Nana Trish

Weird question...

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Ok guys, I have a weird question. Have any of you experienced really lucid nightmares and/or insomnia within a week or two post op? I have a history of insomnia AND nightmares. But they go in cycles. Usually early spring and early fall. My spring cycle has already passed. I have slept incredibly well the past two nights, dream free. I feel great. Then last night, I couldn't sleep. At all. I was finally able to fall asleep at 5:45 this morning. I woke up to this God awful, horrific nightmare. The only time I have ever had nightmares this bad was when I was pregnant with my 3 children. At least one each pregnancy. The only thing I can think is hormonal changes. Is that a thing with this surgery? Maybe adding the new supplements? Ugh...

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@Trish1967 I have a different theory. I think this is much more positive than a side-effect.

We all dream in normal sleep, even if we don't remember our dreams when we wake up. If you have sleep apnea, though, it is broken sleep and not restful. About 80% of the time we are asleep we are (normally) in non-REM sleep, 20% in REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep. Most of our dreaming is in REM sleep but it can be in either one. REM sleep is critical to cementing memories that you accumulated during the day. If you don't get REM sleep bad things happen to you... if you are a rat and artificially kept from REM sleep, you die within a couple of months. There is a similar and rare disorder in people and it's not good for them either. 

I think my having vivid dreams - the ones I remember - are the result of having much better sleep as my sleep apnea goes away, and then (by chance) waking while I can remember the dream. There is something which I think is called REM rebound - when your sleep apnea is fixed by CPAP, or by losing weight, your REM sleep can go to 30 or 40% of the time you are asleep - your body is making up for all that time without REM sleep. In contrast, before surgery I probably had little REM sleep and only broken or short dreams. So, I am probably spending twice as much time in REM sleep with dreams.  I've had nightmares, really nice dreams (blush), and things all over the map. I wouldn't have thought about this without your posting, but most of it was within a month of my surgery. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BurgundyBoy said:

@Trish1967 I have a different theory. I think this is much more positive than a side-effect.

We all dream in normal sleep, even if we don't remember our dreams when we wake up. If you have sleep apnea, though, it is broken sleep and not restful. About 80% of the time we are asleep we are (normally) in non-REM sleep, 20% in REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep. Most of our dreaming is in REM sleep but it can be in either one. REM sleep is critical to cementing memories that you accumulated during the day. If you don't get REM sleep bad things happen to you... if you are a rat and artificially kept from REM sleep, you die within a couple of months. There is a similar and rare disorder in people and it's not good for them either. 

I think my having vivid dreams - the ones I remember - are the result of having much better sleep as my sleep apnea goes away, and then (by chance) waking while I can remember the dream. There is something which I think is called REM rebound - when your sleep apnea is fixed by CPAP, or by losing weight, your REM sleep can go to 30 or 40% of the time you are asleep - your body is making up for all that time without REM sleep. In contrast, before surgery I probably had little REM sleep and only broken or short dreams. So, I am probably spending twice as much time in REM sleep with dreams.  I've had nightmares, really nice dreams (blush), and things all over the map. I wouldn't have thought about this without your posting, but most of it was within a month of my surgery. 

 

 

I never would have even thought of it that way, BurgundyBoy. That makes a lot of sense. I do have sleep apnea, but am not using a cpap machine because I have a pretty severe case of claustrophobia (I have issues, don't ask, lol), and although I've tried, I cannot use one. I did lose 34 pounds prior to surgery though, and I'm sure I've lost a few since surgery. I'm probably sleeping better because of it, hence the dreams. I will not know until June 7th how much post op weight I've lost though, because my surgeon told me not to weigh myself before then...swelling, water retention, etc. I told my husband to hide the scale so I couldn't, even if I wanted to, lol. I'm so glad you are sleeping better! I'd like to have some *blush* dreams instead of the one I had last night! :) 

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4 hours ago, Trish1967 said:

Ok guys, I have a weird question. Have any of you experienced really lucid nightmares and/or insomnia within a week or two post op? I have a history of insomnia AND nightmares. But they go in cycles. Usually early spring and early fall. My spring cycle has already passed. I have slept incredibly well the past two nights, dream free. I feel great. Then last night, I couldn't sleep. At all. I was finally able to fall asleep at 5:45 this morning. I woke up to this God awful, horrific nightmare. The only time I have ever had nightmares this bad was when I was pregnant with my 3 children. At least one each pregnancy. The only thing I can think is hormonal changes. Is that a thing with this surgery? Maybe adding the new supplements? Ugh...

