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Dreaming and CPAP

This area is for CPAP Mask and CPAP Machine Related Questions used in the treatment of Sleep Apnea.

Dreaming and CPAP

Postby kmod21 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:47 am

Hi all,
I'm just about to get my first CPAP machine and I'm a little nervous. I only have apneas during REM sleep, so my doctor told me using the CPAP might result in more dreaming. The problem is, I pretty much only have terrible dreams. I don't WANT more dreaming. I wondered if having apneas during REM sleep may be causing bad dreams, but my doctor said probably not.
Has anyone else experienced a surge in dreams after starting the CPAP? Did it change what you dream about?
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Re: Dreaming and CPAP

Postby SleepyToo » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:56 pm

The terrible dreams may be a symptom of your sleep apnea - the brain/mind's response to the oxygen starvation it is being subjected to every few minutes/seconds. I don't recall dreaming very often now, and the dreams I do remember are much less violent since starting CPAP. Before starting, I dreamt of crashing my car several times - one I remember particularly vividly because it had me driving off the edge of a cliff with my family. Not a nice thing to do. Since then, I have only had one bad dream that I can remember - just the other night. I was being attacked by a couple of people; I accepted the taunting for a little while, then decided I would defend myself with karate. I started the wind-up, and roared - only thing was, I was roaring in real life and woke my wife, who woke me. I was already in a sitting position! No 'death' for me in that dream! I have a bit of a cold, which may have affected my breathing to some extent, but I am just writing it off to one of those things.

If anyone can "diagnose" dreams, I might take a look but I don't take that kind of thing very seriously. Unless they are clearly premonitory.

Kmod21, may all your dreams be pleasant ones when you are on CPAP!
Philadelphia Area
Diagnosed September 2009, Respironics System One w/ C-flex and humidifier
Aloha nasal pillows
Not a medical professional, just a patient with severe OSA (31) who has done a lot of reading.
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Re: Dreaming and CPAP

Postby Vicki » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:29 am

I call those nightmares "apnea dreams" and like SleepyToo said, they seem to be a way our brains try to make sense of sleeping and suffocating. Before I was treated I had horrible nightmares that someone was trying to hurt me or that I was suffocating under a variety of conditions (um, duh). Now if I have them I just recognize that I was stupid enough to go to sleep before I put my mask on. Please educate your doctor that those kinds of nightmares are extremely common (just search for nightmare at this site). I hope your doctor is not ignorant in other ways.

Nightmares can also be caused by other things like certain medications, stress, etc. so be aware of those triggers also.

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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