Electric Dreams

  Dreams and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 

Harry Bosma

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 Bosma, Harry (1999 October). Dreams and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Electric Dreams 6(10). Retrieved July 13, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

The Dream Healing Room:

Note from editor: I received the following note from "K" a man suffering a sleep disorder and forwarded this to Harry. His response was so generous I asked him if we could publish it on Electric Dreams. - Richard

From "K"
Constant Dreams and Sleeping Disorders
I've been interested in dreams for a very long time, as I usually remember them in great detail, and have had precognitive dreams. I have health problems, and have been diagnosed as having a sleeping disorder. I have problems falling asleep, then seem to dream constantly, I'm often exhausted when I wake up. I may have fibromyalgia, and have read that sleeping disorders may be a cause of the condition, or just a factor of it. I would like to know if anyone has any research studies or information on people who dream too much. I don't seem to do very much deep sleep, my husband says most the time I appear to be dreaming. Any info or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

Reply from Harry Bosma:

I'm a CFS patient who initially got diagnosed with a severe case of mono in 1994. Like you I've been interested in dreaming for a long time so when I finally had some energy returned I published a homepage called Healing Dreams, looking for other CFS patients also interested in dreaming.

Sleep problems are a factor in CFS and especially in fibromyalgia. From what I hear from other patients there isn't just one single type of sleep problem, but all kinds of problems: sleeping over 12 hours a day, barely sleeping at all, interrupted sleep and more or less normal sleep that however isn't refreshing at all.

Two years ago somebody published rather preliminary research results that suggested that fibromyalgia patients have a flaw in the quality of their sleep similar to elderly people, skipping the parts of the sleep that produce growth hormones. I never heard anything from it since.

I think you have to be very careful with experimenting. Some people suggest to use melatonin. Recent British research suggest that CFS is caused by too high levels of melatonin. At the Dutch CFS mailing list this naturally upset quite a lot of patients who thought it was a innocent miracle drug. At my homepage I also warn patients complaining about vivid dreams for melatonin, because this same melatonin is used by (aspiring) lucid dreamers to get more vivid dreams.

To prevent sleep problems I can only give the usual advice: don't be overactive just prior to sleeping. By the way, "just prior" can mean hours to most of the day for us because it takes so very little to get our bodies stressed and so very long to calm down again. Use some kind of bed going ritual, etc. You probably know all these things already.

As to too much dreaming, I doubt if that is really a problem. It is sometimes suggested that too much dreaming can be exhaustive, but I have never seen any research results to back that up. (I've sent Richard a CC so perhaps he will correct me here). Actually, I personally tend to see it as a good sign because during the early period of my CFS history I went straight into a black coma, only to come out of it 10-14 hours later and even then with great difficulty. It was more like the stories you hear about near-death experiences, but then without the tunnel, the lights and everything else.

You say you're interested in dreams. You could consult your dreams for more information on your current state. Though usually dreams volunteer information when it somehow seems necessary to correct your daily view or approach of your situation. If you're interested in this I could tell you a bit more about it. In the meantime I hope I've answered a few of your questions. If you want to take a look at the Healing Dreams homepage, you're welcome. The URL is in my signature.



Moonbeam on my windowsill
banishing the dark
Nora Leonard