Visits from Dreamland

Dreams are weird things, especially slow-wave nightmares. My typical night terrors are closer to hallucinations than to REM-dreams. Instead of entering a dream-land, the dream-land comes to me where I lie barely asleep in bed. I am not transported elsewhere, like in a normal dream, instead my room and bed are augmented – or perhaps infested – with sensations and dangers that are completely integrated with the surroundings. These are hallucinations seem very real, and are impossible to shake off while the terror lasts. They fade quickly when I finally wake up, adrenaline pumping, but often return several times every night.

The door to the room will slowly open. A shadow in the corner of the room will coil itself and crawl menacingly towards the bed. A fold of the blanket will wiggle slightly, then stiffen and flail like a not-quite-snake under my cramping hands as I try to restrain it. The walls will flex like membranes, finally giving in to the clawlike limbs that force themselves through. Nano-insects will crawl under the bedsheets like hordes of black graphite motes, slipping into every crevice, choking, poisoning.

All of this seems so real in the moment, so plausible and utterly horrifying. My body will retch and resist, my heart will pound. Sometimes I mount a futile defense, finding high ground on top of a pillow floating in a sea of terror or by retreating, flailing and screaming, to the safety of the bathroom.

Man, do I feel silly when I wake up. Silly and exhausted.

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  • Defer

    Thank you for your honest and straightforward description of your experience(s). What do you think is the source of your experience?

    • I really don’t know where my dreams come from, but I’ve had both night terrors, nightmares and vivid dreams since I was a kid. They come and go, but the nasty ones seem to be more common when I’m stressed out and angsty in general. When I stay up late or have trouble sleeping it gets worse.

      • Yes, stress etc. can cause for irratic sleep consciousness experiences, same here. Since it helped me, I wonder: Have you tried avoiding sleeping on your back? It seems to only have happened to me when I fell asleep on my back.