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Hi,

I have a question, and also needed help finding an older post. Question first:

Since I was hit with POTS, I suddenly have very weird and vivid dreams. I also find - dont know how to explain this, but I'll do my best - that when I go to bed, not long after closing my eyes I seem to go straight to dreaming, almost like lucid dreaming but not. I used to go to bed and lay in bed about 10 or 20 minutes just thinking and relaxing before starting to drift into sleep. Now, only a few seconds after closing my eyes I'm almost dreaming while awake. I also find this happens in the morning, if I wake up but decide that I'm not ready to get out of bed yet, I'll stay in bed trying to sleep but end up in and out of this dreamy 'la la land'. Can anyone relate? I know there have been many posts about POTS and vivid dreams, so I'm sorry if you are all getting sick of this subject.

I have also been trying to find a post I read a few months back, but am now having trouble finding it (brain fog!?). It was about dreaming - I think the title or sub title was 'reality vs dreaming'...something about dreaming in the mornings. I have tried entering 'dreaming', 'reality' etc in the search function, but so far havent been able to find it.

Thanks.

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Guest brianala

Toprol gave me really crazy, vivid dreams. Like, more so than normal. I usually have pretty vivid, weird dreams but it's much more intense when I'm on Toprol.

But I don't have the same thing about falling asleep. I'm pretty sure I have delayed sleep phase syndrome. It takes me forever to get to sleep. I usually lay awake for an hour or two before I can get to sleep.

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Hi,

I have a question, and also needed help finding an older post. Question first:

Since I was hit with POTS, I suddenly have very weird and vivid dreams. I also find - dont know how to explain this, but I'll do my best - that when I go to bed, not long after closing my eyes I seem to go straight to dreaming, almost like lucid dreaming but not. I used to go to bed and lay in bed about 10 or 20 minutes just thinking and relaxing before starting to drift into sleep. Now, only a few seconds after closing my eyes I'm almost dreaming while awake. I also find this happens in the morning, if I wake up but decide that I'm not ready to get out of bed yet, I'll stay in bed trying to sleep but end up in and out of this dreamy 'la la land'. Can anyone relate? I know there have been many posts about POTS and vivid dreams, so I'm sorry if you are all getting sick of this subject.

I have also been trying to find a post I read a few months back, but am now having trouble finding it (brain fog!?). It was about dreaming - I think the title or sub title was 'reality vs dreaming'...something about dreaming in the mornings. I have tried entering 'dreaming', 'reality' etc in the search function, but so far havent been able to find it.

Thanks.

Hi bizbiz. I can't say that I can relate, as I rarely experience REM. My sleep architecture is a mess, as confirmed by 3 sleep studies.

I would like to note, however, that entering straight into REM is abnormal sleep architecture. Ordinarily, you enter light sleep, then proceed to heavier delta sleep (the restorative sleep), and then REM. These cycles last from around 70-100 minutes. So, ordinarily, you are supposed to enter REM around 1.5 hours into sleep. (I don't get there until sleeping for around 4-5 hours.)

Ordinarily, REM sleep increases in proportion to other sleep stages as we approach waking time. Thus, it is entirely normal for there to be lots of "La-la land" as you drift in and out of sleep in the morning.

Certain meds can cause vivid dreaming. Also, it's worth noting that depression and anxiety (which many POTS' patients suffer from, as a consequence of dealing with chronic illness, and sleep disturbance, as well as a function of increased catecholamines) often causes increased REM sleep.

If you have good insurance, you may wish to see a sleep medicine doctor, who may want to have you submit to a sleep study. Most sleep medicine docs are either pulmonolgists or neurologists.

FWIW, I don't believe this is directly related to POTS (i.e., a common symptom), though I do know that many POTS patients complain of sleep disorders, as is the case with CFS and FMS.

Hope that helps.

Pokey

P.S. I thought this may be helpful:

Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Feb 15;41(4):419-27.

Changes in sleep architecture following chronic mild stress.

Cheeta S, Ruigt G, van Proosdij J, Willner P.

Department of Psychology, University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom.

