Scary dreams! The (relatively) good news is that there's technology available to monitor your blood O2 levels and your breathing to give you an idea of what's going on while you're sleeping.
Some people on this forum use a recording pulse oximeter like the Contec CMS50D+ or the CMS50I to record their blood O2 levels while they sleep. The data from those particular models can be imported into the free SleepyHead software (link at top of page.) and synced with data from a CPAP machine.
SleepyHead lets you see a graph of your breathing flow rate for the whole time the CPAP machine is on. If you're not wanting to import the O2 and pulse data to SleepyHead, there are also several pulse oximeters out there that interface with smartphones and tablets.
I can't say for sure that your dreams will go away with CPAP therapy, but difficulty with breathing and low blood O2 levels do often cause bad dreams as our body tries to interpret the sensations.
If you have a sleep doctor or a primary care doctor who listens, it could be good to have a talk with them and make sure they know you're having these dreams.
The fact that you have the dreams when not on your back may be a little unusual. Obstructive sleep apnea tends to be worse when sleeping on our backs compared to sleeping on our sides. Another time when obstructive sleep apnea is bad for some people, though, is in REM sleep.
So I hope that you'll use your CPAP machine since you've been diagnosed with obstructive apnea. In addition to providing enough pressure to eliminate your obstructive apneas, it's a terrific data collection tool.
P.S. I'm editing this to add that I originally misread your posts and thought you already had a CPAP machine. Since you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, I hope that you will get a CPAP machine - a data-capable, preferably auto-adjusting one (as compared to a fixed pressure one). Then you'll be treating your apnea (which may turn out to be the cause of your dreams) and you'll be collecting data at the same time.
(08-15-2016 07:42 PM)mangosplums Wrote: Hi,
I am really desperate and looking to see if anyone has experienced what I have and if they have any answers.
In the past few years when I go to sleep on my stomach or my side (which I've slept on my whole life), as I'm asleep and dreaming, I will suddenly experience the sensation that something is sitting on top of my chest, preventing me from breathing. I am a very lucid dreamer, and what happens is I'll be dreaming, I'll start to be unable to breathe, that sensation will incorporated into the dream. I will dream something is lying on my chest, or I'm underwater and drowning. I can feel myself losing oxygen and I try to to breathe, but I can't. It feels like I'm dying. I try as hard as I can to wake myself up, and after a very scary struggle, eventually I can wake myself up, but it feels like I come close to death each time. I now sleep on my back because it rarely happens on my back, but it's very hard to sleep on my back, and I don't get a good or deep sleep. This might only happen once a night, but it is so severe, and so horrible. It feels like if I hadn't consciously struggled to wake myself, I would have died. It feels like I go without oxygen for a very long time.
I have had a sleep study done, but it didn't happen during the sleep study. I was too scared to sleep on my stomach or side. Stupid, I know, I wasted that study. I then got another sleep study done, but I had trouble falling asleep and was only asleep for a few hours, and again it didn't happen.
I don't know what to do. I need to get this documented, because it is so severe, but I'm afraid the insurance company is not going cover another study. Has anyone else experienced this? I have never heard of anyone having the specific symptoms that I have. It is ruining my life, and makes going to sleep every night a scary experience.
Thank you to anyone who answers.