Can dreams cause physical symptoms?

I woke up in the middle of the night last night. On it’s own: not uncommon. I felt slightly odd, though, a little bit shaky, and it took me a second to realize it was because I was soaked in sweat. Literally. Once I realized that my sweatshirt was suddenly intolerable, because it was wet, not just damp. It was not particularly warm in my bedroom (and no, it wasn’t a case of excessive drooling or wetting the bed.)

I don’t know whether or not I actually had any sort of nightmare or anything (I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve remembered my dreams). All I know is that something other than temperature caused me to sweat buckets in the first few hours of sleep, and I’d like to know what’s up with that.

These are symptoms of menopause but since I don’t know your sex or age I don’t know if that applies…

Right gender, but it would be at least twenty-some years too early, so I think we can safely rule out hot flashes.

Night sweats are not uncommon - many women get them when they ovulate, or before they get their period.

I used to take Siberian Genseng (which contains plant testosterone) and I had to quit because I was getting really bad night sweats.

Some diseases can cause night sweats.

Finally, ask any 14 year old boy if dreams can cause physical symptoms. :wink:

This has been happening to me for about the last year. I’m 40. I went so far as to buy a “menopause predictor” test which turned out negative.

I’ll be interested in the responses, as well.

When I was a teenager I’d have terrible dreams where I would scream my lungs out. Once when I was alone and fell alseep I screamed so loud my neighbor from next door heard me and came over (she had a key to the house)

Funny thing is, if someone woke me up, I wouldn’t remember the dream but I’d be shaking and my heart racing and I was out of breath. But if they left me alone, I’d just stop eventually. I never once remembered anything about what I was dreaming or “IF” I was dreaming.

But it definately caused physical symptoms.

Here are two sites that list possible causes of night sweats. I’d get it checked out by a doctor, to be safe. Good luck.

This used to happen to my ex-wife, just like you are describing it. She was in her early 30’s, 3 young kids, marriage not going so well. Not sure if it was physiological or mental due to anxiety.

I’ve woken up like that, but I think I’ve always remembered a nightmare preceeding it. And I don’t seem to have suffered any harm from it…

I’ve woken like that a few times and I’m male and keep my bedroom too cold for most people - open windows.

I recall once waking up in the morning and going about things feeling unusually surly and aggressive. My manner was enough to make my housemates uncomfortable without any confrontation. It was while thinking that I could get away through the back laneway if the cops came, that I realised I was acting out some dream of the night before.

I once woke up with my lungs burning and gasping for air. I’d been dreaming that my house was filling up with poison gas and was holding my breath while asleep. I also woke myself up a lot when I was a kid talking to the people in my dreams. So I’m pretty sure they do.

About 30 years ago (I write dreams down), I dreamt I was looking into the crawl space under a house; I saw a skull on a ledge. I croaked, “Oh, God–get that thing out of here!” Then I woke up with my heart pounding.
I’ve also had some sad dreams that made me wake up crying.

Occassionally, I’ll have a nightmare that will cause me to scream myself awake.

Often I’ve had the opposite, though-physical symptoms inducing dreams. Like I woke up sick after dreaming that I had a horrible stomach ache.

Or the time I was dreaming I was being attacked by a mass of bees stinging me in the face-only to open my eyes and find my kitten poking me with her claws.

I’ve noticed that when that happens to me, the resulting pain in the dream A) feels exactly like real pain, subjectively, and B) feels much more painful than the pain feels when I’m awake.

Once I fell asleep with my leg pressed into the hard edge of my desk, and when it started hurting, I began dreaming that I was undergoing surgery and having my leg cut off without anesthetic. It hurt an astonishing amount, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the agony in my leg to go away. When I woke up, it was just a minor pain, perfectly manageable. Or my frequent migraines will cause me to dream that things inside my head are rupturing, or that I’ve been shot, or something.

On the other hand, I recently discovered that it works the other way around too: the sex dream I had the other night, the first I’ve had in years, was vastly more pleasurable than real sex.

Night sweats… I noticed when I take Benadryl to sleep, I get horrible night sweats and end up shivering in soaked sheets. Most OTC sleep aids are in fact generic Benadryl. Never saw a doctor about it, but if you’re taking the same thing, there’s an anecdotal data point for you.

It’s happened to me pleanty of times. I’ve also woke up with a soaked pillow and wet face from crying for hours in my sleep during very sad dreams.

I got them when I was thirteen, one of the joys of reaching puberty, I guess. I gather you’re older than that. You probably should talk to your doctor about it.

Since I’m not going through menopause and didn’t take any medications before going to bed, I can probably assume it was just a random panic-inducing dream. Maybe I ran a marathon in dreamland.

hmph - I strongly dislike the idea that my brain can independently cause my body to go all wonky, without any input from me. (Not that I didn’t realize it could happen; just that if I’m going to have a panic attack (for example), I’d prefer to at least be conscious through it.)

In my experience, dreams tied to physical effects are caused first by the physical effects, and then the dream trying to interpret the physical effect.

I’ve woken up crying a couple of times. It’s especially weird when I can’t remember what I even dreaming.

I’ve not been having pleasant dreams recently. And often wake up feeling anxious or frightened.

I think dreams can definitely cause physical symptoms.