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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious to read what everyone's experiences with sleep are. Do you have trouble getting tired, falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up constantly throughout the night? What are your dreams like?

I definitely struggle with actually getting tired. I usually have to tell myself that it's time to go to bed- I don't think I've fallen asleep when my head hit the pillow since before the onset of my DP. It almost always takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half sometimes to finally fall asleep once I've laid down.

For the most part, I sleep pretty well compared to what I've read on this forum. Although, my sleep schedule has gotten a bit weird over the course of my DP. I usually fall asleep around 4AM- I have a really hard time falling asleep anywhere before 2:30AM for whatever reason- and on good days I can sleep until 1:00 or 1:30PM. Even on my good days, I'll wake up a few times throughout the night (morning?) before I'm finally up for good.

On my bad nights, I can wake up just about every hour. Even though I'll sleep for 5 or 6 hours, it doesn't feel like I'm getting any rest because I'm constantly waking up and going back to bed.

On really bad nights, and for no real reason that I can deduce other than something must have triggered my anxiety, I'll only be able to sleep for about an hour or an hour and a half and then I'll wake up feeling panicky and be unable to fall back asleep. If I try to fall back asleep, I'll just toss and turn and get incredibly restless and anxious. (Like last night, for example, I went to bed around 4 and probably fell asleep by 4:30. By 5:30 I woke up feeling panicky and anxious and was unable to fall back asleep at all.)

I personally get very anxious and distraught when I can't sleep, because sleep is one of the times I feel like I can escape from the difficult reality of having DP. I also get anxious trying to figure out what's causing me to be unable to sleep. I also get anxious about developing insomnia. You can see how this goes
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I also thought I'd throw in that usually in my dreams I DON'T feel DP'd. I can feel emotions in my dreams and I usually feel like my "old self" before the DP set in during my dreams. In real life, however, I have absolutely no access to my emotions whatsoever.
 

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I have all these same issues. And at one point 2 weeks ago I thought it was finally getting better. Then idk what happened. For the past week it's been bad again and anxiety is high. It's as if my brain is afraid of sleep. I can fall asleep ok it takes a little while. At first that was a major struggle. At the most I'll get a few hours and then wake up from a vivid dream. Takes forever to fall back asleep. On good nights I can. I've tried pretty much every over the counter sleep aid. Melatonin works but you can't take it every day and it does nothing for how often I wake up. I have only gotten 1 night of a full 8 hours since this started and it's been nearly 4 months.
The one thing I can say for me at least is that I have this vicious cycle. If I don't get good sleep I have more physical anxiety the next day which in turn makes it harder to eat. When I don't eat my insomnia is a lot worse. I get the shakes and elevated heart rate every time I try to relax. But if i have a couple decent sized meals it's definitely much easier. But I find it hard to force myself to eat when I'm super anxious and things just taste weird. Sometimes my dreams bother me but most of the time when I can remember them is when I wake up in a panic. This is usually a lot worse on an empty stomach and harder to calm down from. It's like having a panic attack in your sleep because I don't get them when I'm awake. I'm starting to think maybe I should look into some medication to help with this because the teas and supplements aren't helping anymore.
 

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My sleep hasnt changed too significantly since this started for me, however I notice if i sleep poorly (less then 7 hours) my symptoms are worse.
 

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I'm very sensitive to sounds and light (light always) when going to sleep.

One single faint sound and I am up. I sleep so poorly & have the worst time trying to fall asleep when the sun's out.

This has been the case lately. I was an insomniac throughout for many of my teenage years, but generally when I did sleep, the world could go through WW3 and I'd still be sound asleep.

Now anything can wake me up! Literally anything. I'm on Seroquel 15.5mg for sleep with much higher doses previously throughout the years.

I relate so much to the "hard to get tired" thing! So bizarre because before DPDR I slept quite often and loved to. If I had nothing to do I'd sleep. Now I struggle to even take naps and go to sleep at night. If it wasn't for Seroquel I'm sure my sleep schedule would be pretty fucked up and is my life.

