Sleep apnoea snoring during rem sleep is often a sign

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Sleep Apnoea Snoring during REM sleep is often a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea, a potentially serious respiratory problem. While sleeping, an individual will experience pauses in breathing or shallow breath. Sufferers may stop breathing for up to minutes at a time, potentially starving the brain of oxygen. Normal breathing usually resumes, with the individual often making a loud snort or choking sound causing the airway to unblock, waking the individual up and disrupting their sleep. Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs in approximately 3–7% of adult men and 2–5% of adult women. It is more common in older people and in those who are overweight 52 . Both smoking and alcohol also increase the risk of developing it. Sufferers may find themselves waking up sweaty, with a dry mouth and a headache. The frequent waking throughout the night can lead to insomnia, excessive fatigue and sleepiness during the daytime. Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea is associated with increased likelihood of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, sleepiness during the daytime, and motor vehicle accidents 53 . The most widely used treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea is positive airway pressure. The sleeper wears a special mask over the nose or mouth during sleep, whilst a breathing machine pumps a stream of air in the nose or mouth through the mask.
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Nightmares Many of us will have experienced a nightmare from time to time. This is defined as an intense, frightening dream that wakes the sleeper in the throes of panic. Usually nightmares occur in the early morning and often they are influenced by frightening experiences that have occurred during the day. Recurrent nightmares are said to typically occur due to anxiety. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can experience distressing dreams or nightmares as a consequence of past traumas, and may experience significant interruptions during REM sleep 56 . Occasionally, we may experience an episode of sleep paralysis; this happens after waking suddenly from REM sleep, which often happens following a nightmare. Our muscles are paralysed during REM sleep, but during an episode of sleep paralysis they remain paralysed for a short period of time after waking. In old English folklore, sleep paralysis was said to be due to supernatural forces sitting or pressing down upon the sleeper’s chest (Figure 6). 41 40 Figure 6 The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli (1781) Night Terrors Night terrors are perhaps the most disturbing type of parasomnia. Like sleepwalking and sleep talking, they occur during deep sleep. They can be intense, frightening, and severely disabling experiences. A night terror is different to a nightmare since the latter occurs during REM sleep and can be recalled on waking.
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