Chronic exposure to mild unpredictable stress causes subsensitivity to rewards (anhedonia). These effects are reversible by chronic treatment with antidepressant drugs, and have been proposed as an animal model of depression. In the present study, sleep architecture, particularly the rapid eye movement (REM) component, was mapped in rats following exposure to chronic mild stress. The study used a unique large scale automated sleep system to record and analyze the sleep signals from 32 rats simultaneously. The effects of stress on sleep were maximal following 21 days of stress, at which time the stressed animals demonstrated decreases in active waking and deep sleep, and disruptions of REM sleep. The changes in REM sleep included increases in the duration of and transitions into REM sleep over the sleep part of the sleep-wake cycle, and most importantly, a reduced latency to the onset of the first REM period. These sleep abnormalities, and in particular the decrease in REM latency, are consistent with those reported in endogenous depression. The results provide further support for the validity of the chronic mild stress paradigm as an animal model to study the mechanisms underlying endogenous depression.

[Obviously, living with POTS is a strong stressor on you, physiologically, as well as psychologically.]

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Thankyou Pokey. So if it is a mess up in my sleep architecture, is there anything that can be done for it apart from anti-depressants? Were you treated for yours?

brainala - I am on Metoprolol and did read 'vivid dreaming' as a side effect, but I am on such a small dose (6mg in morning only) that the doctors do not seem to think it would cause any side effects.

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Hi,

I have a question, and also needed help finding an older post. Question first:

Since I was hit with POTS, I suddenly have very weird and vivid dreams. I also find - dont know how to explain this, but I'll do my best - that when I go to bed, not long after closing my eyes I seem to go straight to dreaming, almost like lucid dreaming but not. I used to go to bed and lay in bed about 10 or 20 minutes just thinking and relaxing before starting to drift into sleep. Now, only a few seconds after closing my eyes I'm almost dreaming while awake. I also find this happens in the morning, if I wake up but decide that I'm not ready to get out of bed yet, I'll stay in bed trying to sleep but end up in and out of this dreamy 'la la land'. Can anyone relate? I know there have been many posts about POTS and vivid dreams, so I'm sorry if you are all getting sick of this subject.

I have also been trying to find a post I read a few months back, but am now having trouble finding it (brain fog!?). It was about dreaming - I think the title or sub title was 'reality vs dreaming'...something about dreaming in the mornings. I have tried entering 'dreaming', 'reality' etc in the search function, but so far havent been able to find it.

Thanks.

Hi,

I have the "la-la land" feelings in the morning if I don't get right up. I have trouble going to sleep at night but I am not bother by vivid dreams too often. I used to have extremely vivid dreams while taking atenolol if I forgot it and took it too late.

Sorry I can't be of more help to you.

Babette

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Wait a second, you're not supposed to just jump right into dreaming? I didn't realize that that wasn't normal. I can take a 10-15 minute cat nap and wind up dreaming... Maybe I should bring this up with the doctor??

I tried to have a sleep study done once, and I couldn't fall asleep. (The bed was really hard and the sheets were scratchy and I couldn't handle having an electrode attached to my toe). They let me go at 3:00am and I went back to my apt and was immediately asleep.

Sara

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I think that with us, there is disordered sleep architecture, just like there is a disordered ANS. It is all the same chemicals and neurotransmitters that control sleep and dreams. So many disorders that mess with the ANS (narcolepsy, parkinson's, epilepsy) all mess with sleep and dreaming, just like they do with the nervous system. I'm not sure that we can be "normal" in that regard either. I never knew lucid dreaming or dream recall was so rare either, it's a norephinephrine/dopamine/serotonin thing. If you are concerned, get a sleep study. That being said, sleep is EVERYONE's reset button for the nervous system, so if you aren't getting enough sleep you are going to "fry your circuits" faster than "normals." :)

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I looked up hypnagogic hallucinations, and although it was close, it wasnt quite right. I ended up on quite a few sites for narcolepsy and read what these people wrote about their hypnagogic hallucinations and how they described them and it wasnt the same.

All in the Mind?

by Paul Chambers

"Symptoms: Hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations occur in the few seconds/minutes before and after sleep.The person will awake, often with a start, to find that they can see, hear, feel or smell something in the bedroom that either disappears or is later found not have happened."

It doesnt really feel like this.

Although, everything I read about hypnagogic hallucinations states that they are / can be caused by lack of sleep, stress etc, both of which I am suffering from at the moment. And I did have an episode of sleep paralysis a couple of weeks ago.

I am constantly so tired during the day, I feel like even though my eyes are open, my brain is sleeping. I had a baby and got POTS both on the same day, so I guess I am pretty sleep deprived and stressed!!

