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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Experiencing dreams while awake?

 mh508 - Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:52 am

Hi, I'm a 28 year old male, always been in good health.

Every so often I suddenly get thoughts in my head as though I'm remembering a dream I've had. This feeling usually lasts for around 15-20 seconds over which time the "memories" become increasingly intense - I can remember more detail of the scene and what's going on. Then all of a sudden it'll stop and I'll feel like I'm going to be sick for about 30 seconds. After approximately another minute I have forgotten most or sometimes all of the thoughts I was having.

While this is happening I'm still awake and aware of what's going on in the world around me - it's even happened once while I was karting!

I said it's "as though I'm remembering a dream I've had" because there always seems some familiarity about the thoughts that come into my head but I don't know whether I am really remembering a dream I've previously had. Could it be that part of my brain has gone into a dream state while the rest of it is awake and that's why the dream is feeling like it's a memory?

The first time I can remember this happening was 5 - 6 years ago. It started off being a rare occurrence - maybe 6 times in the first five years but in the last year or so it's being happening more often - once every month or two.

Any ideas what this could be?
 Cliff - Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:53 pm

I know exactly what you are talking about. I am 35 years old and I have been diagnosed (2 1/2 years ago) with simple partial seizures. I also have a vivid memory that seems like a dream and then I sometimes feel nautious. For years, I called them "deja vu" . I started having this happen in my twenties, at least. At one point they came a little more frequently and then, one day I had a really bad one. I was cooking supper and it hit me hard. I had to go sit down and was feeling nautious and then drained for the rest of the night. That's the one that finally sent me to the Dr. She sent me for and EEG. There was an abnormality on left side of my brain, so they sent me to a neurologist. I then, went for MRI and that showed a Cavernous Angioma, which was causing the seizures. Now I take an anti-epilected med everyday. I still sometimes get the intense feelings, but not much. This probably sounds a little much, but when I read your post, it sounded exactly like me! [/b]
 Eva1 - Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:30 pm

The exact thing happens to me also. I will be doing some mundane thing around the house like washing my hands or cooking/cleaning and all of a sudden ill feel "strange" and previous dreams that I have had start to come into my head one after another" At times I feel like I am having "dejavu" moments where I feel like I have seen myself doing whatever it is that I am doing at that time before in a dream. It lasts about 15-20 seconds and I start to feel sick, short of breath and shaky. I usually have to sit down and then it passes and ill have it again a week or so later. I have been experiencing them a lot lately the past couple of months. It started about 4 years ago. Before the ones that I have been having lately, it has been maybe a year since I have had one. Is it really seizures? I am 25 and in good health. No other medical history.
 nerual_123 - Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:27 pm

I have exactly the same thing. I'll just be going about my day and then randomly I'll have a 'flashback' of a dream that I know I have had before. It's just a flash of a dream and only lasts for a second. It usually happens when I'm thinking about something or by myself or caught up in my own thoughts. Afterward I can't remember what dream it was but all I know is that I've had the dream before. I thought I was going crazy its good to know that people are experiencing a similar thing.
 GrimmBob - Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:57 pm

I am stunned right now!! I have been having these exact symptoms for probably 3 years now, and only on a whim decided to Google them to see if there might be any mention of something similar.

I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, and have always assumed that these "dream memory flashes" were somehow related to that. I decided to check for more info because the episodes have gotten more frequent. When they first started, they were only happening maybe once every 4-6 weeks, but they have increased somewhat and during a peak bad month I might get one a week. During a good month, I might get one full one and maybe a couple mini ones. Mini ones are just like a couple of little dream memory flashes and that's it.

The descriptions above are EXACTLY how I describe them to others, with the same difficulty in pinning down exactly what is happening. They usually last for 3-6 minutes overall for me, like they creep up in little flashes and I might actually think that these are real actual dreams I'm remembering, and not an episode. Then it sort of builds, like a little tumble of dream memories. When it passes I can sometimes be a bit confused, like once I couldn't figure out how to turn my PS3 console off with the controller for a minute.

