I guess like many things, everybody is different. Before CPAP, I almost never dreamed. I think I just didn't sleep deeply enough to dream. After CPAP started though, I dream almost every night-and can usually remember what I dreamed.
Before my sleep apnea was diagnosed I would wake up every 90 minutes or so. When I had my sleep tests I never got to REM sleep. Now I'm dreaming dreams I would have dreamed when I was 25. At my age (67), I find them somewhat amusing, but they certainly put a smile on my face and a spring in my step!
Changes in dreams (type, frequency, quality, etc) are quite common.
Prior to CPAP, I could mess with my dreams. Stop, rewind, fast forward, change stuff, all that. Sometimes it was fun, other times it was not.
Then with CPAP, I had a week or more with very vivid dreams that I could not change. It was like my brain was having a party now that the parents were out for the night. I had a few nightmares, too.
The sleep doc said this was normal and that some folks have nightmares so bad he has to give them medication for a month or so until it all settles down.
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08-10-2013, 10:07 PM
(This post was last modified: 08-10-2013, 10:08 PM by OMyMyOHellYes.)
I seem to remember dream more detail just before I wake up. I think it's fresh on my mind when I transition to a conscious state.
Dreams earlier in the night, not so much.
Maybe you remembered more detail because you were continually waking up?
It makes perfect sense. Apnea occurs during REM (dream) sleep. In that phase, most of your muscles are temporarily paralyzed (so that you don't thrash around and hurt yourself in your dreams). That includes your rib muscles, so you're only breathing with your diaphragm. Diaphragm alone is just barely enough to keep you breathing, so if there's anything making it harder to breathe (an obstructed airway, for example), you won't get enough oxygen. So you wake up from the dream. Usually not all the way. Just enough that you can start breathing normally again. So you're asleep, but you're not getting enough of that deep restorative REM sleep.
That's probably why you were remembering your dreams - you were waking up from them before you finished the normal REM cycle. And that's why you were so tired during the day - you weren't getting enough REM.
Now, with your apnea treated, you're more able to maintain proper REM. So you're more rested during the day and less likely to remember your dreams.