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Silent migraine auras while sleeping

I'm wondering whether this is just another way in which I'm unusual!


My first and, just yesterday, my latest experience of silent migraine auras, along with a number in between, have happened while in bed when the classic zigzag near circle of yellow-green light with a partly greyed out centre appears as a dot and slowly expands until it's out of sight and the greyness dissipates after some 15 minutes. I'm sure very many of you have seen this but how normal is it that I experience the start of the event in a dream and it continues after I wake? It was rather alarming the first time; in the dream I was mystified by the light which I took to be a real object floating in the huge cathedral-like building I was in, but to find it in my bedroom once I awoke...! Yesterday I was apologising to the people in the dream that I couldn't do whatever I was supposed to be doing as I couldn't see properly so it must have progressed some way before I woke. Friends say I dream the whole experience and a doctor I mentioned it too while seeing him about something entirely unrelated thought it unusual as he thought such episodes were triggered by activity and unlikely to happen while asleep. I'm lucky that they don't happen often - there was a spell of a few months when they were quite regular, mostly during the day though only once under 'stressful' circumstances that could be taken as a trigger, but this was the first for some months [coincidentally, I'm sure, the morning after I had my first covid jab...] - and I've never had any symptoms alongside the aura, not even the slightest headache. So may I ask, how many of you have experienced this while dreaming, and then continuing after waking?


This morning when I woke I was seeing a dazzlingly bright blue triangle of light, but only when I moved my eyes quickly so I guess it was purely physical. I've often seen circles of light in the same circumstances, and more recently a large arc of light at the left edge of my vision which I think was connected to some unknown 'event' which has left me with huge floaters in one eye, but never blue and angular, nor nearly so bright. Normally they are a similar colour to the migraine aura, which is interesting - one originating in the eye and the other in the mind [?] Fortunately it didn't last long.

  1. @johnt please do report this to your PCP, but also with your optometrist. The flashes can be a sign of retinal detachment, or retinal occlusion, which I experienced last year. Mine started with a little butterfly shaped "neon" shape that kind of rolled from the outside towards the center, then the crescent shaped flashes when I would move my eyes rapidly.

    It's definitely worth having checked, and as always best to also inform your PCP of any new or changing symptoms.

    Warmly, Donna (team member)

    1. Thanks @DonnaFA. I hope your eyes are OK now...?


      The floaters and the crescent lights - the latter went after several months - started about a year ago and I was thoroughly checked twice at the optician's who was sure there was no tear or detachment. I'd had milder, more central, circular flashes on and off for years. The floaters continue to drive me round the bend, but an operation to remove them is more worrying and even if I opted for one I doubt it would happen for a long, long time, what with covid and all. The bright blue flashes have happened on waking three mornings running now, but only on one occasion each day despite sleeping badly and waking several times, and only appear a couple of times each morning when moving my eyes, then there are a couple of faint grey marks in the same place and then nothing for the rest of the day. I did have a marked reaction to the vaccination; headache, fever, etc., and wonder whether there is some connection - thinking more that it's down to the symptoms rather than the vaccine directly.


      Someone might find this amusing; some time ago I scratched the surface of my eye, not badly but knowing someone who'd done so more seriously I still asked Dr Google. A US website screamed - I think it might actually have been in upper case - that I must go straight to the ER or I'd go blind. The NHS said to give it a fortnight as it'll probably get better by itself. Which it did.

      1. I don't recall ever dreaming of being in pain and then waking in pain, though I'm sure there have been many times that what I'm dreaming about is a reflection of what's happening in the real world at that precise moment - I mean the way I'm lying or a noise in the house, not the world in general - so the real world influencing the dream. The other way round, I remember fairly recently dreaming that I was grappling with someone and waking with my heart pounding and breathing very heavily as if I'd really been fighting for my life, though my situation in the dream wasn't life threatening. As well as wondering what would trigger a migraine while sleeping, it surprises me that aura event runs seamlessly from dreaming to being fully awake, apart from anything else 'experts' often insist that dreams take place at a much greater speed than real life [I watched the movie Inception last week].

        I seem to remember the panicky website appeared to be a fairly reliable source, certainly not Twitter or Facebook or a fringe forum. I must admit I assumed it was just trying to drum up paying business for the ER whereas the NHS doesn't want unnecessary visits to hospitals which it [or we, the taxpayers] have to pay for.

      2. @johnt, I'm glad that you've had it checked and there was nothing serious. It scared the life out of me, for sure. Yes, the floaters are quite troublesome!

        I haven't heard any eye effects from the vaccine, one anecdotal account of puffiness and redness, but that could be purely an allergic response, or just a bad allergy day in his location.

        Oh goodness, yes, you have to be very careful of Dr, Google, and be sure you take your information from reputable sources.

        Glad to know you're doing well, and I hope you get an answer to the flashes soon. Please do keep in touch!

        Warmly, Donna (team member)

    2. I have had the auras for my migraines show up in my dreams. It's definitely a weird experience. Dreamed of seeing my aura and then woke up feeling all sorts of off with my speech all jumbled and the rest of the symptoms. Your eyes don't see the aura, your brain does, so I don't think it's so crazy to see it in a dream if I can usually see it with my eyes closed.

      1. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone, though was the aura still there when you woke or did you only see it in your dream? Sorry to read, "...and the rest of the symptoms". As I said I'm so lucky in having none apart from the light which only puts me out of action for about 20 minutes until I can see properly again. Mind you, there's never been anyone around to test my speech out on when I have a migraine. Yes, definitely in the brain and it makes no difference whether my eyes are open or closed. It certainly refutes the doctor's view that such migraines are brought on by too much physical activity if we have them while asleep.

      2. the visual aura was only in my sleep, I would have thought it was only a dream except I woke up with other symptoms

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