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Realistic(Mundane) Dreams Confused With Reality--Normal Or Narcolepsy?


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#1 NeverEnough

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:21 AM

I thought everyone had this problem but I read just now that it is related to narcolepsy. I tend to have dreams which I confuse with reality. I cannot tell you how many times I have answered and email in my dream and remembered answering it as if I had actually done it. I have had conversations I can't figure out if I've had or dreamt. I though this was normal. Thoughts? Is this normal to everyone? Normal to Natcoleptics? Or normal to only me?

#2 Emo

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 01:55 PM

"Thoughts? Is this normal to everyone? Normal to Narcoleptics? Or normal to only me?"

I think it is probably a narcoleptic happening, just not all that common. I can see how it would happen. The HH's are so convincing that I claim one way to know (after the fact) that it was an HH and not a dream is by the nature of its memory. The memory stays with you just as if it was a real-life event, not fading over time like most dreams. This is because the experience IS real, according to your own mind.

My own HH's are always too bizarre or illogical to stand up to close examination later, unless I were to become a believer in alien abductions and such. But others have reported their hallucinations are about common, logical events such that they cannot determine truth from HH. I can also understand what has happened when emergency personnel are summoned. In fact, I betcha that the more alarming scenario is more common. We have a tendency toward feelings of vulnerability during these things and this can lead our imaginative scenario builders down some worrisome paths.

nite nite,
ol' Emo

I'm narcokleptic. I steal stuff in my dreams.

#3 TiredAgain

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

This also happens to me I was diagnosed 3 years ago and like you I thought everyone dreamed like that. I would have dreams that seemed real once and awhile never really thought anything about it. But in the last year or so I started doing things like picking up the phone to call somebody or turning to tell somebody something and right before I actually followed through it would hit me that what I wanted to tell them wasn't real. I would have to really stop and think about it to figure out if it was real or not. It seems like these vivid dreams come in waves, I might have a couple during one week and then I might not have another for a month. I try not to pay attention to them (if possible). Usually if you wake up and can remember a dream you lay there thinking about it, but now I try not to relive it.

My vivid dreams can be very scary or just everyday stuff. Believe it or not the scary ones are the easy to push out because I know there not something that really happened.

#4 LucidDreamer

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:30 PM

This also happens to me I was diagnosed 3 years ago and like you I thought everyone dreamed like that. I would have dreams that seemed real once and awhile never really thought anything about it. But in the last year or so I started doing things like picking up the phone to call somebody or turning to tell somebody something and right before I actually followed through it would hit me that what I wanted to tell them wasn't real. I would have to really stop and think about it to figure out if it was real or not. It seems like these vivid dreams come in waves, I might have a couple during one week and then I might not have another for a month. I try not to pay attention to them (if possible). Usually if you wake up and can remember a dream you lay there thinking about it, but now I try not to relive it.

My vivid dreams can be very scary or just everyday stuff. Believe it or not the scary ones are the easy to push out because I know there not something that really happened.



#5 songbird

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

I confuse my dreams and reality all the time- it's more likely to happen with naps. When I had my MSLT, the sleep tech asked what I wanted for lunch. I almost got really annoyed with him because we'd just had a whole conversation about a great sushi place just around the corner. Then I realized that my sleep tech was a skinny guy with a little gay-stache, and the tech from my "conversation" looked more like Jerry Garcia.

I'm new to all this, so idk if it's dreaming or hallucination, but when I nod off at work for a few seconds/minutes, I'll dream. The other day, I spaced for a few minutes, and when I came back, I was utterly perplexed because I could have sworn I just had a diet coke sitting between my elbows as I typed. I remembered holding it with both hands, that it was cold and wet, and that it popped and sizzled when I opened it. But it didn't make my nose tingle, and it was in a vintage 20 oz can, and I don't think they ever actually made those.

I was also pretty sure I had been pregnant in high school when I woke up from my lunch-time nap today. Remembered the feeling of giving birth and everything, which is something I absolutely have not experienced.