I am going to see my PCP to see if I can get a referral for a sleep study.

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I looked up hypnagogic hallucinations, and although it was close, it wasnt quite right. I ended up on quite a few sites for narcolepsy and read what these people wrote about their hypnagogic hallucinations and how they described them and it wasnt the same.

All in the Mind?

by Paul Chambers

"Symptoms: Hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations occur in the few seconds/minutes before and after sleep.The person will awake, often with a start, to find that they can see, hear, feel or smell something in the bedroom that either disappears or is later found not have happened."

It doesnt really feel like this.

Although, everything I read about hypnagogic hallucinations states that they are / can be caused by lack of sleep, stress etc, both of which I am suffering from at the moment. And I did have an episode of sleep paralysis a couple of weeks ago.

I am constantly so tired during the day, I feel like even though my eyes are open, my brain is sleeping. I had a baby and got POTS both on the same day, so I guess I am pretty sleep deprived and stressed!!

I am going to see my PCP to see if I can get a referral for a sleep study.

I was exactly the same way after each of my babies. Sometimes it is called "automatic behavior," when you walk and do things and you are not really awake, but not really asleep either. Sleep deprivation will cause this. I cooked dinner and reached into a hot oven without an oven mitt once doing this. Woke up really fast on that one! You may only need something to allow you to sleep deeper long enough for your body to recover a bit.

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I can totally relate to your descriptions about sleep. And I can tell that this directly correlates with my dysautonomia. On the days when I'm doing more stuff that stresses my ANS (standing, talking, stress) I can feel the horrible "adrenaline" surges. I think my sleep is a lot more shallow on those days. I can sometimes sleep for a few hours without dreaming, but usually past 4am all I do is dream one crazy dream after another. If I'm having a lot of chest pain and shortness of breath then I tend to have scary dreams about someone trying to kill me :( . And I've started snoring in the past year, and my husband says I have occasional apnea. I've asked my doc for a sleep study in the past but I don't know if she's aware of the connection between dysautonomia and sleep disorders.

For me, taking a benadryl before bed on my more symptomatic days helps me have a more restful sleep for the earlier part of the night at least.

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Hi,

I have a question, and also needed help finding an older post. Question first:

Since I was hit with POTS, I suddenly have very weird and vivid dreams. I also find - dont know how to explain this, but I'll do my best - that when I go to bed, not long after closing my eyes I seem to go straight to dreaming, almost like lucid dreaming but not. I used to go to bed and lay in bed about 10 or 20 minutes just thinking and relaxing before starting to drift into sleep. Now, only a few seconds after closing my eyes I'm almost dreaming while awake. I also find this happens in the morning, if I wake up but decide that I'm not ready to get out of bed yet, I'll stay in bed trying to sleep but end up in and out of this dreamy 'la la land'. Can anyone relate? I know there have been many posts about POTS and vivid dreams, so I'm sorry if you are all getting sick of this subject.

I have also been trying to find a post I read a few months back, but am now having trouble finding it (brain fog!?). It was about dreaming - I think the title or sub title was 'reality vs dreaming'...something about dreaming in the mornings. I have tried entering 'dreaming', 'reality' etc in the search function, but so far havent been able to find it.

Thanks.

Hi everyone,

This is sort of related to dreaming but I have experienced some of these symptoms while awake as well. When I was in college I used to go tanning (really bad for me I know) and while I was in the bed it was like I would be complately awake but feel like I wasn't. You know that feeling when you catch yourself falling asleep and it startles you? Well this would happen to me a minute or 2 after closing my eyes, even though I was aware of everything around me. I noticed this happen a few times while laying in a chair in my backyard as well, also in the heat trying to get some sun, or at the beach. I live on Long Island and have gone to beaches and been in the heat my whole life, but this strange falling asleep feeling has only started once I began getting sick. I know I cannot describe it that well, but it feels like right before you go into a deep sleep when you catch yourself lightly sleeping and you startle yourself and wake up. Does anyone else have this related to heat or sunlight, even though they aren't actually sleeping?

Michele

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Thankyou Pokey. So if it is a mess up in my sleep architecture, is there anything that can be done for it apart from anti-depressants? Were you treated for yours?

brainala - I am on Metoprolol and did read 'vivid dreaming' as a side effect, but I am on such a small dose (6mg in morning only) that the doctors do not seem to think it would cause any side effects.

