Too much REM sleep?

I have no real difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. I fall asleep very quickly, and as soon as I do, I immediately start dreaming. Sometimes I start dreaming even before I feel like I'm completely asleep (something will wake me up and I'm surprised by the fact that I've been dreaming because I will have only been "asleep" for 15 minutes or so). I feel like I dream all night- from the moment I fall asleep until the moment I wake up. If I take a nap during the day, which I frequently do, I dream the entire time. The bottom line here is that I feel exhausted. I'm always tired. I get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night in a dark room and I am still tired when I wake up and for most of the day. I try to avoid taking naps, but when I do give into them I feel like I could sleep for 3-4 hours, though I only let myself sleep for 1 at the most. I become excessively tired after eating every meal- even if what I ate was extremely healthy (I don't eat fast food, etc.). My doctor has suggested that I show some signs of narcolepsy. However, after reading the information on this website, I don't believe it's that serious. I don't fall asleep at inappropriate times or anything like that. I am able to stay awake I just feel so tired. I was diagnosed a few years ago with anxiety/depression, but this has only started within the last 6 months or so. I just wondered if maybe there is something wrong with my sleep cycle and if there is anything I could try to fix it. I've been taking melatonin before I go to sleep for the past week with no changes.

Rem Sleep

A sleep test would be necessary to determine if this is due to REM sleep.   An increased REM sleep with decreased REM latency may be related to Possible narcolepsy.    

If you find this to be disturbing to your sleep then you may benefit from seeing one of our sleep specialists. There may be different types of disorders that can contribute to this including sleep apnea. We do find that people who have even mild difficulty breathing have more of a tendency to remember dreams if you are waking frequently. Normally a person dreams all the time but we don't remember the dreams if we are sleeping soundly. There are also other disorders that the sleep specialist may take into consideration but they would need a full medical history and history of your problems to help determine that. Generally a full sleep study would be needed as well to determine the quality of sleep you are having and to rule out any breathing disorders to start with. If a sleep study is normal and no breathing problems are present then they may consider MSLT (multi sleep latency) testing if you have daytime sleepiness that effects your life to help rule out other problems such as narcolepsy - which can contribute to sleep onset type dreams or hallucinations.

Depending on your insurance coverage you may need a referral from your primary care physician to see the specialists. Dr. Roux or Dr. Anderson are our sleep specialists in Great Falls. If you are in Butte or Helena then Dr. Anderson goes to Helena and Dr. Roux to Butte. WE can also recommend other physicians in those areas if you need.

If I can be of any further help please let me know.