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Since becoming virtually bed bound due to severe ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, my dreams have become a lot more vivid. They are really loud – it’s like I’m in a 3D cinema with surround sound. There’s often a soundtrack to my dreams – a song from my youth blaring loudly in the background. I run a lot, especially up and down stairs. I’m often on stage singing so loud I wake up with palpitations. I have even woken up laughing a few times. In my dreams I do everything I’m currently unable to do in real life; dancing, running, swimming, walking for miles, going to gigs with friends etc.

I live in a dark room and a very quiet environment but I think my subconscious mind still craves stimulation.

Although my dreams are a pleasant escape from my reality, they are also exhausting. I wake up even more tired than when I went to sleep and my muscles are so tense. And the moment I wake up, reality hits. The freedom I experienced in my dream was so real, yet it was just a lie. But, I do need to add; as an insomniac, I welcome any kind of sleep, even the exhausting kind.

I get vivid nightmares too, night terrors and sleep paralysis. They are all very scary and very real, but they normally occur when my anxiety levels are higher or when I’m hormonal.

I asked my followers on Twitter if they had experienced similar vivid dreams since becoming incapacitated, and some of the responses were great:

“Oh yes, even decorated the house and fixed the street potholes in my sleep.
I even smelled fresh paint when I woke up.

“I experience vivid dreams but there not normally of what I can’t do. There of horrible things 🙁

“Absolutely! Lately I’ve been back at work, but I’ve also moved to Spain, opened my own business, and done dog rescue. I’ve always had vivid dreams but they’ve become more focused since I’m housebound”

“I have had M.E for 20 years and only once in that time have I dreamt that I was wheelchair bound. Most of my dreams involve being extremely busy and back at work or doing something else tremendously physical. It’s really depressing.”

“I think Dr Melvyn Ramsay described vivid dreams as one of the symptoms of ME.”

“My daughter does, she says in her dreams she can run forever. Breaks my heart 💔

“I was running two nights ago. I couldn’t remember where I parked the car after visiting a company for work. Had to find it before I ran out of time. Remember thinking I hope the missus doesn’t find out as I’ll get a wiggin. I don’t drive, and am mostly bed bound!”

“YES!!! I love ME in my dreams 💗💗

“Hell yeah, I’m like Indiana freakin’ Jones in my dreams. Also sometimes the star of a brutal horror movie which is a less desirable effect…”

“Had to stop work 2005. Even now dream of never ending menial work in an office filing etc. Bout of flu recently had me dreaming of painting the (tiled!) bathroom wall. Am managing better in recent years my one respite is gentle yoga to help relaxation”

It’s nice to know it’s not just me.

Although my vivid dreams are exhausting, they are also exhilarating and I count myself lucky that my mind still has the ability to dream big. ME/CFS has stolen a lot from me but it can’t take my imagination. The mind is truly a wonderful thing. Take care x

Has anyone else experienced more vivid dreams due to incapacitation in real life? Or maybe your vivid dreams are caused by something else, like medication.

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