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Randroid

Night Terror?

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Hi guys, I am literally quaking in my chair right now, but I'll try to be as lucid as possible.

I have never had a night terror before -- I feel like I've completely lost my mind but I want to make sure that this is what happened. I'm in college, living in this crappy dorm with a roommate, etcetera -- we share the same small room with two bunk beds with barely any space to get out of bed and leave in the morning. The heater is embedded in the wall right across from me.

About ten minutes ago, I was lying in bed. I must have recently woken up (or so I thought); but I wasn't really paying attention to the fact, seeing as I wake up a lot at night, I just have to toss around a bit and wait to go back to sleep. I sleep with a lot of pillows (three; one beneath my head, the two bigs ones normally used for decoration on either side of me). The room is pitch black with the door closed. I think I first became aware of something going on -- it sounded like my roommate had gotten up to go to the bathroom, because I thought I could hear her feet on the dusty floor. Then, I was momentarily alarmed when my comforter was suddenly pulled off me, only I pretty much immediately realized that I must have pushed one of the large pillows over the edge of the bed and it had taken the blanket with it. I seized it and yanked it back up, only a little startled but not scared because I'm sure I've done it to myself before, and I was planning to forget about it. I think it was then that I thought my roommate was beside me on the floor or standing in the corner or something -- it sounded like someone was tinkering with the heater, walking around disoriented, etcetera. Then, I heard this really ghastly noise, like a wet explosion and stuff spilling onto the floor. I vaguely remember thinking she might be sick and stumbling around drunk, so I said her name, only I got no response. I wondered if she might have been embarassed because she was really sick and it had been an involuntary bowel movement or something, but mostly at this point I had begun to think someone had just exploded next to my bed, and I freaked out. I shouted her name immediately, and I heard her voice as if she was waking up, and it was coming from her bunk.

So I sat frozen to my bed in the dark, pinching my thigh about a hundred times in quick succession to make sure I was awake, too scared to turn on my own lamp because I was so certain I was going to find another human's remains next to my bed. She eventually got up and went to the bathroom, and I begged her to turn the light back on when she came in. By this time there were tears pouring down my face and I felt like such an idiot, but when she turned it on, there was nothing. She turned it back off, and I lay in bed for a second, but eventually got up, because the thought of sleep was INCREDIBLY unnattractive at this point. I went into the other room, and after a bit of deliberating called my mother and had a hysterical break down. I've gone through all the motions -- checking everything out to make sure there is really no one lurking around and all that. The thing is, even while I was lying in bed pinching myself, I sort of had a notion of what might have happened. I remember thinking 'I wonder if this is a night terror', and even while I was talking to my roommate or my mom on the phone I was suddenly even calling that reality into question.

I have had nightmares before, but never of this magnitude. Even the content seemed way too different for one of my nightmares (which I can't remember having in years) -- they are usually about monsters or something stupid and hokey and managable that's more like fragments from my childhood, not things I would find highly disturbing. I've also never dreamed about being in my dorm before -- I am usually back at my house or some place else in my dreams.

The thing is, I don't remember "waking up". I don't remember making the switch from dream to reality, which is why I'm still so frightened, because I have never had that much trouble differentiating before. Even now, when the details are a bit fuzzy, I still feel as if I had been awake the entire time. I feel raw and deeply unsettled and sick to my stomach.

So my question to you is -- was this a night terror? It's hard to know, because if that's what it was the setting didn't change at all in between, and I don't really have any idea what a night terror is supposed to be like. I have never had one before in my life. If was a nightmare, it was of a magnitude that I have never before experienced.

While I had a hard time convincing myself that whatever I thought I'd heard hadn't actually just happened, it wasn't as hard as you might think -- I've been following all of the hype for the new Cloverfield movie, and was even looking it up online before I went to bed. There is rumored to be a woman who explodes in that, so... even as I lay there feeling wild with terror, I was sort of already putting the pieces together as to what may have happened and why.

So, that concludes my sad and embarassing episode. Any comments at all would be greatly appreciated at the moment, because I'm hiding in my study with the door closed, totally alone and afraid to leave, ha ha. Thanks in advance.