Emo, I'm a pretty (annoyingly) logical person, so I tend to abide by the same rules you do. Except some of my dreams are recurring or episodic. I'll have the same dream over and over, or I'll have a dream "series" where one dream picks up where another left off at my last nap, last night, last month, etc. I've been that way since I was a very small child, and even though I can label the outrageous bits as fiction, the overall effect is one of a memory. How's that for a screwed up little kid? If half this stuff were true, it would make me more resilient than Rasputin. :rolleyes:

I used to think everyone remembered their dreams, just no one talked about it. I'm just now finding out differently.

#6 Emo

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:48 PM

Y'all said: "I used to think everyone remembered their dreams, just no one talked about it. I'm just now finding out differently."

Some of those PWON claim to not dream at all, but they do dream; they just don't remember a thing about it. Most, I think, can recall their dreams for a while, from the short term memory storage bin, and then can with conscious effort move the experience to a more permanent memory. I used to be able to do this with my common, everyday dreams but here is yet another ability that has been lost with age. Quite frustrating. You know that some dreams can be quite pleasant and you would like to review events upon waking. By jing, I've almost totally lost the ability to recall any dream enjoyable or not! Short term memory has become short indeed!

HH I will remember but I don't have 'em anymore.

Ol Emo
Expert On Everything And Too Lazy To Prove It

#7 DeathRabbit

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:55 PM

I thought everyone had this problem but I read just now that it is related to narcolepsy. I tend to have dreams which I confuse with reality. I cannot tell you how many times I have answered and email in my dream and remembered answering it as if I had actually done it. I have had conversations I can't figure out if I've had or dreamt. I though this was normal. Thoughts? Is this normal to everyone? Normal to Natcoleptics? Or normal to only me?


This happens to me occasionally. Mainly, it will be if I have a convo in a dream with a person, it's difficult to remember that it didn't actually take place. I think it happens because in narcolepsy, your dream states intrude into your wake states and your wakeful states intrude into your dream states. The two approach each other; I wonder if anyoen has ever lost the ability to distinguish the two.

#8 austeenob

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:54 AM

I understand totally. I've had the same problems

#9 Contemplative

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:48 PM

I have a hard time distinguishing conversations I've sworn I've had with my housemate, assignments I've done at work, and things I've read. Can't tell for days or sometimes longer if these really occurred. I think I have a lot more hypnagogic hallucinations (HH) than most people. It's one of my most troubling N symptoms. Very frightening. I've seen and heard full conversations with actual voices and images that made perfect sense. For example, my twin sister and her husband talking to my Dad in the next room. I was so disappointed missing their visit when finally realized they don't visit and things were out of place. I tell you I could have sworn this was real and on several occasions have called the Crisis Line thinking it was a psychiatric condition. Now I know what they are AND I still don't deal with them well. I find them absolutely alarming and like others, they happen a lot around napping or falling asleep.


I've also had episodes of sleepwalking but now define this as an atypical narcoleptic symptom known as autonomic behavior. Just last night I awoke speaking (aloud in real life to noone) to someone, answering their question, following their commands, and ended up making breakfast at 2:30AM before waking fully half way through realizing what I was doing. I've called parents taking a survey if they wanted their kids to take a trip to the library or the zoo. I've taken headcount of them getting on the bus. The thing is none of this really happened except me dialing different options on my phone. I've seen the ceiling fan blades turn into space shuttles. All sort of stuff to put it politely. I'm glad you brought this up because I think this is especially stigmatized and is probably more common than most let on. You're not alone and it is the N, not you. Thanks for braving the waters and broaching the subject. I'd be glad to share more. Now, I just kind of shake it off and take a lighter more humorous approach to it though a challenge.

#10 Vickievb1

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:41 PM

I thought everyone had this problem but I read just now that it is related to narcolepsy. I tend to have dreams which I confuse with reality. I cannot tell you how many times I have answered and email in my dream and remembered answering it as if I had actually done it. I have had conversations I can't figure out if I've had or dreamt. I though this was normal. Thoughts? Is this normal to everyone? Normal to Natcoleptics? Or normal to only me?