Weird stuff happens sometimes in the middle of the night but I'm not sure it has anything to do with DPDR.

Also I get tremors every now and then.

One thing that has changed drastically for sure is that I NEED to sleep more than ever. If I pull an all nighter and stay up for too long it's hard to function mentally (more than the average person) and connect. And if I don't sleep well or at night for several days my concentration and mood worsen which would worsen the symptoms and blehh.
 

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I have had issues for many years getting to sleep and staying asleep. Takes me a minimum of an hour of my head on the pillow to fall asleep. Been taking CBD and hemp tea recently that has impacted me and I did have some dreams last night... the good thing is if you dream it is the last stage of sleep. So stages 1-4 with 3 and 4 being deepest and most restorative, then REM sleep when we dream and this cycle repeats throughout the night... so I know when I have dreams I am sleeping better. Probiotics like kefir, yoghurt, cottage cheese and cheese and kimchi....
 

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Personally my sleep is a big issue. Sometimes when I'm drifting into sleep I'm half awake and hear weird noises which trigger anxiety and you probably know how that goes. I also have the same issue with waking up throughout the night, sometimes it's a struggle to sleep again and others I manage to dose off in time.

I find my big issue being how vivid my dreams are, I have had outer body experiences in them recently which is very strange, it seems to be bothering me too. Have you had any strange dreams?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have all these same issues. And at one point 2 weeks ago I thought it was finally getting better. Then idk what happened. For the past week it's been bad again and anxiety is high. It's as if my brain is afraid of sleep. I can fall asleep ok it takes a little while. At first that was a major struggle. At the most I'll get a few hours and then wake up from a vivid dream. Takes forever to fall back asleep. On good nights I can. I've tried pretty much every over the counter sleep aid. Melatonin works but you can't take it every day and it does nothing for how often I wake up. I have only gotten 1 night of a full 8 hours since this started and it's been nearly 4 months.
The one thing I can say for me at least is that I have this vicious cycle. If I don't get good sleep I have more physical anxiety the next day which in turn makes it harder to eat. When I don't eat my insomnia is a lot worse. I get the shakes and elevated heart rate every time I try to relax. But if i have a couple decent sized meals it's definitely much easier. But I find it hard to force myself to eat when I'm super anxious and things just taste weird. Sometimes my dreams bother me but most of the time when I can remember them is when I wake up in a panic. This is usually a lot worse on an empty stomach and harder to calm down from. It's like having a panic attack in your sleep because I don't get them when I'm awake. I'm starting to think maybe I should look into some medication to help with this because the teas and supplements aren't helping anymore.
I definitely think that my brain is afraid of sleep at times also! My DP was triggered by a combination of trauma and cannabis use, and I also have a C-PTSD diagnosis, so I believe part of the fear of falling asleep has to do with my body's tendency to be hyper-vigilant and its inability to relax fully. This has gotten better over time, but I find if something triggers my anxiety, my brain fires right back into hyper-alert mode and I'm constantly on guard which makes relaxing and drifting off to sleep much more difficult than it would otherwise be. My heart rate is almost always elevated. Sometimes for no reason, other times because I'm anxious about something. This isn't something I ever dealt with before the DP so it's interesting (and mildly alarming at times) to me. I avoid caffeine like the plague and try to limit my sugar intake as I'm always so aware of my heart rate & trying to keep it from pounding out of my chest.

