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Is Sleep Apnea Giving You Nightmares?

May 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsolutionstopeka @ 1:17 pm
Woman hiding under blankets after waking up from nightmare

You’ve had nightmares before, but lately they’ve been even worse than usual. In fact, it seems like whenever you have a dream that you remember, it ends up being extremely disturbing, and each one is more severe than the last. What could be the cause? In many cases, nightmares can be a side effect of the oxygen deprivation caused by sleep apnea. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea nightmares in Topeka and what you can do to stop them so that you can enjoy more peaceful nights again.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Dreaming

Since sleep apnea routinely interrupts the sleep cycle and prevents you from reaching REM sleep – the stage where most dreaming occurs – having the disorder generally means you’re less likely to have dreams at all. That does not mean, however, that all dreaming is eliminated. Studies have indicated that people with moderate sleep apnea are generally more likely to have nightmares than people who don’t. It’s likely due to the suffocation caused by sleep apnea. The lack of oxygen puts stress on your entire body, and that gets incorporated into your dreams. Many people have reported that the nightmares caused by sleep apnea are more vivid that the ones they would have normally.

Will Nightmares Have Real-World Consequences?

Having a particularly bad nightmare can have a powerfully negative effect on your mental state for the rest of the day. In fact, especially unpleasant nightmares are often linked to daytime anxiety and daytime depression. Considering that sleep apnea already takes its toll on your mind by preventing you from getting quality rest, the stress caused by nightmares could make a bad situation even worse. Naturally, you’ll want to do something to stop your nightmares and your sleep apnea right away.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Dreaming?

To stop your nightmares, you’ll first have to stop your sleep apnea. A sleep dentist in Topeka can go over your symptoms with you and arrange for a sleep test to be performed in order to make a proper diagnosis for sleep apnea. Then you can explore a variety of treatment options, such as:

  • Wearing an oral appliance that realigns the jaw to keep the airway open (strongly preferred over other treatment options when possible)
  • CPAP therapy that continuously provides airway pressure throughout the night
  • Other specially designed airway pressure devices
  • Surgery (rarely used and only for very specific cases, such as removing large tonsils that are blocking the airway)

Successful sleep apnea treatment can reduce the occurrence of nightmares and help restore normal dreaming. And of course, you’ll be protecting the rest of your body as well by making sure airflow is no longer interrupted. Call your sleep dentist today if you’re tired of living with the side effects of sleep apnea and are ready to say hello to sweet dreams again.

About the Author

Dr. Michael L. Michel has decades of experience when it comes to helping people overcome sleep apnea. He’s pursued advanced training and continuing education in a variety of courses so that he can continue to provide the best possible solutions for sleep apnea therapy. If you have concerns about nightmares caused by sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with him at Sleep Solutions by Michel Dental by visiting his website or calling (785) 273-0802.

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