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Severe sleep apnea may reduce the frequency of nightmares

Category: General Wellness

Researchers from the Sleep Disorders Center of Southern Colorado in Pueblo have found that patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea may experience fewer nightmares than those without the chronic sleeping disorder.

In the study, nearly 400 participants answered questions regarding dream and nightmare recall and were evaluated with overnight polysomnography tests. The researchers found that only 20.6 percent of patients suffering from severe obstructive sleep apnea experienced frequent nightmares, while more than two-thirds of healthy participants did the same.

"This makes sleep apnea a little sexier," said Jim Pagel, lead author of the study. "The thought with apnea is it's heavy-set, snoring males and does horrible things to how long you live and whether you have heart attacks and stroke."

However, other experts in the field feel that the findings are not necessarily positive for those dealing with the disorder.

"It's not a good thing," said Shelby Harris, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

She added that the study could unveil a glitch in sleep apnea patients' cognitive processing ability.

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