Are Your Dreams a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

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Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2022 at 3:35 pm    

There are four stages of sleep, which include one of rapid eye movement (REM) and three of non-rapid eye movement (NREM). While some believe that most dreams happen during the REM cycle, the truth is that dreams can happen at all stages of sleep, according to American Family Physician. If you find yourself experiencing frequently nightmares while sleeping, you might be getting poor sleep due to a physical condition like sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition that can negatively impact a person’s sleep. A person with sleep apnea will have a blockage in the upper airway that affects their breathing. Signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping for air, difficulty staying asleep, awakening with a dry mouth, morning headaches, and more. 

Sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your daily life. Some reported symptoms include depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, daytime drowsiness, reduced mental clarity, and even an increased risk of diabetes or death.

Can Your Dreams Alert You to Sleep Apnea?

According to studies, some nightmares may be related to sleep apnea. In particular, a person with sleep apnea is more likely to have vivid dreams that can impact the quality of their sleep. Nightmares related to sleep apnea might center around the theme of struggling to breathe. This might include situations of being trapped in a confined space, being held underwater, or even being choked. Dreams can be your brain’s way of sending you an alarm signal that something is wrong. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment

A common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This is a device that includes a mask that is worn over the nose and mouth to assist the wearer in breathing during the night. Unfortunately, many people who have tried a CPAP machine report that the devices are uncomfortable to wear and are very loud, which means they might not be a lasting solution. For many, using an oral sleep appliance that positions the mouth and jaw to allow for proper airflow during the night will be a much more comfortable and longer-term option. Because an oral sleep appliance does not require a motor, does not force air into the body, and is comfortable to wear, it is much more likely that you can get good quality sleep, and hopefully, better dreams.

Call Us Today for Help with Your Sleep Apnea

If you are struggling to get quality sleep and are having frequent nightmares, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. Contact Silent Night Therapy now at 631-983-2463 for a sleep evaluation and to discuss whether an oral sleep appliance might be right for you.