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Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
#11
RE: Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
My understanding is that obstructive sleep apnea develops gradually, and gets diagnosed after it interferes with a person's ability to function.

I think I know when it started for me because headaches began with an accident that caused my throat to swell when I was age 28 or 29. They went away within a few weeks but then came back at age 31 or 32 when I gained weight due to a career change that left me far less physically active. I suffered with those headaches until I started CPAP therapy at age 56. They finally started to subside at age 58. So I figure I had OSA for about 25 years before I was diagnosed and treated.

I think it was only about four years ago at age 57 that I finally figured this all out. 25 years of suffering with headaches! CPAP therapy is a blessing!!
Sleepster
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#12
RE: Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
(06-27-2017, 02:39 PM)Homerec130 Wrote: I have more dreams since going on CPAP 6 years ago. Some are vivid and others are meh. Look at it this way, when we reach a good state of REM sleep, the brain feels like all restrictions are off and it is time to play. Hence, the dreams. Think of it as a recharge system. That is how my sleep doc put it.

Homer

Thank you for sharing your sleep doc's explanation of dreams.  In the years since my own diagnosis in 2009, I've been bothered by bad dreams to the point where I wake myself screaming.  I've asked my sleep doc for his explanation, but he really didn't have one that made sense to me.  Maybe now I can think about this problem of mine and put it 'on the shelf'.  Smile
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#13
RE: Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
Can sleep apnea affect dreaming?  ABSOLUTELY!

I was a preemie baby.  For my whole first year of life, I was fed a little bit every two hours around the clock, which meant waking me frequently.  Thus, I never developed a proper 90-min sleep cycle.   We're supposed to dream mainly in REM sleep, but you can dream at other times (I know from personal experience, plus I found it medical papers/references, and have had it corroborated by a couple doctors).  It was normal for me to fall asleep for only 5 min, and when awakened, tell you the dream I had.  I'm also a vivid dreamer, and remember my dreams every night.  And I'm no stranger to insomnia, too.  [Not a lot of incentive to sleep when your dreams won't let you "rest".]

These conditions progressively got worse over the years.  By the time I was in my 40s, I often had insomnia, awoke 8-10 times nightly, found it difficult to go back to sleep after waking, and my dreams became increasingly intense and disturbing.  I was discussing them with friends once, and they thought it was horrible that I had nightmares every night...except I didn't know they were nightmares.  They had become normal for me.

So, now in my 50s, I finally had a sleep study, and started using a CPAP.  By the end of the first week, I was actually sleeping about 9 hours per night.  I only woke once or twice each night, and could go right back to sleep--amazing!   My dreams were becoming less emotionally-charged, but the biggest thing?  During the 2nd week, I woke one morning and couldn't remember a single dream!  I knew I had dreamed, but what about?  Didn't have a clue!  Blessed relief.

I've used the CPAP nightly for 2 & 1/2 months now, and my sleep cycle seems to be resetting.  I'm not where I need to be, yet, but I find it astounding that I actually get restful sleep.  My dreams aren't so frenetic, but are still vivid (I haven't lost the "fun" aspect of them).   I hope this was helpful to you.
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#14
RE: Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
Stories like that make us wonder how long we went with sleep apnea before it was diagnosed. For you it may have been your entire life. There has been speculation that SIDS is caused by sleep apnea. Nothing to contradict or affirm that, though, so it is pure speculation.

Anyway, there's no reason to ruminate. Just be grateful that we are alive in an era where CPAP therapy is possible. Our parents, grandparents, and so on were not so lucky. I'd be miserable without it.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#15
RE: Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
I can only report about the "before", not after since mine is still untreated.   Dont-know

I have recurring dreams of various versions of not being able to breathe - something like only being able to exhale, but not inhale, or vice versa.
Another thing I noticed is that for me (and someone on this thread also reported something similar), there is a blur between dreaming and falling asleep. Sometimes I'll be in bed, already dreaming, but not yet having fallen asleep. Or at least that's what it feels like.
In one lab study that was done on me, almost none of the apneas occurred during REM. I wonder how that plays out. Do I have bad dreams about not being able to breathe only when the apneas do occur during REM? 
(I saw a study that reported of a rare case of apneas occurring only in REM sleep.)

Other than the choking dreams, I don't feel like I have an overabundance of bad dreams.
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#16
RE: Sleep Apnea And Bad Dreams?
Can anyone offer a explanation to give to houseguests when I wake 'them' with my nightmares/screaming. It happened over the 4th July holiday and one houseguest said I really scared him. It wasn't my intention to scare anyone and it seems ridiculous that someone of my age will wake the whole house with bad dreams. Sad
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