I had horrible nightmares a few days after surgery, when I was discharged from hospital. Horrible vivid nightmares. They disappeared eventually. 

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5 minutes ago, jules_78 said:

I had horrible nightmares a few days after surgery, when I was discharged from hospital. Horrible vivid nightmares. They disappeared eventually. 

I'm sorry that happened, but glad it's not just me at the same time.

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Actually I've always had nightmares and after surgery they got worse, but luckily they went away. It's a horrible feeling when you wake up, but hang in there! 

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54 minutes ago, jules_78 said:

Actually I've always had nightmares and after surgery they got worse, but luckily they went away. It's a horrible feeling when you wake up, but hang in there! 

It is horrible, for sure! I'm hanging in...thanks!! 

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I don't have sleep apnea (thank goodness), but I've always been an insomniac. After surgery, it was a lot worse. Right now, it's still pretty not good. I have a Fitbit Alta HR that measures my sleep using motion sensing plus the heart rate monitor, and it's been super interesting to see how my sleep patterns look. Here's mine from last night. Clocked in at a whopping 5 hours 26 minutes :( Trying to figure out how to use this new information to help me get better sleep.

 

Sleep patterns.png

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I had severe sleep apnea before surgery.  Literally scared the crap out of my family if I fell asleep without my cpap machine!!  I have always been a super vivid dreamer and had pretty severe insomnia when thin or heavy.  It has only gotten worse after surgery.  The only thing that has helped a little tiny bit has been strong medicine that I won't take all the time.  Not sure what the answer is.  

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It's hard to know what the cause is for sure but it seems like it could be one or many of the things posted here, including hormones. 1 of the 2 forms of estrogen our bodies produce is stored in fat. With rapid weight loss, it is released into the bloodstream and our bodies become flooded with it. Many many people have reported issues with with it post op and I suppose that sleep disruption could be one of the ways that issue is expressed.

Either way, I'm really sorry you're experiencing an nightmares and insomnia. It sounds really unpleasant.

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What a bunch of interesting postings. Sympathy to all those without enough sleep or those with nightmares (or not enough *blush" type dreams).

I still find myself with the bad sleep habits of before surgery, like leaving the light on when I used to try to go to sleep reading, or taking "just a bite" of some food into the bedroom with me ... now I just fall asleep and wake up with the annoying light on in the middle of the night, LOL. and the uneaten piece of whatever on the nightstand. I have had problems sleeping when I'm anxious or depressed or stressed. Wasn't helped by the sleep apnea. I guess I just have to put my big boy pants on and stop this. But those are bad "sleep hygiene" habits and off-topic from the thread topic of vivid dreams.

@Raeme, I perceive you, from your postings, as having a strong personality and a lot of self-knowledge. Perhaps your day life is carrying over into the night-time since you experience life so vividly and clearly, without much in the way of illusions. ;) 

Edited by BurgundyBoy
replace dream life with day life.

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20 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

I don't have sleep apnea (thank goodness), but I've always been an insomniac. After surgery, it was a lot worse. Right now, it's still pretty not good. I have a Fitbit Alta HR that measures my sleep using motion sensing plus the heart rate monitor, and it's been super interesting to see how my sleep patterns look. Here's mine from last night. Clocked in at a whopping 5 hours 26 minutes :( Trying to figure out how to use this new information to help me get better sleep.

 

Sleep patterns.png

This thing is pretty cool!! I hope it can help you somehow get more/better quality sleep :) 

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4 hours ago, Jabsie said:

It's hard to know what the cause is for sure but it seems like it could be one or many of the things posted here, including hormones. 1 of the 2 forms of estrogen our bodies produce is stored in fat. With rapid weight loss, it is released into the bloodstream and our bodies become flooded with it. Many many people have reported issues with with it post op and I suppose that sleep disruption could be one of the ways that issue is expressed.

Either way, I'm really sorry you're experiencing an nightmares and insomnia. It sounds really unpleasant.

I wonder if that can happen after a hysterectomy...I have no ovaries, so I don't know how much, if any, estrogen my body produces. I'm not on estrogen replacement. But my need for the same amount of thyroid hormone replacement will be less as I lose weight, and maybe that is contributing. Who knows, lol. I slept well last night, with no nightmares, so that's a plus. 

Its unpleasant, but I'll survive. As long as it doesn't happen every night, it's all good. 

