Weird and dangerous sleep problem...

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/13/2008 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
First let me state that my husband is a wonderful, gentle, thoughtful man.  He doesn't drink and would never hurt a fly.
My husband has had this problem but it hasn't happened in many years until last night.  In the middle of the night, he would suddenly sit bolt upright and yell something at the top of his lungs.  I would tap his arm and he'd wake up not realizing anything had happened.  On other occasions, he's kicked me or punched the bed while sleeping.  He is sound asleep when it happens, when I wake him, he always remembers having a violent nightmare and he was hitting, kicking, or punching someone/something in the dream.
Last night, he punched me in the eye so hard, my head flew back.  I immediately woke him up and he got me an ice pack. I am amazed that I don't have a black eye today but it feels sore and tender.  He was dreaming he was in a fight.  He is an absolute wreck over this and is afraid to sleep in our bed.  Our couch is old and uncomfortable, there is no where else for him to sleep.  I'm not looking forward to tonight, it will be a long time before I am comfortable sleeping again.
Do you think a doctor would be able to help?  I've heard of sleep walking but never sleep fighting.  I'm afraid our doctor may think it's domestic violence and think I'm lying about my physical problems.  I really do walk into things and get bruises.
I offered to handcuff him to the bed so he can't move much but we realized that's not a practical solution.  I am seriously considering bunk beds but I'm afraid if he sat up in his sleep quickly, he'd knock himself out on the ceiling; and with my fibro, I don't want to climb a ladder every night.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 9/13/2008 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the same problem with my hubby. Only mine would take a swing if I happened to accidentally roll into him or touch him in my sleep. His automatic reaction would be to let the fist fly. He was never aware of it. I did get a couple of black eyes and no sleep...because I would try to hang on to the edge of the bed on my side so as not to roll or touch him.

Solution? We got twin beds and never had a problem again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/14/2008 1:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I hate to say it but I'm one of those "physical" sleepers too. Once day many many years ago my brother and i were traveling, he laid down in the queen sized bed next to me and I ended up cracking him square between the eyes.

Luckily the older that I've gotten the more I've slowed down in my sleep. But I still sleepwalk a lot. My brain apparently knows that going outside the house, or trying to cook are dangerous, so it doesn't do that. But it's not uncommon for me to wake up standing in my bathroom or (literally) wandering around my living room looking for a tv remote.

The solution that we had to come to was that we are each on our own edges of the bed. We have a king and I always had a tendency to sleep on the edge anyway cause I dangle a foot over. I wish I had some better suggestions for you though. The only thing that I can see is the twin beds with yours being just outta arm's reach so that you're safe.

Sera Smiles
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 9/14/2008 3:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I think that a sleep study for your husband would be helpful. They can find out what type of disorder he may have, and how to treat it so you both can get some rest :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 408
   Posted 9/14/2008 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   


I agree with the others, twin beds and maybe a night stand between you.  You would be in the same room but out of reach of any swinging arms.  I also think that your husband needs to talk to his doctor, he could have something serious going on.  My daughter used to sleep walk every night and was very combative.  She would be screaming and swinging her body about.  Every night I new she was going to go through this.  I talked to her doctor and he could not explain why she was doing this.  This went on for two years.  Then because she was having allergies her doctor put her on an inhaler.  The day she started the inhaler the sleepwalking stopped.  It seems she wasn't get enough oxygen when she was sleeping. We have not had another problem with the sleepwalking.  Maybe a sleep study for your husband would shed some light on problem.

I hope you find a solution for this, your husband sounds stressed about it and the stress may be making it worse.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17056
   Posted 9/14/2008 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband had that problem.  He would have a reoccuring nightmare that someone was chasing him and he would be fighting the person off..but I was the closest to him.  smhair    I sure learned how to leap out of bed in a hurry!  But, he got help for depression and was put on Prozac, and the nightmares stopped. 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 9/14/2008 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   

I have been known to punch my hubby or kick him in a very sensitive area in my sleep. I take Trazodone, so I don't remember it at all. Usually on those nights, though, I vaguely remember dreaming about my ex.

You said that he used to have those dreams years ago...did something happen to him? It could be a psychological thing. Sometimes, our subconscious tries to work things out in our sleep. It comes alive, so to say. A sleep study might be a good thing, or possibly hypnosis by a licensed therapist or doctor.

As for right now, is there any way you can get an air mattress? Some of them aren't that expensive, and it would be better than your couch...just a suggestion. Good luck sweetie.

~MDD, Fibromyalgia, OCD, Anxiety Disorders, IBS, TMJ, Arthritis~
May your heart be filled with love and joy.
May your mind be clear and true.
May your smiles be many,
And may your tears be few. 
May God wrap you in His arms
Especially when you're feeling blue.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 906
   Posted 9/14/2008 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I've seen segments on news magazines that are about this problem. For some people the "paralyzing" of our body that keeps us from acting out dreams doesn't work. He should see a dr. I'm pretty sure there is treatment for this. Good luck, Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/14/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the suggestions. Years ago, he used to play "Tomb Raider" (a video game) after work and most of his nightmares or vivid dreams were from the game. He stopped playing games and the night problems stopped.

He is a very restless sleeper so I'm going to make an appoinment with our doctor, maybe there is something that can be done. I measured our room and there is no way we can fit two twin beds with any space between them.

Thanks again.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 9/14/2008 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My s/o does this, but he was told it is related to his Parkinson's Disease. We now sleep in separate rooms after I got my first bloody nose. I think they call it 'sleep psychosis'.
He is a retired cop so a lot of his dreams are related to old stressors. But not all.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 9/14/2008 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
My first husband drove semi trucks across country and upon running a non-stop trip across several states...his first few nights home were relentless. He'd dream he was shifting gears..grab a hold of whatever body part of mine that was available and kindly hurl me off the bed onto the floor. Divorce cured the issue for me but for your hubby I would suggest a sleep study also. Good luck and sweet dreams!
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium, Lexapro, Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Ultracet Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, peri-menopausal.

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