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Old 05-29-2008, 01:31 PM   #1
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Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

My brother says he read somewhere that you're not supposed to dream until you've been sleeping for more than an hour. But I definitely have dreams whenever I take short naps. I could be sleeping for 15 minutes and have at least one or two dreams, and then wake up.
Sometimes, I'm aware that I'm falling asleep because my thoughts start morphing into strange pictures, like a dream, before I'm even fully asleep.
My brother said the same things happen to him.
Does this indicate a sleep disorder?
It would explain why I'm tired all the time...

 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:43 PM   #2
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Re: Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

Do you have other symptoms related to your sleep & sleep patterns? When you say that you're "tired all the time", do you mean during the daytime or just when waking up(due to still feeling tired/like you never slept at all)? Does this feeling of being "tired all the time" ever interfere with work, school, life, relationships, etc? Exactly how "tired" do you feel? Have any other family members been diagnosed with a sleep disorder of any kind or sought a medical opinion for issues related to their sleep?

I know this is a far stretch, seeing as I'm not a doctor, but I almost wonder if you have narcolepsy. Here's why: Normally, sleep(or the process of sleeping) is divided into 5 stages, with the first 4 consisting of Non-REM sleep and the 5th consisting of REM(rapid eye movement) sleep. During REM sleep, the body undergoes "extensive physiological changes, such as accelerated respiration, increased brain activity, eye movement, and muscle relaxation." It's also during this stage(5) when people dream, "perhaps as a result of excited brain activity and the paralysis of major voluntary muscles." For people without a sleep disorder, they will reach REM sleep in about 90 minutes from the initial onset(of sleep). But with narcolepsy, a person will fall into REM sleep right away/instantaneously and usually wake up feeling unrefreshed, even if they slept a "normal" length of time(according to my sleep-disorder specialist, everyone should get at least 8hrs of sleep/night & regardless of a sleep disorder). Also, there are other signs/symptoms that are characteristic of narcolepsy & which sound similar to what you described in your post:

•Excessive daytime sleepiness: person feels a constant, "irresistible urge to sleep during the day. This sleepiness can last from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. The person can feel these urges to sleep no matter how much sleep he or she has had the night before.

•Hypnagogic hallucinations: these involve vivid, sometimes frightening dreams that happen as a person is falling asleep. Also, these "dreams" are in addition to the ones that would normally occur during REM sleep.

•Narcolepsy has been shown to run in families. A group of genes on chromosome 6 have been found to have some association with narcolepsy (however, it is not inherited in an autosomal recessive, X-linked, or any other classic pattern).

If I could offer my lay-person opinion, it might not hurt for you to talk to a sleep disorder specialist or neurologist, in order to hear their medical opinions on the symptoms you described here. The worst that could happen is they blow you off & say there's nothing wrong. Right?

Good luck in your search for answers.

 
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:47 AM   #3
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Re: Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

Thanks so much for your detailed reply! I read a little on Narcolepsy, and it sounds like it. I also get sleep paralysis few times a year. and yes, I'm always tired no matter how long I sleep. And within the past couple of years it's gotten worse and I get very strong urges to fall asleep during the day. I've started falling asleep at my desk at work a number of times. And I can sleep through anything if I'm tired. I often sleep through MRI's even with all that noise.
No one in my family has actually been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, buut my brother thinks he has one (it sounds like narcolepsy, and my dad thinks he has sleep apnea, and his doctor agrees but he won't go for a sleep study.
I'll bring it up with my neurologist nxt time I have an appointment (i have epilepsy).

 
Old 06-01-2008, 01:53 AM   #4
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Re: Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

No need to thank me. Part of the reason I originally replied was because of how similar you & I sound when it comes to "always feeling tired". After reading your 2nd post, it felt even more deja-vu like.

The only difference is I've had a sleep study done & was diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Can you guess which one? Narcolepsy! To be honest, this diagnosis surprised me. I figured, if anything, the study would show I have RLS or maybe even sleep apnea(although I don't snore). But never in a million years did I suspect narcolepsy as the cause of my problems. And talk about dreaming as soon as you fall asleep! According to my sleep study, in three of the five naps I took, I fell into an REM sleep within 2 minutes of sleep onset. Now that's crazy!!!

Anyways, good luck with your search for answers. And don't put off the neurologist visit for tooooo long, especially if you're already falling asleep in places that you shouldn't be(like work).

 
Old 06-02-2008, 07:20 AM   #5
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Re: Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

Thanks again!
My next neuro appointment isn't until November.
BUT I am having a week-long EEG in July to find out more information about my seizures. I will have EEG hooked up to me 24 hours, and also a video camera filming me the whole time. I wonder if I could ask if they can also keep an eye out for sleep disorders. Do you think they can do that? Do sleep studies usually involve anything more than an EEG and a video monitor?

 
Old 06-02-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

I'm not sure what's all involved in administering a sleep study, aside from the EEG & video monitors. But I do think you should reconsider asking the person(doing the EEG) to "keep an eye out for a sleep disorder". Here's why:

1)Assuming you have insurance, and if the tech did "keep an eye out for a sleep disorder" per your request, would they then bill your insurance for the sleep study as well as the EEG, even though it was never ordered by the doctor?

2)And if the doctor didn't order a sleep study &/or your insurance requires pre-approval for one & you never got it, would the insurance still pay for the sleep study or hold you responsible for the cost?

3)And if the tech chose to run a sleep study on you regardless of there being a doctor's order or not, could the tech legally & ethically tell you their findings/opinion? To me, that sounds like they'd be diagnosing a medical problem, which most likely is outside of their scope of practice.

Who knows? I could be wrong on any or all of the above. The only way to know for sure is by calling ahead of time.

 
Old 06-25-2008, 08:11 PM   #7
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Re: Is it true you shouldn't dream right after falling asleep?

Sentencedoing and wisangel, Just read this thread and can completely relate to the narcolepsy symptoms. I would have never considered that either. I'm certainly not convinced I have sleep apnea. Also, I many times will get the crazy images just before actually falling asleep, as well as dreaming almost immediately upon falling asleep. Sometimes the dream will wake me up after only a few minutes of sleep, but certainly no longer than one and a half hour. As I've said in another thread, one and a half hours is maximum sleep time at any one time, then I'll usually fall alseep fairly fast after that only to do it all again, but usually waking up in an even shorter time period.

What was the recommendation from the doctors for the narcolepsy, wisangel ? Did it work to any degree? Are you sleeping longer? I sure hope so! Best of luck to both of you, Chris

 
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