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19 hours ago, Raeme said:

I had severe sleep apnea before surgery.  Literally scared the crap out of my family if I fell asleep without my cpap machine!!  I have always been a super vivid dreamer and had pretty severe insomnia when thin or heavy.  It has only gotten worse after surgery.  The only thing that has helped a little tiny bit has been strong medicine that I won't take all the time.  Not sure what the answer is.  

Oh wow...I'm sorry about the sleep apnea. I have to take Xanax at night to sleep due to severe anxiety. Again, I have issues, don't ask, lol. It's hard having to take meds just to calm down or sleep at night. (((Hugs)))

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5 hours ago, Trish1967 said:

I wonder if that can happen after a hysterectomy...I have no ovaries, so I don't know how much, if any, estrogen my body produces. I'm not on estrogen replacement. But my need for the same amount of thyroid hormone replacement will be less as I lose weight, and maybe that is contributing. Who knows, lol. I slept well last night, with no nightmares, so that's a plus. 

Its unpleasant, but I'll survive. As long as it doesn't happen every night, it's all good. 

It does happen even after hysterectomy Trish. The fat cells still contain estrogen even after your ovaries are removed. I don't believe this form of stored estrogen is detected in estrogen blood tests, but it does include how you feel while quietly stored there. I lost most (in fact nearly all) of my excess weight prior to surgery and I have to be very careful to ensure I keep up with my low dose estrogen patches now. I had a gyn check last week and when the surgeon saw how much weight I'd lost since last year the first thing he did was write an order for estrogen blood tests.

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@Aussie H you bring up an interesting topic - mobilization of chemicals from the "storage site" of our fat cells. Rapid weight loss has led to what is essentially acute DDT poisoning in people exposed to DDT decades ago. DDT can be stored in an inert form in fat cells. I think there is a lot that is unknown about this and similar topics in WLS....

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On 5/22/2017 at 1:00 PM, Trish1967 said:

I wonder if that can happen after a hysterectomy...I have no ovaries, so I don't know how much, if any, estrogen my body produces. I'm not on estrogen replacement. But my need for the same amount of thyroid hormone replacement will be less as I lose weight, and maybe that is contributing. Who knows, lol. I slept well last night, with no nightmares, so that's a plus. 

Its unpleasant, but I'll survive. As long as it doesn't happen every night, it's all good. 

Funny thing about Thyroid hormone, it may or may not need to change with weight loss. I lost 119 lbs and haven't required a change in dose from what I had pre-op. You could actually even end up needing more because some of the absorption of the hormone happens in the the stomach. With so much removed, some patients end up needing an increase post op.

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36 minutes ago, Jabsie said:

Funny thing about Thyroid hormone, it may or may not need to change with weight loss. I lost 119 lbs and haven't required a change in dose from what I had pre-op. You could actually even end up needing more because some of the absorption of the hormone happens in the the stomach. With so much removed, some patients end up needing an increase post op.

Oh good God... I hope I don't need MORE!! I don't have a thyroid, so I don't know if it's a different ballgame or not. I have such bad side effects from the hormones already. I'm glad you didn't need a change in your dose. I hope the same happens to me. 

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On 5/24/2017 at 1:55 PM, Trish1967 said:

Oh good God... I hope I don't need MORE!! I don't have a thyroid, so I don't know if it's a different ballgame or not. I have such bad side effects from the hormones already. I'm glad you didn't need a change in your dose. I hope the same happens to me. 

I don't have a thyroid either....zero...not one cell :-) When I first got treated, I noticed that even a teeny bit too high of a dose of Synthroid made me feel edgy, not to mention the insomnia and heart palpitations. If you're still feeling this way in a month or so, you might want to talk to your Endocrinologist about adjust your dose. Best of luck!

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26 minutes ago, Jabsie said:

I don't have a thyroid either....zero...not one cell :-) When I first got treated, I noticed that even a teeny bit too high of a dose of Synthroid made me feel edgy, not to mention the insomnia and heart palpitations. If you're still feeling this way in a month or so, you might want to talk to your Endocrinologist about adjust your dose. Best of luck!

Ugh...I'm right there with you with insomnia and heart palpitations.  My surgeon has already told me to contact my endo because he's fairly certain I'll need an adjustment sooner rather than later. My TSH went from .5 to .01 during the pre op diet alone. I know they need to keep me suppressed after cancer treatment, but this isn't pleasant! I'm taking Armour thyroid...I switched from Levo because it wasn't doing much for the side effects I'm having. Armour isn't either. My hair is still falling out like crazy...grr!! 

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