REM rebound

So the pharm textbooks describe a phenomenon called "Rebound REM" when using sleep aids. I actually have experienced it a few times over the past few days...it's basically really, really vivid day dreaming...with my eyes closed...sitting in front of Robbins.

Needless to say, I'm pretty tired and have since stopped with the sleep aids because of the fog they put me in for the morning hours and the time spent staring off into nothingness.


Mel said...

"This aspect of REM sleep is particularly interesting, for when scientists disturb sleepers in the orthodox state, they find that deprivation of orthodox sleep doesn't lead to any psychological disturbances. But after being deprived of REM sleep for several days, however, sleepers become desperate for it. Their normal sleep patterns alter so that they slip into REM immediately on falling asleep and then experience twenty to thirty periods of it each night instead of the usual three. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as `REM rebound'. It is often accompanied by fierce nightmares as psychic imagery, too long repressed, seeks strongly to reassert itself.Sleeping pills repress this REM phase, and repression can result in lasting psychological damage to the pill popper. After taking sleep-inducing drugs regularly, when you come off them you may fear you are going crazy as you start to experience the REM rebound. Vivid and frightening hypnagogic images and nightmares appear as the body hungrily tries to make up for what it has been denied."

I'd read about this a few months ago and I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was called... It's been bugging me for the longest time.

"There are other reasons to steer clear of sleep-inducing drugs too. Both barbiturates and non-barbiturates prescribed for sleep are physically and psychologically addictive - barbiturates to an even greater degree than heroin. They can be fatal, even at low dosage, when mixed with alcohol in the bloodstream. Finally - something that few people realize - they are also not very effective over the long-term. Sleeping pills can be successfully used to bring on sleep only for the first week or two. After that dangerously increased doses are needed to work."

Uhh. "Thank god I don't drink" is the only thought whizzing through my head at the moment.

Kenton L., Psychic Necessity

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Gloria Darby said...

I was thrilled to find info about this REM rebound experience I have been having. I had a total hip replacement 7 days ago and did not get more than 2 hours sleep at a time in the hospital and don't think I had any REM sleep at all. About post op day 4 I had a very distrubing frenatic "searching" and lost kind of dream and woke up very disturbed. Then, it happened again last night and again it was a lost and searching kind of dream with bizarre and very intricate scenarios that was so very deep that I actually wet the bed as my inner alarm which has been intact since age 2 failed me during this dream. I am recovering from my surgery and thought that the dreams were a by-product of the anesthesia, but your discription is spot-on what I am expereincing. I feel better now as there does seem to be an end in sight. I am going to share my experience with my healthcare provider and anesthesia.

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