Wow, yes - I frequently have dreams of a conversation or of reading an email and when I wake up I can't separate whether they occurred or were dreams. Sometimes they're ridiculous, other times they involve something that could easily have taken place. It's quite bizzare. while I've only recently (last week) been diagnosed after a MLST, I strongly suspect that narcolepsy has been part of my life for quite some time. I had no idea that "narcolepsy" wasn't identical in everyone - I didn't know that with this condition it's possible to have some days that even without meds I might feel close to 'normal' and others where I might yawn several hundred times, fall asleep in front of the TV with a stiff neck and be so tired I can't will myself to muster the energy to stand up and walk 18 feet into the bedroom and get in bed. Some days staying awake is like a job in itself - in addition to the reality like dreams, I find myself experiencing a considerable amount of deja-vu. My short term memory is pretty fried though. I can look up a phone number and repeat it to myself only to dial the area code and draw a blank - yet I can tell you every place I lived, teacher I had, phone numbers from decades back. Thanks for starting this thread, I thought it was just me.


#11 Katty0

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:00 PM

This happens to me occasionally. Mainly, it will be if I have a convo in a dream with a person, it's difficult to remember that it didn't actually take place. I think it happens because in narcolepsy, your dream states intrude into your wake states and your wakeful states intrude into your dream states. The two approach each other; I wonder if anyoen has ever lost the ability to distinguish the two.



I have at times been unable to distinguish between what is real and what happened in a dream... There are "blanks" in my memory that my dreams "fill" so that I think those things have happened. Nothing extreme, but I think I have done or gone places with people and I haven't...

I am only 26 and I am very frightened that this may get worse one day...

I am really glad to hear that this could all be from the narcolepsy...

#12 LauraL

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:41 PM

Yes, I've had this experience, too. It's only with the more mundane stuff. Obviously, when I remember flying down a train track on my recent trip to LA, I know that one was a dream. But what about paying my credit card bill? Did I do that, or did I dream that I did that?

I tend to dream the most (or perhaps just remember my dreams the most) when I have been sleeping lots and lots and lots. I was diagnosed in April and my treatment is going really well. I feel (almost) normal again with Nuvigil. But last week I was really sick with the stomach flu, and so I decided to skip my meds for a couple of days and just let my body sleep off the sickness (well, I guess I was forced to forgo the meds by the fact that I couldn't keep even water down in my stomach). I had the kind of amazingly vivid and realistic dreams I had before I started taking medication. It was kind of fun.

I even had a conversation with my boss in my dream about a work situation that had really been bothering me. Something I've spent a lot of time thinking about and praying about and trying to figure out how to resolve. I woke up from that dream and thought, maybe that's the answer I've been searching for! After more (awake time) reflection, I ended up telling my boss just what I'd told him in the dream, and the situation has been working out really well. I'm a Christian, a very religious and prayerful person, and while I've definitely heard about people receiving answers to prayers in their dreams, I just didn't ever think that would apply to me. But, it makes sense that someone with narcolepsy, someone for whom the lines between awake and asleep can be somewhat blurred, could receive insights this way.

A little off topic, but maybe that helps?

Katty0, I know what you mean, worrying that the troublesome aspects of narcolepsy will get worse with age. But from everything I've read and everyone I've talked to, it seems there's no evidence that narcolepsy is progressive. Certainly there will be periods of life where some symptoms are worse or more bothersome, but that doesn't mean that it won't improve later on. I think of it more like a rollercoaster, with ups and downs, than a hill, with only one way down from the top.

#13 Katty0

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 02:00 PM

Katty0, I know what you mean, worrying that the troublesome aspects of narcolepsy will get worse with age. But from everything I've read and everyone I've talked to, it seems there's no evidence that narcolepsy is progressive. Certainly there will be periods of life where some symptoms are worse or more bothersome, but that doesn't mean that it won't improve later on. I think of it more like a rollercoaster, with ups and downs, than a hill, with only one way down from the top.




Thanks :) I am having a very "down" day today. I think I have had narcolepsy since I had mono in 6th grade and my immune system went haywire... I know I am worse now than I was in high school or college, but I think having to work 8-5 every day now contributes to it.