Hi Bizbiz.

First off, I would not suggest going on an anti-depressant solely to correct this issue. Just because this pattern is often observed in patients with depression and anxiety does not mean that you are depressed or anxious. It is entirely possible that you have the physiological stressors often seen in the depression/anxious as a consequence of POTs. My best advice is to get a sleep study, so a doctor can determine the extent to which your sleep architecture is compromised. But if you feel restored in the morning, you may not want to bother.

I have tried various treatments to slay the sleep monsters (not meant literally), without success. But my issue is different: I am virtually without delta sleep, probably because of chronic pain, and possibly because of neuro-endocrine issues.

I don't know anything about Metropolol, but if it is a Beta blocker, it may block production of melatonin, which could disturb your sleep cycle. You may wish to try melatonin, starting small (300 mcgs and moving up from there, as necessary).

As for your vivid dreaming, when you nod of during the day, or while you fall in and out of sleep in the morning, I would not worry about that unless it bothers you. I don't see anything wrong with that. Though, you may wish to mention that to a sleep doctor.

Hope that helps.

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Wait a second, you're not supposed to just jump right into dreaming? I didn't realize that that wasn't normal. I can take a 10-15 minute cat nap and wind up dreaming... Maybe I should bring this up with the doctor??

I tried to have a sleep study done once, and I couldn't fall asleep. (The bed was really hard and the sheets were scratchy and I couldn't handle having an electrode attached to my toe). They let me go at 3:00am and I went back to my apt and was immediately asleep.

Sara

Hi Sara. Entering REM immediately during daytime naps is fairly common. I would not worry about it unless it bothers you. If you don't awaken restored, you may want to try another sleep study, and take something to fall asleep (Ambien, Lunesta, etc.). There's no way I could fall asleep with the wires attached to me without meds.

Good luck.

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I think that with us, there is disordered sleep architecture, just like there is a disordered ANS. It is all the same chemicals and neurotransmitters that control sleep and dreams. So many disorders that mess with the ANS (narcolepsy, parkinson's, epilepsy) all mess with sleep and dreaming, just like they do with the nervous system. I'm not sure that we can be "normal" in that regard either. I never knew lucid dreaming or dream recall was so rare either, it's a norephinephrine/dopamine/serotonin thing. If you are concerned, get a sleep study. That being said, sleep is EVERYONE's reset button for the nervous system, so if you aren't getting enough sleep you are going to "fry your circuits" faster than "normals." :(

Firewatcher, I agree, and very well put -- having an autonomic condition certainly increases the likelihood of disrupted sleep architecture. I did not mean to overstate that I did not think the issue was directly related to POTS. It would be more accurate to state that I don't know that a short REM latency is common with POTS' patients. Likewise, as you stated, the disrupted sleep further aggravates the autonomic issues, as well as endocrine issues (e.g., HGH production). And these things can aggravate pain, which in turn, further aggravates the other issues. It's a vicious cycle. I think this underscores the importance of treating sleep issues.

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I can totally relate to your descriptions about sleep. And I can tell that this directly correlates with my dysautonomia. On the days when I'm doing more stuff that stresses my ANS (standing, talking, stress) I can feel the horrible "adrenaline" surges. I think my sleep is a lot more shallow on those days. I can sometimes sleep for a few hours without dreaming, but usually past 4am all I do is dream one crazy dream after another. If I'm having a lot of chest pain and shortness of breath then I tend to have scary dreams about someone trying to kill me :( . And I've started snoring in the past year, and my husband says I have occasional apnea. I've asked my doc for a sleep study in the past but I don't know if she's aware of the connection between dysautonomia and sleep disorders.

For me, taking a benadryl before bed on my more symptomatic days helps me have a more restful sleep for the earlier part of the night at least.

Hi thankful.

To convince your doc of the nexus between dysautonomia and sleep disorders, you may want to do a google search, and bring your findings to your doc's attention. It's very well established.

Regarding benadryl, while it may help you fall asleep, it can compromise sleep architecture. If you wish to use an antihistamine, there are better ones for sleep, such as atarax and phenergan. Of course, there are many other classes of meds, that are considered more effective for sleep issues.

Hope that helps.

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I have the very vivid dreams, and I notice they happen on nights when my HR is higher. I think that is related to POTS. I sometimes wake up from these dreams in the middle of the night and take a small dose of beta blocker, which helps to calm things down.