When I had trouble eating because of my anxiety, I picked up these high calorie drinks from Target- but I'm sure they sell them at grocery stores and other big chain stores- called Ensure and they had like 300 calories in them? So worst case scenario I drank 2 or 3 a day (they aren't very large) just to have some calories in my body. I found drinking was much easier on my stomach and didn't trigger nausea or as much discomfort as actually chewing and swallowing whole food did, for what it's worth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My sleep hasnt changed too significantly since this started for me, however I notice if i sleep poorly (less then 7 hours) my symptoms are worse.
I've read people say that before as well! I don't experience many of the same symptoms as others on this forum, for me personally my DP symptoms are mainly my obsessive thoughts and my complete inability to feel any of my emotions, and neither of these symptoms ever seem to let up or get any better, so no matter how much sleep I get I feel more or less the same- albeit I'll be more irritable than usual as sleep is one of the only things I look forward to these days.

I'm very sensitive to sounds and light (light always) when going to sleep.

One single faint sound and I am up. I sleep so poorly & have the worst time trying to fall asleep when the sun's out.

This has been the case lately. I was an insomniac throughout for many of my teenage years, but generally when I did sleep, the world could go through WW3 and I'd still be sound asleep.

Now anything can wake me up! Literally anything. I'm on Seroquel 15.5mg for sleep with much higher doses previously throughout the years.

I relate so much to the "hard to get tired" thing! So bizarre because before DPDR I slept quite often and loved to. If I had nothing to do I'd sleep. Now I struggle to even take naps and go to sleep at night. If it wasn't for Seroquel I'm sure my sleep schedule would be pretty fucked up and is my life.

Weird stuff happens sometimes in the middle of the night but I'm not sure it has anything to do with DPDR.

Also I get tremors every now and then.

One thing that has changed drastically for sure is that I NEED to sleep more than ever. If I pull an all nighter and stay up for too long it's hard to function mentally (more than the average person) and connect. And if I don't sleep well or at night for several days my concentration and mood worsen which would worsen the symptoms and blehh.
I never struggled with insomnia or sleep problems until the onset of my DP. Granted, I was a pretty frequent cannabis consumer which basically always guaranteed me a full night's sleep. I also used to be a super sound sleeper, I could sleep through thunderstorms with no problem. I also was able to fall asleep just about whenever I wanted to, without much thought or effort on my end. Now, I definitely notice I'm a much lighter sleeper. I also get really irritable and more miserable than usual if I'm having a rough few night's of sleep. Sleep is so much more important to me now than it ever used to be!

I have had issues for many years getting to sleep and staying asleep. Takes me a minimum of an hour of my head on the pillow to fall asleep. Been taking CBD and hemp tea recently that has impacted me and I did have some dreams last night... the good thing is if you dream it is the last stage of sleep. So stages 1-4 with 3 and 4 being deepest and most restorative, then REM sleep when we dream and this cycle repeats throughout the night... so I know when I have dreams I am sleeping better. Probiotics like kefir, yoghurt, cottage cheese and cheese and kimchi....
I've been looking into CBD for general anxiety and always wondered if it would help with sleep as well. I dream every single night, and I usually remember 2-3 dreams I've had, but it doesn't always feel like I've had a good night's sleep because it feels like my mind has been "on" and dreaming all night- if that makes sense?

Personally my sleep is a big issue. Sometimes when I'm drifting into sleep I'm half awake and hear weird noises which trigger anxiety and you probably know how that goes. I also have the same issue with waking up throughout the night, sometimes it's a struggle to sleep again and others I manage to dose off in time.

I find my big issue being how vivid my dreams are, I have had outer body experiences in them recently which is very strange, it seems to be bothering me too. Have you had any strange dreams?
My dreams are also pretty vivid. I can usually remember 2-3 dreams I've had through the course of the night, and remember them for weeks and months at a time. There are some that I don't remember as vividly, but I feel like the dreams that make me anxious or involve people I know stay with me for much longer than other people who say they start forgetting their dreams once they wake up.

Some of my dreams are pretty harmless but I've definitely had some that are borderline scary, and others that just make me anxious and have me overthinking them for the entire next day. My mother passed away 2 years ago and she's in a LOT more of my dreams ever since I've been DP'ed.
 