Edited by Randroid

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I experienced a situation of a similar nature quite a while back, though different in detail.

It occurred roughly a few days after new-year, we had been 'celebrating' pretty solidly since the 31st. I can't recall exactly at what point it occurred to me, it didn't happen in a black and white way but rather in a gradually increasing awareness. What I was increasingly aware of - was that my head was well and truly up my a***.

Don't know if thats of help.

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It helped a great deal actually in that it made me lol. Not to make light of your experience, if that did actually happen...

I only just learned the definition of '***hat' the other day.

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Night terror is an unfortunate term, because it sounds generic for "especially nasty nightmare," but in medical jargon refers to specific kinds of physical symptoms that occur during deep sleep, often with strong affect (such as panic or terror), but rarely with imagery.

So, I don't think you meant night terror in a sense that has an ICD code. If you did, then you need to speak with a medical professional about that.

What you describe doesn't sound like night terror, however. It sounds like garden variety confused and disoriented, possibly while drifting in and out of sleep. Surely, to make the leap from a vague squishy noise, real or imagined, to the hypothesis that a human being exploded next to your bed speaks for itself.

This misadventure obviously got to you emotionally, and you might want to speak to somebody about that. Also, if you regularly are having trouble staying asleep, whether or not accompanied by uncomfortable thoughts, then you might want professional advice about that.

But, even as your post progresses, you sound more and more like you are once more getting a grip. That can only be good. I hope that by the time you read this, you are fully recovered.

Good luck.

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Oh, thank you so much.

Yeah, I definitely made my post while I was still going a little ballistic. After I chilled out, I went and googled it, and discovered that my experience really doesn't sound anything like a night terror.

I still can't figure out why I reacted so badly. I am usually really level-headed. Maybe I just hadn't had a nightmarish experience in so long that I didn't know what was happening.

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I have had some of the weirdest "kind of almost awake dreams" where I really thought I was fully awake, and something insane would happen, and only then would I realize I was not awake, and then sometimes I still didn't even realize it until I accidentally woke myself up.

I remember one, it was about 4 years ago, I was sleeping so peacefully, and I heard some noise in my room. I lived alone at the time, but I had a dog who was more nocturnal than I was. I remember clearly thinking she was climbing into her bed or something, and not really thinking about it, looking through the darkness in my room, I saw a shadow in the shape of a human, and it was getting larger, meaning it was coming close to me. At this point, I was getting a little...panicky, and was scooting as far up against the wall as I could, trying to be invisible. The figure got closer, and was standing over my bed, and I knew that it knew I was awake, and was going to do something horrible. All of a sudden I felt a pretty heavy weight fall onto my chest, hard enough to take my breath away, and immediately reached for it. The figure was backing away, so I knew he had dropped something on me, and as my hands went for it, I realized it had fur, but was sticky, and I went from the heart stopping thought that some wild killer animal had juse been placed in bed with me to the realization that the animal was dead, covered in blood, and was my dog.

I screamed and screamed and was fighting to get out from under the weight of my dead dog, and was clawing at the walls, but the weight of my dog was unnaturally heavy, and I was thinking "This can't be real, this can't be real, this can't be real!" and like you said, there was not a clear switch from dream to reality, but all of a sudden I realized that I was not being held down by the weight of my dead dog, that I was laying in bed, perfectly fine, and it was actually close to dawn, and I could see all around in my room, and my very much alive dog was snoring in her bed.

It took me a few days to calm down from that one. But there's no other explanation for what happened, it was just a really realistic dream, and I am not sure when it went from dream to reality.

Edited by SunDogDayze

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Hey Sundog, I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I'm feeling a lot better at this point, but I was also starting to feel a bit silly for having posted this -- I figured everyone would come to the conclusion that I was some hyper-emotional teenage girl who had a scary dream.

