtime came and the night terrors would start after he had been asleep for about 45 minutes.  After getting the reflux treated we also used a medication called IMIPRAMINE for about 6 months.  My son is now 6 and has not had a night terror since we got help for him.  We used the medicine for about 6 months and stopped cold turkey when he turned 3 just to see if he needed the medication.  Luckily he did not need it anymore since we had the reflux under control and it was no longer waking him up.  He was able to not go to bed totally exhausted triggering a night terror. 
January 25, 2006, 11:48 am CST


Quote From: bareden

Benydryl never worked for my son. It seems to have no effect on him. Now that he is getting older, he sleeps with his clock radio on right next to his head and keeps it on all night.

Maybe you could ask your doctor about this medication.  It worked for my son and if you're interested I could explain more to you about how the medicine works and why it works. 



January 25, 2006, 12:42 pm CST

Recurring Nightmares

Dear Nathalie,
I also suffered from recurring nightmares for as long as you have been in the same situation. I have overcome it and thought I would write in if it could help you. First, I applaud Dr Phil for suggesting that it may be physically related. After almost 20 years of suffering and psychiatry, The Montefiore Sleep Disorder Center diagnosed the problem and treated the symptoms.
When they discovered through sleep evaluation that the REM to sleep percentage was so high (fertile ground for nightmares), they prescribed a very low dosage of an anti-depressent which prevented the REM stage of sleep from occuring. I was cured.
I also, having spent so many years in dream therapy, think that I can help after seeing your story. It was evident to me that Amy is your alter ego (clues like she is wearing your childhood dress). During the chapter in your life when your parents were splitting up you must have had so many strong feelings. Amy/you are asking your parents "Why are you leaving me" because that is the question you had and perhaps either take blame for  or haven't had answered for you. You might have felt so bad about it when you were younger that thoughts of suicide might have entered your mind. Perhaps you still feel so "haunted" by those private thoughts (which, when you think about it, usually happen when you are in the bathroom, in the shower).
I am sure that you have had it and really do want to "Go out and play"... So, the next time you ask your self (or Amy asks you that question), see if you can answer by saying "yes, I am ready to play".
By the way, since the REM stage is the most physically active stage, those of us that have a high proportion of REM/sleep time are generally more tired during the day and need more hours of sleep at night in order to feel rested.
In any case, check out the physical and psycological aspects and I hope they do find you peace. I have been okay for 20 years now. You are the only other person that I ever heard of with the same thing that I suffered with for so long which is why I have felt compelled to reach out.
January 25, 2006, 1:05 pm CST

My Husband has Night Terrors

Quote From: jussdreamn

 Hmmm, that's odd.  I will say that both me and my son have asthma and we both talk in our sleep.  I used to walk in my sleep as well, but as I grew older I stopped walking and just kept talking.  So, asthma might have a part in this, but to have the feeling of something in his throat is rather odd.  When he awakes from him dreams is he having problems breathing?  If so, it might help for him to sleep with an extra pillow or two.  I know I breath better when I am having asthma problems if I have an extra pillow to prop my head on. 

Does your husband still have his adenoids?  I know when you are sleeping if you have enlarged adenoids that will cause problems with sleep.  In-fact it can stop you from breathing and cause you to choke or even worse.  Has he spoke to his regular doctor about this or only his psychiatrist? 

I appreciate your response.  It has made me think about a couple of things. 


To answer your questions; 


When he wakes from his dreams, his subconsious is telling him he is choking on something and for that reason, yes he has problems to breathe.  But once he snaps out of his dream, he is fine.  


We have noticed that he has more dreams in a night and are more violent when he is stressed out.  He recently changed jobs and we have seen a SIGNIFICANT decline in the number of dreams he has been having, but still has one every now and again. 


Honestly, I am not sure what Adenoids are, so as far as I know, yes he still has them.   


Yes, he spoke to his regular doctor and he is the one that suggested seeing the psychiatrist.  Unfortunately, we feel if he is going to rid these dreams all together that perhaps he might have to go to a sleep clinic. 


Until then, I will suggest an extra pillow at night to see if that also helps. 


Thanks for your suggestions. :) 



January 25, 2006, 1:27 pm CST

excessive dreaming but can't move

I have always been a big dreamer. It comes and goes and is mostly how I process my days. As i have gotten older it has gotten worse and worse. On an ongoing basis I spend at least half my night dreaming and "being awake" during it. But i do not move around at all... Sometimes I even feel that state that I can't wake up and 1/2 ina dream state and 1/2 awake. I don't move around at all .. they aren't nightmares .. i just feel like i was involved 100% in my dreams and get no sleep during the time. I wake up more exhausted than before I went to bed at times. I have been working on trying to figure out what is up.. behavior and biofeedback doesn't work .. physical excerci\se doesn't work ... anyone else have any symptoms similiar to this that might have some suggestions or input to look into ?
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