A Tiring Dream

I’ve talked about this in the past in my posts My Zoloft Nightlife and Sertraline: The Good and the Bad, but I’m going to bring it up again because it is such a strange thing that happens to me almost every night!
I take sertraline 100 mg to help with my symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  

The most common brand name for sertraline is Zoloft, which is a commonly used anti-depressant, but it has also been shown to help with symptoms of OCD.  For the most part, it seems to be working by taking the edge off of my symptoms. They are still there, just not quite as aggressive, if that makes sense.  I still have anxiety, but it seems to be less intrusive than before medication.

That being said, there are certainly things I do NOT like about this medication and two of them occur while I’m sleeping.  I think I hit rapid eye movement (REM) sleep almost every night because during this deep part of sleep, I have the worst night sweats. It’s so gross that K puts a pillow in between us as a barrier and I sometimes wake up and have to change my nightgown.  I even have to sleep with a waterproof mattress pad like a kid who wets the bed. Sad, but true.  After 3 years of this, I’ve gotten used to it, but it still bothers me sometimes.

The second thing that happens to me at night is when I dream.  I have the most vivid dreams!  Sometimes this is good and fun, but most of the time it is actually a bit stressful to have dreams like this.  Last night, I dreamed the entire time I was sleeping that I was looking for sure.  I was dressed and ready to go to a wedding, for I have no idea who, and I had to go to this closet absolutely filled with shoes. I was wearing a bright orange dress with no back to it, I had on sunglasses so it was difficult to see, and a huge red and white scarf tied around my neck. I couldn’t find ANY shoes my size or any that matched the outfit I was wearing in this enormous closet.  I even climbed a tall ladder and looked at the shoes all the way at the top and nothing “worked.” It was so weird because I was nervous about climbing the ladder because it was so high!

Oh my god, shoes!

The dream was so realistic and stressful. I felt like the task was never going to be finished and it never was the entire night.

I have dreams like this all the time and they can be so weird.  Funny thing is, I own none of the things I was wearing and the shoes were all part of my imagination!  I don’t even own an orange dress.  I wonder what, if anything, this means or where it came from.

I love to think about the mysteries of the mind, but I’d rather sleep peacefully!

Does anyone else experience such dreams, regardless if you are on medication or not?

I’d love to hear from you!

Megan

PS Don’t forget to visit my friend Diana’s site!  She has some awesome Giveaways running now as well. You can visit her blog by clicking here, or check her out on PinterestInstagram,and Bloglovin!

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29 thoughts on “A Tiring Dream

  1. I used to have really vivid dreams/nightmares when I was on medication for my OCD. Like I would have to physically get up and touch the walls to make sure I was really awake because I’d get nested dreams (like Inception only half a decade before it ever came out). This radio article helped me come to terms with my dream life, scientifically. Now even if I have a really bad dream, I can always figure out where it came from. Hope it helps you, too. 🙂
    http://www.radiolab.org/story/91536-dreams/

  2. What a maddening dream. I don’t often have vivid dreams these days. But if it is a vivid or stressful dream it’s usually about an airport, or getting to one.

  3. I have insomnia . I am one of those people that try not to take medications because the trade off of what i am treating and the side effects are just not worth it.I am suppose to be on very strong pain meds but I won’t take them. I learned to deal and work around or with my pain. Back to the insomnia mot of the time I stay awake until I pass out. Sometimes I can’t do that and take Ambien . I have the most awful dreams when I take that. I hate to dream period. A good nights rest for me is no dreams. That happens very rarely weather I take ambien or not. But the dreams when I do take it usually are so bad I wake up upset in the night.I also eat in my sleep when I take it, walk in my sleep, and when staying at my sisters she found me outside. Thus the reason a very rarely take it.

      1. oh no worries I have had it for years and think now I am getting use to it. On rare occasions when I do sleep and have no dreams it is all the more sweeter.

  4. I’m on asthma meds but not any meds like you are on. I have very vivid dreams and sometimes lucid dreams where I am aware I am in a dream and so actually manipulate the dream to turn out how I want it to. The night sweats seem to out-picture that the medication throws your hormones way off, as night sweats are usually hormone related.

      1. I might be off base and it might just be a side effect of the med you are on but it definitely sounds extreme and not healthy. Hope you get it figured out.

  5. I definitely have dreams like that, and fairly regularly. Like you I usually find them distressing not awesome. When I was depressed my dreams were incredibly vivid almost every night. I think most of my dreams are quite weird lol

  6. I wish I had some sleeping pills that really worked, but when I do dream it’s intense and sometimes rather frightening. There are times when I wake up for a few seconds and change the dream. Some have been so vivid that I can still remember them years later. However, most of the time, I ‘ll sleep for a couple of hours and then wake up, read, and go back to sleep another two or three hours later. It’s very inconsistent.

  7. Wow that is so interesting! God only knows how the mind works. I’ve had this one dream many times throughout my life: I’m drowning in a small lake while a shepherd and sheep just stand by and watch. That’s it! And yet I’ve dreamed it for years. The mind is quite a mystery!

