Dreams are essentially stories our mind creates while we sleep. They are based on our waking experience and can often give us insight into our cognitive state. However, many aren’t aware dreams can also symbolize our physical condition. Scientists have discovered that having certain dreams can point to a severe health condition.
Read on to learn more about these dreams and the condition they indicate.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
According to the Sleep Cycle Center (SCC), around 18 million Americans suffer from OSA. This disorder occurs when tissue and muscles like your tongue and soft palate relax too much and block the airway. These obstructive episodes occur several times during the night. Typically, people with OSA experience episodes of loud snoring followed by periods of silence.
Experts from the SCC pointed out that having particular dreams could signify undiagnosed OSA. It happens because your brain processes your physical symptoms even if you’re not aware of them. People that suffer from OSA often have dreams about distressed breathing. For example, dreams about strangulation, choking, or being underwater for too long could mean sleep apnea. People that have this disorder also often dream about clogged pipes or being trapped in an elevator.
Research has shown that those who have sleep apnea tend to have more nightmares in general. They don’t have to be related to physical symptoms.
Visit Your Doctor
Obstructive sleep apnea can be hard to diagnose because you may not notice the symptoms, especially if you live alone. So, if you have reoccurring nightmares about not being able to breathe, don’t ignore them. OSA can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, so it’s essential to treat it as soon as possible.