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To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

0 3 years ago

GLA writer and Lyme Warrior, Jennifer Crystal writes about her experience with “crazy dreams” as a result of neurological Lyme disease


Last night I had a dream that a college friend and I were attending a wedding. People from all walks of my life were there. I was running around trying to take care of my cousin’s baby while figuring out how to get on a boat.

When I later described the dream to a friend, she said, “That’s crazy!”

The dream did not seem crazy to me, given how crazy my dreams had once been as a result of neurological Lyme disease. When the Lyme bacterium, called a spirochete, crosses into the brain, it can cause a host of sleep disturbances, including insomnia and hallucinogenic dreams. My Lyme doctor said it was like the spirochetes had made the needle in my brain get stuck. He meant Lyme was making it impossible for me to sleep and, when I finally did doze off, causing vividly detailed rapid fire dreams—many of which were recurring. Some came in levels (there was a dream about me telling someone else about a previous dream); some that were so “active” that I woke up with sore muscles, more exhausted than when I went to bed. Inflammation in the brain caused by tick-borne illness is the reason for these sleep disturbances.


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