I also have the thing where I am about to fall asleep then I am jolted awake. I'm not sure whether that's a POTS thing.

The last thing, when you feel like you're awake but you can't move is called sleep paralysis. I think it happens even to healthy people sometimes, and not sure it's POTS thing.

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Hi,

I have a question, and also needed help finding an older post. Question first:

Since I was hit with POTS, I suddenly have very weird and vivid dreams. I also find - dont know how to explain this, but I'll do my best - that when I go to bed, not long after closing my eyes I seem to go straight to dreaming, almost like lucid dreaming but not. I used to go to bed and lay in bed about 10 or 20 minutes just thinking and relaxing before starting to drift into sleep. Now, only a few seconds after closing my eyes I'm almost dreaming while awake. I also find this happens in the morning, if I wake up but decide that I'm not ready to get out of bed yet, I'll stay in bed trying to sleep but end up in and out of this dreamy 'la la land'. Can anyone relate? I know there have been many posts about POTS and vivid dreams, so I'm sorry if you are all getting sick of this subject.

I have also been trying to find a post I read a few months back, but am now having trouble finding it (brain fog!?). It was about dreaming - I think the title or sub title was 'reality vs dreaming'...something about dreaming in the mornings. I have tried entering 'dreaming', 'reality' etc in the search function, but so far havent been able to find it.

Thanks.

Hi bizbiz, what you have described is EXACTLY what I go through. Right after I close my eyes when I go to bed I start dreaming even though I'm still awake. I always have extremely vivid dreams/nightmares and have them constantly untill I awake in the morning. Also, even when I'm awake in the morning before I get out of bed I dream. I'm always tired during the day and fall asleep easily if I happen to be sitting down or laying on my bed to rest and when I do take a nap which is almost every day, I usually end up sleeping for 2-5 hours. I had an overnight sleep study and a daytime sleep study done about two weeks ago. I have an appointment on wednesday to find out the results. I'm pretty sure it all goes along with the dysautonomia, but hopefully when I get the results I will have some more anwers.

Candace

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Candace - it would be great if you could let us know what the results of the sleep study show!

I will let everyone know sometime shortly after my appointment on wednesday. Hopefully they will have some answers. :(

Candace

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  • 12 years later...

Old post but new symptom in new flare and im getting exactly this:

Three days during adrenalin surges as soon as id fall asleep id instantly fall into this hypnagogic state where an image or word would flash into my mind's eye amd jolt me awake. So utterly bizarre i was convinced i was having a seizure until a pots friend said they also experienced this.

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On 4/11/2021 at 9:45 PM, ramakentesh said:

Old post but new symptom in new flare and im getting exactly this:

Three days during adrenalin surges as soon as id fall asleep id instantly fall into this hypnagogic state where an image or word would flash into my mind's eye amd jolt me awake. So utterly bizarre i was convinced i was having a seizure until a pots friend said they also experienced this.

Hi Rama,

Haven't experienced this in current (and worst ever!) flare, but did in first two flares. So strange.

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On 3/1/2009 at 11:18 PM, cvincent said:

Hi bizbiz, what you have described is EXACTLY what I go through. Right after I close my eyes when I go to bed I start dreaming even though I'm still awake. I always have extremely vivid dreams/nightmares and have them constantly untill I awake in the morning. Also, even when I'm awake in the morning before I get out of bed I dream. I'm always tired during the day and fall asleep easily if I happen to be sitting down or laying on my bed to rest and when I do take a nap which is almost every day, I usually end up sleeping for 2-5 hours. I had an overnight sleep study and a daytime sleep study done about two weeks ago. I have an appointment on wednesday to find out the results. I'm pretty sure it all goes along with the dysautonomia, but hopefully when I get the results I will have some more anwers.

Candace

I used to take Benadryl to sleep but I do not anymore it used to give me very the dreams period I took it a couple years ago when in a very bad flare and it helped initially but then made it way worse I think.  I wonder if there's any connection.. Benadryl blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which whereas mestinon enhances it. I seem to have a rebound adrenergic release or dump after having taken it

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On 4/15/2021 at 4:15 PM, bizbiz said:

Hi Rama,

Haven't experienced this in current (and worst ever!) flare, but did in first two flares. So strange.

Sorry you are having a bad flare. Im in the same boat sadly amd with new symptoms to keep me guessing haha

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