Nightmares !!!

When I was first diagnosed with PD after about 6 months I started having very very vivid nightmares. Before PD I could never remember what I dreamt about but since PD I remember in scary detail. I say scary detail because all my dreams are violent ones which apparently us males get worse than you females. The problem was that because they were so real I was literally acting them out in my sleep but my wife bore the brunt of my violence while asleep. I have never been the violent type anyway and this upset me immensely. However after talking to my consultant a change of medication calmed me down at night, however two nights ago I elbowed my wife in the eye, she has a real shiner which everybody is questioning her about. I hope it is just a one off because I would never hurt anyone intentionally let alone my wife. I am a Paramedic and it is my responsibility to help and save people in medical distress which is hy it hurts so much hem I do this to my wife.

Has anyone else experienced this ?

Cheers Mally13

28 Replies

  • I haven't, but my neurologist asks me every visit if it has happened to I'm assuming it is a PD thing or side effect to certain meds.

    Talk to you doctor.

  • I could tell you stories that would "give you nightmares!" I have kicked and karate chopped my poor wife, I run in bed at least 2 times a week, and I jump out of bed frequently. I am usually (in my dream) trying to evade or protect myself from some kind of aggressor, or, as when I jump out of bed, I am trying to escape a vehicle before it goes over a cliff or crashes.

  • I have the same thing - nightmares that I was physically involved in. The last straw was when I punched my wife in the face in a pitch black room that we were both sound asleep. I was horrified and she laughed; don't know why because I hit her so hard my hand hurt. She had to go to our dentist and to a dental surgeon (both friends) how embarrassing. Dr. said it was the Ambien - went of it that day cold turkey an had a 3 days of brutal withdrawal. It stopped as soon as I quit Ambien.

  • I have been on the receiving end of my hubbys nightmare's. He has suffered many years with them before being diagnosed. I have been kicked in the back and leg punched in the head a black eye its like dodging MIke Tyson. He sees people in the room tries to fight them off and protect me but then pins me down. Usually I get out of bed while he calms down he gets upset but I tell him Hey you are asleep you do not know you are doing it. He would never hurt me but I believe its the PD that causes it.

  • My wife is just coming off a broken and dislocated shoulder so I was, for a time, afraid to sleep with her because of nightmares. The majority of my worst nightmares also occurred before PD diagnosis and before medication. They still occur occasionally. It's rather amazing that a leg, which is slow and weak in the daytime, can take out a nightstand in an instant during a nightmare.

  • Hey Mally, Shakedaddy here. Sounds identical to my problem.I have swung my fist at characters in my dreams, hit the wall and yes, my gf too. I am almost 60yo diagnosed11 yrs ago. I am going to a pulmonary Dr.for a test for sleep apnea and my thrashing in the nite.My Dr. says that the dreams can develop from neurological disorders Taking Neurontin for neuropathy in both feet and legs from the knees down (also in my hips) I will keep u up to date if you wish .....test is on May 3. Thanx for letting me vent lol!! Hang in there "til theres a cure" stay strong Mally ! :0)

  • Hi. Several months after I was diagnosed with PD I began to have vivid dreams. I would act them out. The first time I remember dreaming that I was trying ,to remove something from the refrigerator, but it was stuck. When I woke, I was pulling on my hand thinking it was what I was trying to remove from fridge! I then had a dream that my kitchen cabinet was stuck and I couldn't get it open. I woke up on my knees facing my headboard trying to open it! It seems to have gone in phases. Next came the loud screaming outbursts. I had a dream that I had loaned something to friends to look at. When I was leaving, I asked for it back. When they wouldn't give it to me , I woke my husband screaming " give it back you little bitch!". He said " give what back? And why are you calling me a little bitch?" we both had a laugh over that one since that is not my character at all! Luckily, I haven't injured him. I have woke him typing on him like he was a computer keyboard, acting out feeding him as if he was our 1 year old granddaughter ( after I returned from a trip to visit her) he said I was holding one hand up to distract and saying " c'mon, c'mon" while using my finger as a spoon. I'm just glad I wasn't dreaming about changing her diaper! Lol. While on vacation I had a bad dream that my teen daughter was hanging around a bad crowd & they were In My front yard. I was confronting her & pointing to them yelling "loser, loser, loser!" that's what my poor hubby woke to. By then he had figured out my routine fortunately. My dr said I have REM Sleep Behavior Disorder due to the PD. he said the part of my brain that usually paralizes during dreams does not work, so I tend to act them out. He has me on. Clonazapam its helped somewhat, but still have these episodes

  • My husband has been troubled with nighmares since a boy . When his father took him to the doctors he told him his mind didn't switch off when he was sleeping lol..

