When Nightmares Might Indicate a Sleep Disorder

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Here’s a frightening statistic: at least 25 million adults in the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea – the type of apnea related to soft tissue collapse or other airway blockages while you sleep – but 90% of these cases remain undiagnosed. Why is that frightening? Because left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea increases risks for serious health problems including metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and more.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. Individuals with sleep apnea stop breathing for several seconds, multiple times while sleeping. Sometimes, when breathing starts again, it is accompanied by choking, which is also a clear indicator of sleep apnea.

In addition to choking while sleeping and snoring, symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Cognitive disruptions
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Mood swings

Recently, researchers have found a new sleep apnea symptom as well: bad dreams.

Not all nightmares indicate sleep apnea, but those involving breathing difficulties absolutely may. According to researchers, these include dreams of being lost in space without a helmet, dreams of drowning, those involving choking, or those in which any outside factor is impacting the free flow of oxygen. If you have been experiencing these types of dreams, it is a good idea to consider which other symptoms you may be having and to seek treatment if you suspect sleep apnea is at play.

Simple Treatment Solutions

Obstructive sleep apnea is often treatable through the use of an oral device that can be worn while sleeping. At Warr Dental, we utilize the advanced MicrO2® Sleep and Snore Device to accomplish this goal.

The MicrO2® Sleep and Snore Device helps to properly angle the jaw while holding soft tissue in place to prevent obstruction. Safe, comfortable, and effective, the MicrO2® Sleep and Snore Device has shown to be extremely effective for our patients, even when used for longer periods.

Do you suspect you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea? Call our Salt Lake City office at 801-355-5385 to schedule a free initial screening right away. Warr Dental welcomes patients from Provo, Park City, and all surrounding communities.