  8. I have ridiculously vivid dreams, usually when I’m either manic or depressed (not when I’m in the middle) and I find them very exhausting. For about three months I had a continuous one that I had a whole different life with a different name, a brother (I don’t have one), different parents etc and every time I went to sleep it would pick up where it left off. It was bizzarre. Usually it’s just horror-themed dreams or reliving traumatic events though.

  9. oh yes… ever since I started medication for OCD (and I’ve been on Prozac, Zoloft, and now Luvox) I have INTENSE dreams. Its not as bad as when I was on Prozac or when I first started taking any type of SSR, but sometimes will have dreams (and often about those things that cause the most anxiety) that I’m not sure if they are real or not. Sometimes I’m so convinced that a dream was real that I will have to remind myself, I’m still in my bed… I haven’t moved there is no way “I ate that cookie off the street” (or some equally weird thing). I’ve had vivid dreams even before the meds, but not so intensely… its either the meds or the OCD (since I don’t remember a time without it).. who knows… its just our “special” brains lol

  10. I used to dream that I was playing sports and I couldn’t run fast. I would just move in slow motion no matter how hard I tried.

    Sadly, when playing kickball a couple of weeks ago, I realized how much I’ve actually slowed down. I wanted to go faster, but like in the dream, I could not.

    1. Oh that is so frustrating! I’ve had those slow-mo dreams before too. There’s actually a phrase in Korean and it’s called “Stuck in scissors”. No idea why scissors, but it means this phenomenon 🙂

  11. whoa! of course you’d have dreams that are task-based with OCD…. that makes sense, right? probably seemed extra nightmare-ish for you! hopefully that’s not very often.

    I’ve heard more than once (but don’t know about the validity) that women tend to get hotter at night than men, while sleeping. there are nights where I wake up sweating heavily when the AC is on. for me, it’s usually related to my chronic nausea, not medication. I can’t imagine if it happened all the time! I’m so sorry 😦 but don’t feel too bad about your waterproof cover. I have a naughty cat, Nate, who likes to act out when he doesn’t get enough attention, so my bed has one on it too. I wonder if there is something you can do to prevent this? I’m sure you’ve probably already mentioned it to your doctor, but it might be time to bring it up again, just in case.

    I have long and memorable dreams almost every night and have for most of my life. which strikes me as odd personally because as I’ve grown up, more and more of my peers keep saying that they rarely dream anymore or can never recall them (unless it was something freaky). but everyday, I wake up and review whatever dream it was… I think I’m making up for lost time? I had pretty bad insomnia associated with chronic pain and depression for years and didn’t get much sleep as I never found a prescription sleep aid that worked for me. actually, a side-effect of most of those kinds of pills was no dreaming or vivid nightmares. so who knows! but I would say that even now, without medication, I have still nightmares about 4 nights a week and a really bad nightmare about once a week (wake up suddenly, sweating, breathing heavy). but I know I do this to myself because of anxiety and stress, as the dreams are usually related to things in my life. like you’ve described, I’ve just become used to it and try to enjoy the few dreams that are good.

    to try to “encourage” better dreams, I try to put myself in a good place before I fall asleep. or else my mind runs wild and I start to build anxiety, which triggers nightmares. one of my lingering insomnia habits is to run through a story in my head while I’m trying to fall asleep. I presently have 2 I work from. it started from a simple story line. this is like the lamest thing ever, but I will tell you as an example in case it can help you or anyone. I imagine that I am going to Hogwarts (yes, from Harry Potter) on the train. I think about what the train car looks like, what the weather outside is doing, if I can tell the cars are moving, what kind of food cart comes around, etc. intensely focusing on something like that, where I can build the details easily, without stress, and can keep going for a long time, is key. I become tired and fall asleep, but my mood is pleasant first. I use the same few scenarios because I don’t have to think about them as actively, which allows me to be tired. it’s worked for me for years and to fall asleep when pain or insomnia kept me awake. but I also keep doing it to avoid anxiety dreams. *maybe* something similar could help direct you away from anxiety dreams too.

    but isn’t that interesting? what DO dreams mean when you can’t easily discern a connection to your daily life? why an orange dress? why shoes? whose wedding? so strange. I hope you feel better and get better rest soon.

    1. I think the nightsweats are probably a bit hormone related too, but I’m not totally sure. The doctor didn’t really say much about it, I think because it is a common side effect of the meds. I have actually been having bouts of insomnia lately, which is not like me at all. I have the best biological clock and know when I need to sleep and when I need to wake up, dutifully getting at least 8 hours each night. lately, i have been obsessing over things that I want to buy or do and it’s been keeping me awake. I just keep thinking about them endlessly and just stay awake. I don’t think the Hogwart’s thing is lame 🙂 It’s endearing and a great idea actually! I’m going to try to come up with something like this when I have trouble sleeping 🙂
      do you dream a lot in color? Some people don’t which I find weird because my dreams are so colorful.

      1. yes, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a dream not being color, but nothing crazy vivid except a few times. I have been obsessing about getting returns done! I bought some items at Nordstrom and VS online and was waiting to go to the mall with a friend. it kept me up for a few nights until I had completed the returns. I have no idea why I was so anxious about it. but it’s definitely becoming a thing now. I want to exchange an item now for another color and I can’t stop thinking about it :/ just gotta go get it done, I guess. too bad a story can’t help during the day – or I’d be daydreaming all day long haha!

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