Sleep Apnea and Dream Recall

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February 12, 2010

Brain

Ever had a nightmare or a dream worth remembering but just can't? Chances are you could be suffering with sleep apnea . A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found suffering from obstructive sleep apnea drastically reduces nightmare recall.

The study found that 71.4 percent of people who did not have obstructive sleep apnea recalled their dreams, while only 43.2 percent of patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea were able to do the same.

Dreaming occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep and increases over later part of night; necessary for providing energy to brain and body; brain is active and dreams occur as eyes dart back and forth; bodies become immobile and relaxed; muscles shut down; breathing and heart rate may become irregular; important to daytime performance and may contribute to memory consolidation – but with sleep apnea, some of the benefits of this important sleep stage is lost.

Learn more about sleep apnea and dreams - and check out the study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine .