The occasional nightmare or bad dream is completely normal, if, for example, you have watched a scary movie or read a horror novel before bed. However, when you find your sleep consistently disrupted by disturbing, frightening or repetitive dreams, this may indicate an underlying problem.
When you sleep, you naturally cycle through five sleep stages. Four of these do not usually produce dreams. During the REM stage of sleep, your brain activity behaves as if you are awake, although the body remains catatonic with functions such as breathing operating on ‘autopilot.’ This is the deepest and most restful stage of sleep.
Repetitive dreams involve completing the same task over and over, such as stacking boxes or continually entering and leaving a familiar scenario. If you experience these on a regular basis, it may indicate that you are entering and leaving REM sleep to a point of wakefulness several times a night.
Dreaming of terrifying scenarios like drowning and falling can shock you out of sleep suddenly. Additionally, dreams of struggling against an attacker or being pursued by malevolent forces can cause the brain to panic and force you into a fully wakeful state.
Dreams of this kind may indicate that your sleep is being disturbed. If your breathing becomes restricted or irregular during the deepest sleep stage, the brain will immediately regain control of those faculties. This causes you to waken repeatedly at night.
Are Repetitive Dreams the Result of Sleep Apnea?
Breaks in breathing while sleeping is one of the key symptoms of sleep apnea, and could be the cause of your night time wakefulness. A good nights’ sleep is essential to your health and well-being. If you are not well rested, daily tasks will become a struggle, as concentration is impaired. You will feel more irritable and be likely to lash out at friends and loved ones.
Studies show that tiredness when driving is as dangerous as taking the wheel after drinking alcohol, so you could put the lives of you and those around you at risk.
Don’t ignore worsening symptoms of broken sleep cycles. Contact the Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today to speak to a specialist.
Posted on behalf of
1820 The Exchange SE, #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (678) 401-7615
Mon - Thu: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Closed for lunch: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM