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Could Sleep Apnea Be Giving You Nightmares?

May 21, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drromack @ 8:15 pm
Man having just woken up from a nightmare

In many cases, people with sleep apnea don’t have dreams at all since they never reach the deeper stages of sleep where dreaming takes place. However, even if you have sleep apnea, you could still end up dreaming – and if you do it’s likely to turn into a frightening nightmare. Have you been having more disturbingly vivid dreams than usual lately? Learn the truth behind sleep apnea nightmares in Weatherford and the importance of seeking treatment for sweeter dreams.

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Nightmares

Some studies have shown a correlation between nightmares and obstructive sleep apnea (the most common form of sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway is physically blocked). In short, a moderate sleep disorder could leave you more prone to nightmares than a person without such a disorder. This is probably due to the suffocation that you’ll naturally experience as a result of sleep apnea interrupting your breathing. The body experiences a lot of stress when it doesn’t have enough oxygen, and that stress can end up manifesting in your dreams. Not only are sleep apnea nightmares more vivid than normal, but they also tend to grow more unpleasant as the disorder becomes more severe.

Why Sleep Apnea Nightmares are a Problem

Sleep apnea can contribute to a number of health problems such as heart conditions. In a way, sleep apnea-related nightmares can also take their toll on your health. When you have an unpleasant dream, it can have a negative impact on the rest of your day. Since sleep apnea can already be linked with a higher risk of anxiety and daytime depression, having nightmares on top of that can make such problems even worse.

What You Can Do to Improve Dreaming

Getting rid of sleep apnea nightmares means treating your sleep apnea. Of course, before that can happen, you’ll need to have a sleep study performed so that the disorder can be correctly diagnosed. Then a sleep expert will need to go over your treatment options. Many people assume that CPAP therapy is the only choice for treating sleep apnea, but an oral appliance is usually sufficient for mild or moderate cases. Also, certain lifestyle choices could be contributing to your sleep apnea. Try sleeping on your side instead of your back so that the tissues in your mouth don’t fall back on the airway, and stay away from alcoholic beverages that can cause your throat muscles to relax.

Having bad dreams is just one more way sleep apnea can disrupt your life. And like many of the other symptoms linked to the disorder, you can overcome the problem by getting in touch with a sleep dentist in Weatherford as soon as possible for treatment.

About the Author

Dr. Deborah A. Romack graduated from the Baylor College of Dentistry with honors in 1998. She has made a point of continuing her education throughout the course of her career, and since 2005 she has been attending numerous courses related to obstructive sleep apnea. If you’re concerned about the impact sleep apnea has on your life, make an appointment with her at Weatherford Dental Sleep Medicine by visiting her website or calling (817) 594-3806.

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114 W Columbia St., Weatherford, TX 76086 USA
Deborah A. Romack, DDS Weatherford, TX dentist providing sleep apnea therapy. (817) 594-3806