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Oh god, dont even get me started. Im having a bad night right now accually since its 4am. Im pretty much tired all day long every day, then when its time to sleep, i cant untill i literally pass out/shutdown. Everynight, sleep doesnt come untill my eyes are so heavy i cant keep them open anymore.
I think the reason i cant fall asleep normally is because i cant let myself get comfortable because im afraid of going to sleep and im afraid of losing awareness. Which is wierd because once im asleep, im asleep for a good 10 solid hours and when i wake up, i want to go back to sleep desperately. My sleep is usually the only time im free of dpdr but sometimes it leaks into my dreams causing nightmares about dpdr itself. Also, all my symptoms get worse when i become aware its bedtime or getting close to that time. Usually at like 7pm, ill be like "welp, its almost bedtime, wonder what kind of horror my mind will experiance this night" i hate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh god, dont even get me started. Im having a bad night right now accually since its 4am. Im pretty much tired all day long every day, then when its time to sleep, i cant untill i literally pass out/shutdown. Everynight, sleep doesnt come untill my eyes are so heavy i cant keep them open anymore.
I think the reason i cant fall asleep normally is because i cant let myself get comfortable because im afraid of going to sleep and im afraid of losing awareness. Which is wierd because once im asleep, im asleep for a good 10 solid hours and when i wake up, i want to go back to sleep desperately. My sleep is usually the only time im free of dpdr but sometimes it leaks into my dreams causing nightmares about dpdr itself. Also, all my symptoms get worse when i become aware its bedtime or getting close to that time. Usually at like 7pm, ill be like "welp, its almost bedtime, wonder what kind of horror my mind will experiance this night" i hate it.
I experience so much what you've described. I'll be tired during the day- sometimes almost falling asleep driving or as a passenger in the car- but when I actively make the decision to lay down and go to sleep, no matter how tired I feel, I'll always end up lying there feeling awake for an hour or an hour and a half before I fall asleep. I rarely "feel" tired at night- it's more that I make the conscious decision to go lie down based on what time it is and just hope I end up falling asleep. I also sleep for a solid 9-10 hours on a good night (when I don't have to be up early for work in the morning) and basically wish I could always be sleeping and get away from the DP. I've only had one dream where I felt DP'ed and it was worse than in real life- things were really foggy and distorted and I was worried my DP was turning into DR and getting worse and that I'd be stuck that way.

I find I let myself stay up as late as I have to to avoid any anxiety over "having" to go to bed or be tired by a certain time. This means some days I'm running on like 2 hours of sleep but it's better than tossing and turning feeling anxious all night. I usually make up for it with a nap if possible during the day. I watch a lot of YouTube videos to distract myself and pass the time- I mean hours a night sometimes, but I find it takes my mind off of the DP more than reading or writing.
 

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I experience so much what you've described. I'll be tired during the day- sometimes almost falling asleep driving or as a passenger in the car- but when I actively make the decision to lay down and go to sleep, no matter how tired I feel, I'll always end up lying there feeling awake for an hour or an hour and a half before I fall asleep. I rarely "feel" tired at night- it's more that I make the conscious decision to go lie down based on what time it is and just hope I end up falling asleep. I also sleep for a solid 9-10 hours on a good night (when I don't have to be up early for work in the morning) and basically wish I could always be sleeping and get away from the DP. I've only had one dream where I felt DP'ed and it was worse than in real life- things were really foggy and distorted and I was worried my DP was turning into DR and getting worse and that I'd be stuck that way.

I find I let myself stay up as late as I have to to avoid any anxiety over "having" to go to bed or be tired by a certain time. This means some days I'm running on like 2 hours of sleep but it's better than tossing and turning feeling anxious all night. I usually make up for it with a nap if possible during the day. I watch a lot of YouTube videos to distract myself and pass the time- I mean hours a night sometimes, but I find it takes my mind off of the DP more than reading or writing.
Yeah agreed. Its absolutely awful espessially with anxiety mixed in
 

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I'm curious to read what everyone's experiences with sleep are. Do you have trouble getting tired, falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up constantly throughout the night? What are your dreams like?

