Anesthesia Dreaming

      • A co-worker found out yesterday that he’d need surgery on one knee; the discussion ended up eventually on the subject of: none of us who had been under general anesthesia could remember dreaming. Is it possible to dream under such circumstances or not? Has here anybody done it? - MC

I’ve never been told by any of my patients that they had a dream under anesthesia. Which you really shouldn’t since it is a ‘chemical’ sleep and nothing natural about it. Now, some anesthetic drugs can produce hallucinations which may be misinterpreted as dreams.

The times I’ve had general anethesia (rather than valium or nitrous) I’ve not only not dreamed, but I’ve had no sensation of the passage of time. It seems that I get the shot and then a moment later the procedure is done.

If Cecil Adams did not exist, we would be obliged to create Him.

I had surgery under general anasthetic last summer, and I too had the sensation that there was no passage of time. I remember the anasthesioligist talking to me in the operating room, then suddenly I was waking up in recovery. No dreams whatsoever.


“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
–James Thurber

Had Hip Surgery the 14th. Don’t remamber a thing.
I have however heard of people who talk while under.
I have heard that an FBI or CIA agent is on hand if the President is operated on.
Any truth to that?

I had surgery a little over three weeks ago. I remember the offer of “the cocktail”. The next thing I remember is my doctor telling me how the surgery went. WAY COOL!

I just had surgery a month ago, and while there seemed to be no passage of time, or dream, I always wake up with tears and everybody looks like moviestars.
Before this one the nurse asked me if I had ever had any reactions to being put under, and I told her about the tears and that people tended to look like the women from my soaps. The nurses started arguing over who got to be there when I woke up!
I have heard that tears or laughter are pretty normal reactions.

Mistress Kricket

Are you stuck on stupid?

No, no dreams. Last time I went under,so to speak, at the dentists, I awoke and knew exactly how much time had elapsed! It was weird…

When I had my wisdon teeth out last summer, when I woke up I vaguely remembered dreaming something, but couldn’t be sure. It felt as though I had just fallen asleep and begun dreaming, then I woke up. I asked, “Where did everyone go? Don’t they have to start?”
Then I found out I’d been under for 45 minutes and my mouth had three less teeth.

Jeannie: My sister had the same reaction. She woke up with her mouth in flaming pain and was dead sure they hadn’t done anything yet.

My grandfather once told me about going to his dentist and having to go under for some procedure. He told me he dreamt he was riding on the moon, then there was a voice repeatig “spit… spit…spit” and he awoke to find the doctor trying to get him to rinse.

Mind you, I remember him saying he was a young man at the time, so this was probably the 20s or 30s and what the dentists were using then was obviously different than the wonder drugs we all get today.

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don’t know who you are…

Last year I underwent a minor procedure and general anesthesia was used. I couldn’t tell time had passed, either. When I woke up, I asked the nurse if I was supposed to be awake. I was afraid I was going to end up with one of those horror stories about waking up on the operating table. However, it was all over and everything was as it should have been.

But I do vaguely recall dreaming. It seems like I dreamt I was watching a game show like Wheel of Fortune with people standing around and bright lights. Now that I think about it, though, because of the muscular dystrophy I usually sleep with my eyes open which has caused strange dreams in the past; just like a song on the radio will invade a dream, I’ve dreamt about things in my bedroom only to wake up and find myself staring at them. Maybe my “gameshow contestants” were really the operating room personell?

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

The Kat House
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The first surgery that I was old enough to remember left me internally scarred. Shudder. They used the old “count back from 100” technique. I’m supposed to count, right? They’re telling me to count. Well, I’d been in so much pain that I hadn’t slept for almost 48 hours prior to surgery. I didn’t make it past 93 before I COULDN’T count.

And I panicked. Why can’t I count? I took that absolute fear with me into unconsciousness, and woke up freaking out and had to be restrained. Fun.

If you’re dreaming, it is accepted that you’re in R.E.M. sleep. And, if you’re in R.E.M. sleep while under anesthesia, I think you’re not under enough! This [dreaming] might only occur in what they deem as “twilight”.

“They’re coming to take me away ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time… :)” - Napoleon IV