awake and still dreaming?

I “suffer” from very disturbed sleep. It tends to go in phases which usually last a week, but can last longer. I rarely get more than one or two nights of undisturbed sleep in a row. The most annoying part is where I dream but I seem to be awake and looking at my surroundings.

Usually I’m dreaming that something has changed in my room. I see my pillows as boxes or can’t work out what objects in the room are. I quite frequently pick my clock up because I can’t work out what the numbers mean. I also pick up things nearby in the room and will occasionally get out of bed and move things around.

I can usually arouse myself from this by persuading myself that I know I’m asleep so what I think is happening can’t be. Often I think that there is someone else in my room, not threatening, but I don’t want them to be there. Again I have to persade myself that I’m asleep and reason with myself that, as I live alone, there can’t be anyone else in my room. It really does lead to some very disturbed nights.

As far as I can tell these events are totally unconnected with my general daytime mood. They don’t seem to be in any way connected to stress. Any suggestions why I have these episodes, or more importantly, what I can do to stop them?

—Cary, Age 38, Wakefield, UK

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