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Topic : 01/24 Dreams, Nightmares and Night Terrors

Number of Replies: 158
New Messages This Week: 0
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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 24, 2006, 3:54 pm CST

This one hits home!!

Thank you so much Dr. Phil for this show! I am 30 years old, and have had nightmares as long as I can remember. Some very scary recurrent ones from my child hood that have followed me into my adult life, and new ones that creap up each week. I have these terrible dreams virtually every night. It's become a very sad reality in my life. I never get into a really deep sleep, and can usually wake up with the slightest sound, unless I am having a nightmare. The dreams have really taken over my life. I don't sleep alone in my room, they are worse there. When I do sleep in my bedroom, I have a light on and my german shepard on my bed with me. What a horrible feeling. I have been trying to find the meanings of my  dreams and everywhere I look I get a different angle on what it could be.  I was always very reserved in discussing these dreams with anyone. I felt like a freak. After seeing this show, I don't feel so alone anymore. 
January 24, 2006, 3:58 pm CST


I just wrote a long message and lost it.  Anyway, Angela, what you said on the show about eating in your sleep, I could of written myself.  Every bit of it, I could relate too.  I hope you read this message and get back to me, I think there is more to it than rebelling like Dr. Phil suggested.  It feels to me like it's a mixture of an eating disorder and sleeping disorder. 


Anyway, I've had this problem for over 15 years, and I know what you are talking about.  I find messes all the time, my sleepware if often smeared with chocolat or peanut butter.   


I am not on any kind of medication whatsoever so that rules out the suggestion I read in a few replies. 


I do feel that when I do get up, usually exactly 1 hour and 1/2 after having fallen asleep, I feel like I am awake and know what I am doing, I feel like I made the concious choice to eat, but then again, I wake up the next morning with peanut butter in my hair or clothes, and I have eaten chicken in the middle of the night and eaten the bones with it, something I would definetely not do if I was awake.  I probably wake up and then fall back asleep while I'm eating. 


Anyway, one thing has helped me that I came accross quite by accident, it would be nice if we could chat about this, compare notes type of thing.  This message is for you Angela, and also for the lady with the 26 yrs old daughter that seems to have this problem also. 


This is my email   I would be quite happy to hear from either of you, or anybody else that has this night eating problem. 


If you do email, pls write that you are from the Dr. Phil board so I do not delete. 


Really hope to hear from you 



January 24, 2006, 4:02 pm CST

night terrors

 Last year in psych 101 or 102 I can't remember, my prof was talking about night terrors, and during the break, one of my classmates and I were talking about them. Her daughter used to have them, and someone told her that putting some holy water on her while she was having them would calm her down. Now her daughter no longer has them since her mom was using holy water as a solution. I don't know if this really works or not since I was told of this, but maybe it would help someone.
January 24, 2006, 4:12 pm CST


Quote From: roseygoat

My daughter has experienced a sleepwalking/eating disorder that was mentioned today, & she has had difficulty with this for 10+ yrs.  She's 26 yrs. old, overweight by 50+ lbs., & I'm concerned for her.  Since she doesn't have med. insurance, I'm not sure what is available to her to help her.  Any suggestions?

I would be happy to talk with your daughter if she wants to email me, 


I have the same problem as Angela does, we could compare notes, I get up 365 nights a year, I keep on trying to sleep through the night and just never make it.  Except for the exception, I never make it through the night. 


Quite by accident though, a few years ago, I started sleeping through the night, and I could not put my finger on why, and from having tried this a million times, I know that when I keep carbs to a minimum, I immediatly start to sleep through the night.  I'm not talking fruit and veggies here, I'm talking bread, rice of pasta.  I know this may seem strange to you, but every time I manage to get enough control to cut out the starches from my diet, I can sleep through without waking up, or if I do wake up, I could get back to bed without eating in the night.   


Anyway, it would be nice to chat about this some more, I hope Angela reads this and gets back to me. 



January 24, 2006, 4:16 pm CST

Bad dreams~

For the past 5 or 6  years I have not had any bad nightmares. My little 14 year old brother however, has. Four years ago our mother was killed. My little brother started acting up. He got into drugs, smoking, drinking, violence, and gang related issues. He is still in the process of doing this thins to a certain extent. Sometimes at home he will have a nightmare and scream or yell at someone or get up and walk around in the hallway or even run and scream. Could the death of my mother be  a cause of this? And what should I do to get him help? 

                                                       Thanks, Adrien 

January 24, 2006, 4:20 pm CST

thank you!