That sounds awful. At the same time, your experience (with the obvious exception of its content) sounds nearly identical to my own. What I remember most about it, aside from being certain that I did not wake up in the middle of it because I was sure I had been awake all along, was my ability to rationalize while it was happening -- 'oh, it's just this' or 'oh, maybe it's because I ate this one thing or saw this TV spot before I went to bed'. And then, bang/sploosh, a person explodes.

How sadistic were these dreams though, seriously. I'd give anything to have back those goddamn monsters/wolves in the walls from my youth.

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Hey Sundog, I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I'm feeling a lot better at this point, but I was also starting to feel a bit silly for having posted this -- I figured everyone would come to the conclusion that I was some hyper-emotional teenage girl who had a scary dream.

That sounds awful. At the same time, your experience (with the obvious exception of its content) sounds nearly identical to my own. What I remember most about it, aside from being certain that I did not wake up in the middle of it because I was sure I had been awake all along, was my ability to rationalize while it was happening -- 'oh, it's just this' or 'oh, maybe it's because I ate this one thing or saw this TV spot before I went to bed'. And then, bang/sploosh, a person explodes.

How sadistic were these dreams though, seriously. I'd give anything to have back those goddamn monsters/wolves in the walls from my youth.

Exactly, I was rationalizing throughout the entire "dream" just like you said, when usually when you are dreaming, crazy stuff happens (like you start floating in the air or something) and you are like "wow, that's cool" like it's not that abnormal.

There was nothing out of the realm of reality in my dream either, no purple elephants, no talking cupcakes, just my room, exactly as it was in reality, and nothing besides the obvious grotesqueness of what happened to my dog to tell me it wasn't reality.

Seriously, I was questioning my sanity for a while after that, almost to the point I wanted to see someone professionally. But then I realized what a trickster the brain can be, especially while sleep is involved, and heard about how everyone has these kinds of things, and they don't normally mean you are going to turn into a psychotic dog murderer or anything. :)

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So my question to you is -- was this a night terror?

I personally believe that you experienced a NT, R. I have had similar experiences--believing I'm wide awake, seeing movement next to my bed and hearing all sorts of loud bangs, yells etc. I've had them so many times in fact, I can now delineate--most of the time--exactly what is happening. Yes, it's terrifying ... but it is the power of the mind.

My brother has them worse. When in college, he--on numerous occasions--jumped out of his bed terrified, leapt over a small dresser, and nearly tore the bloody door off its hinges! Of course, he came to realize he was having a NT--but not before scaring us both silly! And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

That said, if you believe something paranormal is occurring, by an inexpensive, voice-activated cassette recorder and leave it on during the night. Any sound will quickly activate the recorder, and see if you come up with something. That should put your mind at ease ... or validate your experience so you can run like hell! :D

Most kindly,

Sean

Edited by seanph

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My brother used to have terrible night terrors.. he'd wake, screaming like a banshee about snakes, spiders and all kinds of animals.. never anything but animals.. and he'd have these every couple of weeks. He was not awake, and he'd run around the landing like he was possessed or something.

We'd have to grab him, hold him and shout at him to wake him. When he woke up, he wondered why we was holding him.

They have since gone away once we moved from our old house. It was some kind of lucid dream i assume. He knew the layout of the house, he never once fell down the stairs or ran into anything.

It's like he was on remote control. Not very nice at all.

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Hi there Randroid!

I'm so glad you posted this. I have wondered for years what it is I have been experiencing. Reading your post caused me to do some reading on night terrors finally.

Some interesting things I found out:

1. they usually occur in Children and are often outgrown. ....But some people never outgrow them.

2. They tend to occur at Stage 4 of sleep, just before Rem( dream /active ) sleep..Usually about 60-90 min into your sleep. It was described as that point at which you are between being awake and being asleep. This could explain the confusing feeling that we are awake?

3. They say that people normally don't remember them.....But some actually do.

4. Screaming, animals, and just plain fear seem to be a common element w/ sufferers.

5. In people that have NT you almost always find that they have other sleeping disorders like Talking and walking in their sleep.

You notice that most of the fact's about NT seem to have exceptions? As a child I talked, walked, and screamed out in my sleep many times. I never remembered these incidents w/ the exception of a couple of NT or really bad nightmares. I have seemed to outgrow the sleepwalking(I think), but not the rest.

