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Getting strange thoughts while sleeping. What could be this?

Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
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Last night at 9pm I ate eggs with cayenne, and took 500mg of an herbal supplement called "Cat's Claw" ( Uncaria tomentosa). I had a cold, so I took two Nyquil liquicaps; one at 9:30pm and the other at 10:00pm. This is the recommended dosage. I went to bed at 10:30pm.

My dreams were very vivid.

At around what I believe to be 6am I began having the sensation that something was vibrating in my head. I was half awake. I thought at first maybe my scalp was twitching, but when I placed my hand on my scalp I did not feel anything twitching. I also felt my heart beating rapidly, but when I placed my hand on my chest I did not feel anything abnormal. I also had an image in my mind of something turning on and off, like something was being reset. I wondered if I was having a seizure (which I have never had before). So, I asked out loud, “Am I having a seizure?” to determine if my speech was slurred. It was not. I went back to sleep.

My alarm went off at 7:30am. I got up and began to walk to the bathroom, but I felt very strange. I did not want to be standing, so I sat on the floor. I felt as though my brain was working too hard trying to make me stand. I started praying, and felt a little better.

To test my brain’s ability to function I stood with one leg on a balance board and tossed a bean bag from hand to hand. I was able to perform this task without difficulty.

For the next hour I only felt concerned, maybe a little afraid.

Around 9:00am I heard a buzzing sound. I walked around the house but could no isolate it; the loudness and pitch did not vary based on my location. I inferred that the sound was in my head.

Did I have a seizure? I am wondering if the cayenne and/or Cat's Claw interacted with the Nyquil.
Posted Sun, 12 May 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 47 minutes later

Thank you for posting your query.

Thank you for describing the events in great details, it helps. Based on your description, there are two possibilities, the first being a seizure and the second being a state of delirium.

Complex partial seizure can have all the features you described, without any overt loss of consciousness. In a state of delirium, in addition to what you described, there could be disorientation to time, place and person, with episodes of forgetfulness.

It is possible that it was a reaction to what you had, but there is no way to conclusively prove it.

As of now, there is no need to worry. However, if symptoms recur, you may require EEG and blood tests (such as electrolytes, thyroid profile, vitamin B12 level, etc).

I hope it helps. I would be pleased to answer any follow up questions.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad
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