    His is now 78 and eventually officially diagnosed with parkinsons 5 years ago ..

    He is still getting nighmares hallucinations . Acting out his dreams the same as you all .

    I sometimes put a pillow between us in bed which helps me ..

  • I am on clonazepam and it has worked very well, it is just the odd moment now. Thank you for all the comments.

  • What Parkinson's meds are you on?

  • Only when I was on Ambien. Now on clonazepam, valerian and melatonin -- very nice dreams! I'm sure I don't thrash because I don't wake up with sheets awry. I can barely move in bed.

  • What Parkinson's meds are you on?

  • sinemet 25/100 4x day plus half a sinemet CR as needed.

  • Also I'm on thyroid replacement following thyroidectomy

  • See my comment below.

  • You are describing REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, which often precedes a PD diagnosis, but can appear later as well. It can be confirmed by an overnight sleep test but your signs are classic. I take .5 mg of Clonazapam and the disorder is completely under control. Under times of extreme stress (i.e., death in the family) you may need to increase to .75 mg for a while. It is more common among men than women. If I recall correctly, it affects about 5% of PWPs.

  • What PD Meds are you on?

  • ReQuip XL 4 mg in the morning and Clonazapam .5 mg at night. I was on 8 mg. of ReQuip XL and Azilect but was able to get rid of Azilect and lower my ReQuip XL dose because of the Pedaling for Parkinson's cycling program.

  • Thanks.

  • I had the same thing , really violent, scary dreams and I would wake up screaming so loud it scared everyone!

    I underwent a sleep study and it was confirmed I was diagnosed with the REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and shortly afterwards was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

  • I was diagnosed with REM Sleep Disorder and also take .5 mg of Clonazapam which has really helped. However, I take Carb-Levodopa and Drug Interactions.Com says "Patients receiving levodopa for Parkinson's disease can experience decreased control of the symptoms of this disease when benzodiazepines are added to their regimen. Benzodiazepines should be administered cautiously to such patients." So, I am concerned that this may be why my meds don't seem to work for me. I see my Neuro soon so this will be a topic to be discussed.

  • Yes, I plan to discuss it too. I just found out Xanax might contribute to Dystonia. So maybe if I can eliminate the 2 (xanax and clonopin) I'll feel better in the long run. I think we need a special PD drug rehab (a fun place with groups and dancing and painting) :D

  • Ha, ha I agree. I checked all my drugs for interactions and I got quite the eye-opener. I printed it out and plan to take it to my doc. I am weaning myself of the Clonazapam before I go to my next appt.

  • Graphic nightmares were a common occurance for me UNTIL my neuro increased my depression med (effexor/venlafaxine er). Now they are a thing of the past, unless I don't take my meds.

  • I don't have scary nightmares...but vid very detailed dreams for certain...when explaining it to my doctor I told him that I could give Stephen King a run for his money if I ever wrote my dreams down...... Casey in NH

  • So I wasn't alone in a strange house which happened to be our own home in the burbs of NY had many :visitors which seemed to control my life and was unable to enjoy my daughter's wedding her wedding due to a series of nightmarish experiences during late summer and the following spring the confusion of delusions etc, finally led me to my present Neuro (as you guys call them)

    drug interac\tions some wedding chamagne led up to a regime of Carbo dopa and Leva dopa... but the anti depression Clonopin- worked the best I m in a study which sent the the hallucinations back to their imaginary existence in my brain I hope that this medication will be approved for all who suffer these horrendous self-creations

    Iron-- December 2012 Joyous holidaya!

  • Yes! I am a 54 year old male. I was diagnosed with PD back in 2003. Around 2008, I began to experience violent nightmares and acting out dreams. I wake up shouting and sometimes jump out of bed on the attack and have actually hurt myself several times. I was told by several persons with PD, that having vivid, lucid, nightmares can be a result of Parkinson's, and the medications associated with the disease. luckily, I am single and I do not pose a danger to anyone else. I am cautious about sleeping near a window, for fear of jumping through it. I have yet to find a remedy for this problem.

    Good luck,


  • If you can get medical marijuana, it just might solve your problems, It sure helps my PD….

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