I definitely struggle with actually getting tired. I usually have to tell myself that it's time to go to bed- I don't think I've fallen asleep when my head hit the pillow since before the onset of my DP. It almost always takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half sometimes to finally fall asleep once I've laid down.

For the most part, I sleep pretty well compared to what I've read on this forum. Although, my sleep schedule has gotten a bit weird over the course of my DP. I usually fall asleep around 4AM- I have a really hard time falling asleep anywhere before 2:30AM for whatever reason- and on good days I can sleep until 1:00 or 1:30PM. Even on my good days, I'll wake up a few times throughout the night (morning?) before I'm finally up for good.

On my bad nights, I can wake up just about every hour. Even though I'll sleep for 5 or 6 hours, it doesn't feel like I'm getting any rest because I'm constantly waking up and going back to bed.

On really bad nights, and for no real reason that I can deduce other than something must have triggered my anxiety, I'll only be able to sleep for about an hour or an hour and a half and then I'll wake up feeling panicky and be unable to fall back asleep. If I try to fall back asleep, I'll just toss and turn and get incredibly restless and anxious. (Like last night, for example, I went to bed around 4 and probably fell asleep by 4:30. By 5:30 I woke up feeling panicky and anxious and was unable to fall back asleep at all.)

I personally get very anxious and distraught when I can't sleep, because sleep is one of the times I feel like I can escape from the difficult reality of having DP. I also get anxious trying to figure out what's causing me to be unable to sleep. I also get anxious about developing insomnia. You can see how this goes
icon_neutral.gif


I also thought I'd throw in that usually in my dreams I DON'T feel DP'd. I can feel emotions in my dreams and I usually feel like my "old self" before the DP set in during my dreams. In real life, however, I have absolutely no access to my emotions whatsoever.
I've been waking up every hour on the hour for the past month since the time (what I hope is) my dp/dr set in. I was on seroquel for a couple weeks at 100mg, and it worked for those couple weeks, but I recently started waking up again...
 

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Regular bouts of chronic Insomnia have been part of my life for many years now...I actually cannot remember the last time I fell asleep naturally and stayed asleep in a natural way....I also have a serious fear of the dark and night time which doesnt help...

In fact I have to have the tv on in the background to distract my constantly racing mind if I im to have any chance of sleeping at night...

I absolutely hate strange beds....I can never sleep in them....This can make vacations difficult because no matter how comfortable the bed is in any hotel my insomnia kicks in big time...As a result if i ever travel far my brain never gets over the jetlag....Puts me off travelling long distances because when I sleep badly my DP is 100 times worse....This has ruined a few vacations over the years....
 

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Okay this may be a long reply. First I will give you some advice and then I will tell you my experiences.

My advice: Go buy some melatonin. Take about 5-10 mg around 9-10 PM. Go to bed before midnight. It will seem like a drastic change relative to what you're used to. But do it. Going to bed late and waking up late exacerbates DP and can lead to depression. When you wake up, likely earlier than what you're used to, maybe go for a run or something. Shake things up. You won't see immediate results, but my point is change this disasterous sleep schedule you have.

Sleep was a problem for me when I had DP. I'd wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, I'd be in a kind of panic hard to describe. I'd have a feeling of detachment, wonder where the fuck I was and why I/the universe existed. These thoughts would hit me instantly and it would take a minute or so for me to calm down. It was really awful. Eventually these thoughts subsided. Never felt DPed in my dreams either. I'd have dreams about DP though. More than once I'd smoke weed in my dreams (which was my initial DP trigger) and when I wouldn't relapse, and I'd say to myself "Hey! I feel okay!" But then I'd wake up. And I'd feel like hell.
 
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