nightmares

hello its me again, does anyone else have frequent nightmares please? im on 200 plaquenil daily and ibrophen for pain. I work part time and rest to recharge my batteries when I can. my life is basically work, rest, work ,rest and no play as ive no spoons after doing that and being a mum etc.

when I sleep,i sleep heavily for about 3-4 hours and have bad nightmares that wake me feeling scared,racing heart and a feeling of panic. I dont watch scarey films (as I no things can play on my mind etc) or eat cheese before bed (is that a myth? lol) these dreams are happening too often and was wondering is it YET another lupus thing that ive to put up with please?

this question may sound trivial but its so unpleasant .

I do have a lot going on in my life, not sure if this is linked with my depression. GP shrugs it off as trivial. didn't know who else to ask without sounding stupid x

8 Replies

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  • You are not stupid at all. I believe dreams tell us how we are feeling in our everyday life. You seem to be busy using up your spoons it could also be constant tiredness. I used to suffer with sleep paralise (can't spell today) I was terrified...and the dreams were horrendous but when I look back I was working, sleeping, looking after kiddies...so please don't think you are stupid who knows how our minds work. Maryx

  • I get some horrific nightmares at times & I do believe that this is increased with certain meds (check the info leaflets as some meds do actually state 'nightmares' as a side effect). Our minds have funny ways and in all fairness, if u're feeling crap, or down etc, I would think u'd b inclined 2 have not nice dreams. Try thinking of something nice, or watching something overly mushy b4 u sleep and if anything is troubling u, right it down b4 u go 2 sleep so that u're not constantly thinking/worrying about it, which in turn, stresses u out & gets the mind reacting thus so ;)

  • Sorry to hear about you're nightmare's but I do believe it is the Plaquanil :( I had some terrible nightmare's the first couple of years and my Rheumy told me it was the Plaquanil her words "It is after all Malaria medication" it did help reducing gradually from 400mg to 200mg but unfortunatley they do still pop up every now and then. I have some sleeping pills ( Zolpidem 10mg) when it gets really bad and they do help but I do not take them daily only when my body tells me enough already. I hope this can help you. All the best :)

  • funny you should ask...because ive just started having quite vivid dreams....ive been on plaquinil since june.

  • Hi there,

    I have terrible dreams that don't make sense don't relate to anything i've seen or done but leave me in absolute state when i wake up.

    I find they are worse when I am brewing for a flare .

  • bear in mind that most dreams are nightmares and so they are to be expected and quite normal - what has probably changed is that you're waking at a slightly different stage in the dream cycle before your mind can find some resolution to the confusion that the dream is generating. The symptoms you describe are common to panic and as your stress hormones dissipate so should the effects. Flares of any illness raises background cortisol levels (stress hormone) and so it is not uncommon for this to affect sleep because your body is on a sort of alert as it is more vulnerable - a handy thing if we were still living in the wilds and wolves were prowling but a tad annoying in the 21st century. Similarly, sleep paralysis can be rationalised in this biological way too, our mind and body can wake at different moments and it takes a few seconds to synchronise both - a few seconds can seem like ages when you're distressed and feeling powerless - ask anyone who has had to wait for an emergency service a few minutes seems likes hours.

    At the risk of sounding cliche ... something that might help is reducing other stressors in your life and establishing a relaxing routine before bedtime. Sleeping tablets may help in the short time but can bring other problems if used regularly especially, drowsiness during the day and reliance, and they have a tendency to lose their effectiveness after a time. The sleep they provide is forced and your body has to fight off the effects of their chemicals the following day. However, an early evening snack of calcium rich foods may help, particularly custard, milk and ironically cheese (the nightmares associated with cheese are generally thought to be related to indigestion). And some people swear that lettuce aids sleep.

    interestingly, Plaquenil has an undesired effect of nervousness, listed here: nhs.uk/medicine-guides/page... so that may account for the awful feeling when you wake

    and I assume that you're not taking Ibuprofen on an empty stomach - it can irritate your stomach lining and cause all kinds of problems if you haven't eaten first.

    Good luck. Insomnia can make you feel dreadful; I hope it improves soon.

  • Yes, I have nightmares when in a flare and vivid dreams sometimes outside the flares. Nightmares are unpleasant, they affect me for few days after but the vivid dreams where things merge in uncommon combinations are sometimes fascinating.

    I agree that medication has a role here but also overheating during the night - I find that hot flushes and sweating increase the chances of my having nightmares or vivid dreams.

  • a big thankyou to you all for answering my question. I always have a hot milk chocolate drink about an hour before bed, yes I am always tired but that's just lupus as had it everyday for 8 years,id love a day when I felt recharged and full of life. my sleep patterns changed in 2004 when I was diagnosed with cronic depression and then lupus in 2005. sometimes that panicky feeling can last well into lunchtime.

    I will try the things you have suggested as im having nightmares 2 to 3 nights a week and waking up screaming and then having the neighbours complain is no fun :( x

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