Quote From: thankful6

My two year old son has had night terrors since he was six months old.  He could have up to six night terrors in four days.  Each night terror would last 20 minutes to just over one hour.  Then it would take about a half hour for him to recover from the night terrors.    We put him on a regular schedule but that still didn't prevent the night terrors.  If he was in a night terror we couldn't wake him up out of it.  He would look so frightened and upset.  Our pediatrician suggested when he was two years old to try Children's Benadryl and that is what has stopped his night terrors.  We give him Benadryl before naps and bedtime and he is able to maintain his sleep and get in the proper cycles of sleep.  I am curious if there is any relationship with allergies and breathing and sleep cycles.   Our son use to sleep on his hands and knees and since he has Benadryl he sleeps on his back or on his side peacefully.  I would encourage other parents to first discuss if Benadryl is safe for their child with the pediatrician.  I am hopeful that this will help another family like ours. 
My 3 1/2 year old daughter has had night terrors sooooo bad lately! She's always had them, but it seems now she's having them as often as your son. No one is getting too much sleep over here lately!  I will try the Benadryl--I had read that that worked. My pediatrician has offered no advice at all, but I'm getting desperate. I also liked Dr. Phil's (Dr. Lawless' actually) advice to his first guest to use music. My daughter often falls asleep to music, but I've never tried to keep it going all night. I'll take ANY other advice out there!
January 24, 2006, 4:25 pm CST

Night terrors

 I am 19 years old and I have embarrassing night terrors constantly.  My night terrors started around 13/15 years old and have got worse.  At night I will yell, cry, sweat, shake, and even get up and run sometimes.  When I have these night terrors my heart races.  I have been to the sleep doctors at home several times and the doctors only want to put me on medications for it.  The medication worked for about a month and then stopped working ( I think I got tolerant to the medication) so I stopped taking them.  It feels like when I am stressed out the night terrors occur worse.  I go to college so stress is always a factor.  Plus night terrors seem so embarrassing because I live in dorm rooms and have a roommate and even though I warn people about my night terrors when I have them I am still embarrassed.  I feel like I have not got a good night sleep for awhile.
January 24, 2006, 4:41 pm CST

I don't agree

Dr. Phil,  I'm sorry.  But, I have to disagree with you.  I don't believe that dreams are just unfinished business.  I agree that they can be unfinished business.  However, you didn't even talk about the spiritual side of it.  About the lady who has the reoccuring dream of the dead girl who is haunting her, I believe it's a spirit.  She's doing everything else but facing the girl spiritually.  I believe she should get a spiritual advisor, whoever that may be, to assist her in this dilemma.  Thanks.   

January 24, 2006, 4:46 pm CST

01/24 Dreams, Nightmares and Night Terrors

Quote From: abba38

My son will be 9 in April. He has suffered from night terrors since the age of 2 1/2. When he was young they were really bad. He would have them  sometimes 3 or 4 times a night for a few nights in a row and some of them would last up to 2 hours!! He also had them during naps. We took him to neurologists,  a sleep apnea clinic, had him checked for seizures----nothing!!! They all said he would eventually outgrow them. The only thing that seemed to help a bit was having his adnoids out. They were blocking a large part of his airway causing sleep apnea. He still has night terrors, but not as often and not usually as bad.  He did have some only a few nights ago that were as bad as when he was little. He had 4 episodes in 2 hours where he screamed like he was being attacked and he got up and tried to run. Even when he was small he never tried to run, but he would swing and go crazy. I even tried to contact Dr. Phil a couple of years ago with no success. Most people including doctors don't know enough about what causes terrors to be able to cure them. My son also went months at a time with nothing, then all of the sudden they would return. It was and still is very discouraging. I hope this doesn't happen with you. I feel the worst for my son because through all of this he still has to get up and function with little or no sympathy from teachers, etc. becasue they don't know much about or even understand what a real night terror is.
I understand what both of you are going thru. My son began having night terrors at 2 and he is now 11. I have not had ANY success with doctors at all. I also was told he would outgrow it. Sometimes he runs thru the house as if he is being chased by  the devil. It is impossible to wake him. As he has gotten older they have become less frequent, but we all have suffered and not had much sleep in years. He has even walked outside.
January 24, 2006, 4:48 pm CST

01/24 Dreams, Nightmares and Night Terrors

Quote From: char72

My 3 1/2 year old daughter has had night terrors sooooo bad lately! She's always had them, but it seems now she's having them as often as your son. No one is getting too much sleep over here lately!  I will try the Benadryl--I had read that that worked. My pediatrician has offered no advice at all, but I'm getting desperate. I also liked Dr. Phil's (Dr. Lawless' actually) advice to his first guest to use music. My daughter often falls asleep to music, but I've never tried to keep it going all night. I'll take ANY other advice out there!
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.
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