Who's had a bad dream lately?
April 27, 2005 7:59 PM   Subscribe

So, my (post-partum) wife had a really whacked-out dream tonite that provoked some health-related thoughts of my own tonite. What do you do when your wife/child/SO has dreams like this?

My wife and I just had a baby two weeks ago and needless to say she hasn't been sleeping well lately. In her dream, she saw me getting out of the shower, totally collapse, and wasn't able to wake me up. Whereupon she's screaming my name, then wakes up suddenly, doesn't see me in bed, and comes to me sobbing that she had a terrible nightmare.

Obviously the hormones are totally crazed right now, and nightmares about others do not necessarily always come true. Personally, as someone pushing closer to 40 every day, I can stand to get my finances and my beltline in better shape -- and for all practical purposes the fact that I'm a new dad emphasizes that more -- but I am wondering if someone having nightmares about something health- or otherwise happening to you have spurred you to take action on something you've been putting off for a while?
posted by PeteyStock to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
I would say that hormones and stress are the culprits here. I have always subscribed to the theory that every character in your dreams is an aspect of yourself. I'm not sure if you're asking for an amateur analysis of your wife's dream, but it appears to me that she fears self-alienation, or being cut-off from part of herself. That makes sense, given the new role she has recently taken on. Oh, and it's always a good idea to think about getting in better shape, dontcha know. Good luck.
posted by squirrel at 8:59 PM on April 27, 2005

One thing to keep in mind - the less sleep you get, the more vivid your dreams become. Or so it was explained to me by the shrink I consulted when I was postpartum and, for 2 months, getting about an hour or two of sleep a night. My dreams were amazingly vivid and touched on all the fears of being a new parent - including alienation, abandonment, and helplessness - and the longer my sleeplessness continued, the harder it was to separate the dreams from my waking life. They both had the same fuzzy, disturbing atmosphere. (And i get to go through it again in about 5 weeks. Lucky me).

But about what you can do - having good life insurance and a strong community of friends and family can help appease the anxiety you'll naturally feel when you take on this immense new responsibility.
posted by bibliowench at 10:31 PM on April 27, 2005

As an aside, vivid nightmares can be a symptom (manifestation? IANAD) of post-partum depression. If your wife shows other symptoms, please encourage her to talk to her doc about therapy, meds, etc. It's a terrible thing to go through.
posted by SashaPT at 3:21 AM on April 28, 2005

Certainly events can be that little kick in the rear that can get us to take some action we've been delaying. Whether that's your wife's nightmare, your own dawning fatherhood, or some other thing - who knows? In my experience, some kind of brush with mortality (whether it's an illness, a birth, a major medical procedure, a near accident, whatever) can provide that push.
posted by jasper411 at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2005

Her dreams are something to be concerned about because they affect her (and presumably you, since you love her) but I'm sure they don't portend something terrible happening to you. I think talking to the doctor about them is a good idea; he may be able to help her.

As far my beltline in better shape goes, I, and apparently several other MeFites have had pretty decent luck on the South Beach Diet. I'm not sure about your specifics, but if you're dealing with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and a buldging belly, the South Beach was designed by a cardiologist specifically to bring these things under control. On Jan 1, I weighed 236 and wore a 40-inch waist; As of today, April 28, I am at 178 and my 34's are getting loose on me.

Until recently, I kind of convinced myself that I was on a downward slope toward an unhealthy future; things are considerably brighter since I started South Beach; real change IS possible. Go for it (and email me if you have any questions about the diet).

For finances, I'm not too good for advice... except to urge you to seek non-profit credit counseling from an organization such as Consumer Credit Counseling Service if the credit cards are outta control.
posted by Doohickie at 2:22 PM on April 28, 2005

Don't just get your finances in order, you and your wife should both see an attorney and write a will (preferably a will and trust, but start slow).
posted by MrZero at 3:19 PM on April 28, 2005

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