I had an MRI done just about 2 years ago and it was clean. Based on what I've read here I think it may be worth talking to my family doc again and pushing for some investigation outside of the assumption that it is ties to my MCTD.

Even though there are no posts up from Docs here, it is great to hear from others that have experienced something like this. I feel less like a freak now! Well, at least as far as this episode stuff goes. Thanks to those who have posted so far to share their info.

 GrimmBob - Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:04 pm

I'm just curious as to whether or not any of the people who posted up here previously are still on the board? Some of their posts are fairly old and it would be helpful to know if they've had any change in symptoms, diagnosis, etc.

For anyone that is experiencing this, do you find diet or particular activity has any effect? I mean to the best of your ability to discern, that is. I know how difficult it is. For me I think possibly poor diet brings on more activity, like high sugar and fatty foods. This holiday season I wasn't as diligent as usual, eating a lot of baked sweets, and I've been paying for it the last few days with lots of little micro-burst episodes as I described above. I don't drink coffee, so I can't say whether or not caffeine has any effect.

I've got an appointment for a physical with my family doc in early February (as early as I could get it, I know, it's bad), and I plan to go into detail discussing this with her again at that time. I will definitely report back here with any findings or ideas.

Thanks to those who have shared their experiences.

 PJsBee - Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:23 am

Has anyone recieved any information about this. I have experienced this the last week or so. I have MS, but I am not sure if it is that or something else.
 GrimmBob - Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:33 am

Had an appointment with my family doc and went over symptoms with her again. She scheduled an EEG with sleep deprivation for me, wants to try and rule out absence seizures. That is on June 3, my specialist appointment will be shortly after that. Will post back when I know more.

 suzancraw4rd - Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:22 pm

This sounds exactly like what I have been experiencing. While I may have had something like this once every few years in the past, in the last few weeks I have gone from a couple a week to several today, which is why I have been seeking answers. Any information that anyone can give would be helpful. Thank you.
 ouch77 - Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:09 pm

I have had epilepsy most of my life, and this sounds like seizures to me.

I have read about this type of seizure also.

I would recommend anyone having these symptoms to go and get an EEG as soon as possible.
 buddie'ssattva - Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:43 am

I originally googled this thread before June 09, i think. I didnt know what to say other than 'i think i have this too'. Perhaps this will help, by providing something else to explore.

I first experienced this in Nov 07. I called it waking nightmares or 'deja-vu daymares'. It recurred 5 times at various times, settings, situations over the next 1 1/2 yrs. Rrough avg: 1 episode every 100 days+-. I was diagnosed w/Lyme by blood tests in June 09. No bullseye. Began 60 days doxycycline 6/09. Diagnosis was that first likely symptoms included an excruciating headache I had (MRI was clear) back in Dec 07. This was 3 weeks after my first 'daymare'. My other Lyme symptoms: tingling pain, aching joints, occasional fevers, became more problematic starting in early '08 and through mid-'09. All symptoms have been noticably better, although not gone since the antibiotic treatment. I've not experienced the waking dreams since the last one in June 09, right before I began doxy. The Lyme specialist i now see says there's a correlation. I can't disagree, as it has now been 13 months since antibiotics began/last episode. I've got my fingers crossed.

I'll also add, at the risk of hitting the wrong chord with some, or many, that i asked 4 different doctors including my physician of 20 yrs, and my annual physical doctor at Johns Hopkins, about these dreams and some of the other symptoms i was having - and even had Lyme blood tests done twice - and not only was Lyme not diagnosed (twice I had 'only' 2 of the 3 markers, ugh) they didn't really offer any good advice re the 'daymares' at all. So Lyme is obviously very tricky for even good professionals. I'm not a believer in all that i've now been told about it. But it does bear cautious consideration. Hope this helps, and hope i haven't posted too soon...
 gridpoet - Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:48 pm

I've experienced this same exact thing recently... it happened once before but i didn't think much of it, then last night it happened very intensely, and to be honest it scared me quite a bit... then it happened today at work while i was talking to my boss...

I'm a 35 yr old male who has, for the most part , been healthy all my life...

i'm not going to lie... this whole situation is very troubling

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