I have been told time and time again that I was screaming bloody murder (bloodcurdling screams, horror movie type) in my sleep again. And 9 times out of 10 I don't remember why or even remember doing it. But occasionally I do. During these NT episodes, I have dreamed about rat's and intruders being by my bed more than once. A couple of times the dreams involved snakes (one of which I jumped out of my bed). The most vivid of all was one night when I thought the apartment building was on fire. I still remember it. I could smell, taste, and see the smoke. I was having trouble breathing. I woke my boyfriend up and kept insisting that the house was on fire.! He told me that it wasn't and said I must be dreaming. I would have no part of it! I made him get up w/ me to go find the source of the fire. we went into the living room/ kitchen. I could still see and smell the smoke. Finally he opened the door upon my insistance and flipped on the light on the landing. At that moment it was like he flipped a switch in me. There wasn't any smoke on the landing. I looked around the apartment and it had vanished from there too. I was awake, my heart still trying to slow down, but awake and ok. I got to say it was VERY disorientating. :wacko: I was very confused to say the least. :yes: I was in my 20's then. I am in my early 40's now and even though I haven't had anything quite so vivid happen as the above, I do still have episodes occasionally where I scream out screams or things like HELP!!!!

An interesting thing I saw somewhere was a chart of the sleep stages. It showed that even though the REM stage is the Longest of your sleep stages, it is broken up into several smaller periods. Which would mean you enter and exit REM several times a night. So theoretically couldn't these NT occur during any or all of these times? At first glance I thought they only occurred 60-90 min after going to sleep but the patterns seem to indicate they can occur during other times in the night?

I am now convinced that they are NT.

From the feeling you described as :Feeling awake but not awake.... I would bet this was a NT. Have you been under a lot of stress lately? Are you sleep deprived? Been drinking or taking medication? If this isn't something that you have a history of OR history of some other symptoms like screaming, walking, or talking in your sleep, I would bet something brought it on. If you do have a history of it, don't worry. Most of the time you may not remember any future episodes, if you have them. You may want to warn your room-mate though. So you won't scare her And so you don't do something like walk outside while sleeping. :o;)

If they continue to bother you like this one though, I would go see a doctor.

HTH!

TC,

star****

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I remember one, it was about 4 years ago, I was sleeping so peacefully, and I heard some noise in my room. I lived alone at the time, but I had a dog who was more nocturnal than I was. I remember clearly thinking she was climbing into her bed or something, and not really thinking about it, looking through the darkness in my room, I saw a shadow in the shape of a human, and it was getting larger, meaning it was coming close to me. At this point, I was getting a little...panicky, and was scooting as far up against the wall as I could, trying to be invisible. The figure got closer, and was standing over my bed, and I knew that it knew I was awake, and was going to do something horrible. All of a sudden I felt a pretty heavy weight fall onto my chest, hard enough to take my breath away, and immediately reached for it. The figure was backing away, so I knew he had dropped something on me, and as my hands went for it, I realized it had fur, but was sticky, and I went from the heart stopping thought that some wild killer animal had juse been placed in bed with me to the realization that the animal was dead, covered in blood, and was my dog.

I screamed and screamed and was fighting to get out from under the weight of my dead dog, and was clawing at the walls, but the weight of my dog was unnaturally heavy, and I was thinking "This can't be real, this can't be real, this can't be real!" and like you said, there was not a clear switch from dream to reality, but all of a sudden I realized that I was not being held down by the weight of my dead dog, that I was laying in bed, perfectly fine, and it was actually close to dawn, and I could see all around in my room, and my very much alive dog was snoring in her bed.

It took me a few days to calm down from that one. But there's no other explanation for what happened, it was just a really realistic dream, and I am not sure when it went from dream to reality.

Sleep Paralysis to a T

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Hi guys, I am literally quaking in my chair right now, but I'll try to be as lucid as possible.

