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Total lack of REM sleep?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My best friend, Rush, just had a sleep study done and found out that he's getting no REM sleep. NONE! The doctor was stunned that he's even walking around, let alone leading a reasonably normal life (albeit under tremendous stress).

The good news is that it may be due to breathing trouble from something as simple as allergies. After decades of insomnia and breathing problems, Rush has already seen major improvement in just a few days on some allergy meds, and we're hoping that will do the trick without surgery.

But I can't imagine how a person survives without REM sleep! Has anyone ever had this experience?
post #2 of 18
Closest was when I went without sleep for nearly 6 days.... I started to see things

Was there any mention of sleep apnea from his study? If so a CPAP machine could really help. And of course, this doesn't require any surgery either.
post #3 of 18
In my sleep study, I got something like 5 minutes of stage 3 sleep the entire night, and apparently that's the stage where you get the best quality sleep.

And you do get used to feeling horrible. I didn't know that was not how most people felt, it's just how I got through my days! I generally feel much better with the CPAP machine, and it's really noticeable when I haven't worn it.

I'm glad the allergy meds are helping. He should try doing a saline sinus rinse every night before bed, that would really help as well.
post #4 of 18
Prior to my getting a CPAP machine after my sleep study, I wasn't entering into REM sleep either. I was a walking zombie. I never dreamed!

Once I had my CPAP machine I was having "hallucinations". Turns out they were dreams because I was going into REM sleep. Who knew!
post #5 of 18
When I sub for the 3rd shift guy, I don't tend to get much sleep during the day, and it certainly isn't REM sleep. After a couple of days I usually get quite batty and zombie-like. The most interesting thoughts tend to occur to me when I am in that state...
post #6 of 18
wow that is amazing I could not live with no REM sleep
post #7 of 18
I got so stressed once I went for 11 days without sleep. When I finally dropped, I was out for nearly 3 days. I was hallucinating and extreme paranoia set in. DH was considering having me committed.
I still having trouble sleeping without meds.
post #8 of 18
yes carol, i lasted a very very long time with no real deep sleep.
i finally went to the doc, had me to start taking some melationin.

afer a couple of days, i started having some very wild and strange dreams. But i feel awhole lot better now. Even if some of the dreams shocked me.
post #9 of 18
i have no idea if i'm getting REM sleep, or how much of it i'm getting if i am.
i do know that i almost never remember any dreams. not saying i'm not having any, just don't seem to remember them
post #10 of 18
That means you're getting good quality sleep. I would always remember multiple really vivid dreams - turns out it's because I was constantly being woken in the dream cycle by my sleep apnea.

When I wear my mask and sleep well, I don't remember my dreams as much.
post #11 of 18
So it's OK if I am unaware if I dream or not? I don't think I dream.... I've had about 8 dreams MAX this YEAR.

Uh oh...
post #12 of 18
Most people dont remember there dreams. i only remember sometimes.

before i started taking the melationin, sleepign or not sleeping, made no difference, i alway felt tired, and cranky(err, well some people say i was born that way)

But i can tell the difference. Your body or mind, needs the REM sleep.
post #13 of 18
I think I'm always partially sleep deprived. If I recall correctly, it's supposed to take around 90 minutes to reach REM sleep - less if you're sleep deprived. I can doze off watching tv and be out for maybe 15 minutes tops and seem to fall straight into a dream. I usually remember a lot of my dreams but as the day goes by I forget them and really have to think about it to recall anything.
I'm usually fatigued and feel run down in the afternoon - kicks in right around 3pm. I also have trouble waking up in the morning - One part of that is due to very low blood pressure. I think it drops even lower when I sleep and that my heart rate may drop under 50bpm, maybe cortisol issues, too. Lots of things can affect sleep and energy levels.

Before anyone tries melatonin, make sure there aren't any existing medical conditions that it could make worse. I would be extremely hesitant to try it due to it being contradictory to use in those with orthostatic intolerance. Those with auto-immune problems need to be careful, too.
post #14 of 18
I went without sleep for about 5 days... I was hallucinating by the end of it. He must have felt like a complete zombie! Poor guy!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes, I should have clarified that apnea is the problem -- and yes, instant-dream-state is a sure sign of sleep deprivation (I do that myself).

As I understand it, the hallucinations we get after going without sleep for awhile are actually "waking dreams" -- our brains just insist on slipping down into REM state for a few seconds at a time, even while we're apparently awake!

The amazing thing is that Rush has not been a "zombie," as you would expect. He's very high-energy and very productive -- has a highly responsible dayjob, freelances as a music writer (has six, count'em, six book projects on his plate right now), and is very involved with his wife, son, and two dogs. He also manages to stay close to literally dozens of good friends. All this while suffering from serious insomnia through the entire 24 years I've known him.

Imagine what he'll be like when he finally gets caught up on sleep!
post #16 of 18
I almost always remember my dreams.

Sometimes, it will take me about an hour or more to fall asleep. Then i fall asleep for an hour or two, and wake up, having to pee, and feeling like i hadnt slept at all. They started giving me Seroquel in the hospital to help me sleep, and i havent gotten a new perscription, and feel like i have been sleeping fine. Sometimes i do that thing where i will slip into a dream state RIGHT after falling asleep. Someone said that means you are sleep deprived? But i shouldnt be, i sleep a good 8-10 hours a night most of the time. And then i do get tired around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Is that bad?
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by KiTTYL0VE4 View Post
...Someone said that means you are sleep deprived? But i shouldnt be, i sleep a good 8-10 hours a night most of the time. And then i do get tired around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Is that bad?
Even if you're sleeping a reasonable number of hours, you can still suffer sleep deprivation if the sleep is not of good quality. Sleep apnea can keep you from spending enough time in the good, restorative stages of sleep... and you might not even know if you have it.
post #18 of 18
I remember a lot of my dreams and I wake up often during sleep. I usually don't feel like a zombie though.
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