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Old 02-28-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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High blood pressure->nightmares->adrenalin->difficulty losing weight?

There have been a few threads lately about people having difficulty with sleeping, and whether that hinders weight loss.

Last night I did an experiment with carbs ("potato hack"), had a bad dream and woke up with my heart pounding...I've had terrible nightmares for years but I finally made a connection I hadn't thought of before...

My thought was, what if a person has hypoglycemia during sleep, and the brain manufactures a nightmare in order to stimulate adrenalin and a rise in blood sugar?

Of course, I might have it backwards...maybe the adrenalin comes first & then the nightmare, or maybe they aren't related.

But regardless of the impetus, if you're having nightmares & rushes of adrenaline when you should be sleeping deeply, perhaps that is interfering with weight loss.

It's hard to find info about nightmares that doesn't include a lot of psychological stuff about what they mean and how your brain is trying to work through anxieties. Some people don't like to take any medications or supplements that suppress their dreams, because they feel their brains "need" to process these issues. Personally, I hate nightmares and feel they heighten my fears rather than help me deal with them. They leave me physically and emotionally exhausted.

I did find that blood pressure medication can reduce nightmares:
Dr. Douglas Fields: Nightmares In PTSD: Don't Get Your Blood Pressure Up

Several months ago, I started taking herbs & minerals to lower my blood pressure, with good results. I never made the connection til just now, but my nightmares have *not* been as bad or frequent. I assumed it was the magnesium I was taking, just because it is known for generally helping with relaxation and sleep; I hadn't thought specifically about whether my dreams were affected by lower blood pressure.

Anyway, if you have found a way to reduce nightmares, please share.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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What an interesting hypothesis! I wish the NIH would give someone some money to study this in a well-designed study. It makes intuitive sense.

As someone who has little difficulty sleeping and only rare nightmares, I can't contribute any positive suggestions, but I hope others chime in here.

What herbs and supplements have you found to be effective in lowering blood pressure, Pirate Jenny?
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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Hawthorn berry, olive leaf, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C.
Cayenne is helpful too but I don't take it as regularly.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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I had the opposite effect on learning what my nightmares meant from an Internet page. The last recurring one I had and the reason given was right on with what was going on in my life regarding one son. Once I recognized the reason and told my friend about it, it went away. Was it the recognition of the issue and verbalizing to my friend why it went away? Don't know, but it worked.

When I was a teen-ager, I had the same recurring nightmares with a gorilla chasing me around our apartment building. I lived a physical abusive childhood that continued into my teens. Finally was placed in a foster home and never had that dream again UNTIL the later stages of my former marriage. Although my ex wasn't phyically abusive, he was mentally abusive.
That dream has not reared it's ugly head since then.

Hopefully you're not in denial with some issues in your subconscious.


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Old 02-28-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Oh, I didn't mean to imply that nightmares aren't sometimes (or maybe even always) about real anxieties, or that they don't mean anything. Just perhaps that they have physiological triggers--hormones, high blood pressure, etc.

Sorry about the things in your past & hope you are doing better.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratejenny View Post
Oh, I didn't mean to imply that nightmares aren't sometimes (or maybe even always) about real anxieties, or that they don't mean anything. Just perhaps that they have physiological triggers--hormones, high blood pressure, etc.

Sorry about the things in your past & hope you are doing better.
Thank you, priatejeeny. Oh yes, I'm doing better. Sometimes bad things makes one a survivor. And I'm one of those.

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