Dreaming and CPAP go together like sweaty legs and corduroy. I’m not sure what that means…just needed something to increase SEO for this page. Let’s continue. I’ll tie it all together in the end like a perfectly crafted episode of Seinfeld, but not at all funny.
I’m often asked about dreaming in the context of CPAP use. People feel that their sleep has worsened because their dreaming changed drastically after starting CPAP. Well, I’m here to help you make sense of it all…hopefully. Below is an awesome video I did on this subject, or you can keep reading.
People remember dreams when they wake up from them. Usually this is the last (and longest) REM Period of the night. (first REM period is usually pretty short at roughly 5 minutes, where the last can be 30-90 minutes) If you remember nothing, it’s because you didn’t wake up out of REM sleep.
REM is associated with dreams in a format that we would call “movie-like”. Delta, or slow wave sleep, is associated with dreams that are more like photographs. Stage 2 and Stage 1 aren’t associated with dreams at all. There is a study on this as well as my own personal anecdotal data that backs the findings of the study. People remember movie like dreams when woken from REM, images when woken from Delta, and nothing for the other stages.
Often people will associate lots of dreaming as being good sleep. Remembering lots of dreams is just a sign of waking up from REM sleep frequently. This just means that your REM sleep is highly fragmented. Not good!! People that remember frequent dreams will often report these dreams having a violent, high anxiety, or stressful context to them. This is likely because you are in fight or flight mode from having apnea as your bloodstream is having cortisol dumped into it like a hampster stuck on a treadmill.
Once these folks start CPAP therapy successfully, they no longer wake from REM sleep and thus don’t remember having many dreams. They perceive this as worse sleep which isn’t true at all.
Using the same logic, many people feel that their sleep is just “AWESOME” because they have frequent dreams. They don’t realize that this is possibly a sign of bad sleep.
So, sorry to be the pooper of the party, but every party needs a pooper. Watch the video. Let me know what you think in the comments section. Join my forum. Subscribe to me on YouTube and donate your hard earned cash to me on Patreon. You won’t regret it….but if you do you can always cancel.
Dreaming and CPAP, just had to mention it one more time for that SEO!