I have never had a night terror before -- I feel like I've completely lost my mind but I want to make sure that this is what happened. I'm in college, living in this crappy dorm with a roommate, etcetera -- we share the same small room with two bunk beds with barely any space to get out of bed and leave in the morning. The heater is embedded in the wall right across from me.

About ten minutes ago, I was lying in bed. I must have recently woken up (or so I thought); but I wasn't really paying attention to the fact, seeing as I wake up a lot at night, I just have to toss around a bit and wait to go back to sleep. I sleep with a lot of pillows (three; one beneath my head, the two bigs ones normally used for decoration on either side of me). The room is pitch black with the door closed. I think I first became aware of something going on -- it sounded like my roommate had gotten up to go to the bathroom, because I thought I could hear her feet on the dusty floor. Then, I was momentarily alarmed when my comforter was suddenly pulled off me, only I pretty much immediately realized that I must have pushed one of the large pillows over the edge of the bed and it had taken the blanket with it. I seized it and yanked it back up, only a little startled but not scared because I'm sure I've done it to myself before, and I was planning to forget about it. I think it was then that I thought my roommate was beside me on the floor or standing in the corner or something -- it sounded like someone was tinkering with the heater, walking around disoriented, etcetera. Then, I heard this really ghastly noise, like a wet explosion and stuff spilling onto the floor. I vaguely remember thinking she might be sick and stumbling around drunk, so I said her name, only I got no response. I wondered if she might have been embarassed because she was really sick and it had been an involuntary bowel movement or something, but mostly at this point I had begun to think someone had just exploded next to my bed, and I freaked out. I shouted her name immediately, and I heard her voice as if she was waking up, and it was coming from her bunk.

So I sat frozen to my bed in the dark, pinching my thigh about a hundred times in quick succession to make sure I was awake, too scared to turn on my own lamp because I was so certain I was going to find another human's remains next to my bed. She eventually got up and went to the bathroom, and I begged her to turn the light back on when she came in. By this time there were tears pouring down my face and I felt like such an idiot, but when she turned it on, there was nothing. She turned it back off, and I lay in bed for a second, but eventually got up, because the thought of sleep was INCREDIBLY unnattractive at this point. I went into the other room, and after a bit of deliberating called my mother and had a hysterical break down. I've gone through all the motions -- checking everything out to make sure there is really no one lurking around and all that. The thing is, even while I was lying in bed pinching myself, I sort of had a notion of what might have happened. I remember thinking 'I wonder if this is a night terror', and even while I was talking to my roommate or my mom on the phone I was suddenly even calling that reality into question.

I have had nightmares before, but never of this magnitude. Even the content seemed way too different for one of my nightmares (which I can't remember having in years) -- they are usually about monsters or something stupid and hokey and managable that's more like fragments from my childhood, not things I would find highly disturbing. I've also never dreamed about being in my dorm before -- I am usually back at my house or some place else in my dreams.

The thing is, I don't remember "waking up". I don't remember making the switch from dream to reality, which is why I'm still so frightened, because I have never had that much trouble differentiating before. Even now, when the details are a bit fuzzy, I still feel as if I had been awake the entire time. I feel raw and deeply unsettled and sick to my stomach.

So my question to you is -- was this a night terror? It's hard to know, because if that's what it was the setting didn't change at all in between, and I don't really have any idea what a night terror is supposed to be like. I have never had one before in my life. If was a nightmare, it was of a magnitude that I have never before experienced.

While I had a hard time convincing myself that whatever I thought I'd heard hadn't actually just happened, it wasn't as hard as you might think -- I've been following all of the hype for the new Cloverfield movie, and was even looking it up online before I went to bed. There is rumored to be a woman who explodes in that, so... even as I lay there feeling wild with terror, I was sort of already putting the pieces together as to what may have happened and why.

So, that concludes my sad and embarassing episode. Any comments at all would be greatly appreciated at the moment, because I'm hiding in my study with the door closed, totally alone and afraid to leave, ha ha. Thanks in advance.

Yea if that was a regualr nightmare that was incredibly distubing and i am under that impression that it was a night scare if you dont remember waking up.

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