Monday, October 10, 2011

Medications that cause abnormal dreams...

Often times people with sleep disordered breathing state that they do not dream. Since REM sleep is often when SBD is at its worst, patients often cannot ever recall dreaming since they do not experience enough consistent sleep to significantly dream. Once these patients are placed on CPAP and get uninterrupted REM sleep, they often start to call CPAPs "DREAM MACHINES." But often times frequent dreaming can come with its own set of problems. I once had a patient who experienced so many bad dreams that he decided to discontinue CPAP. 

It is important to attempt to understand some of the factors that can cause abnormal dreams. Many people are aware that stress and anxiety can cause bad dreams to occurs. But many people are unaware that many common medications can also alter ones dreams. These drugs include certain antidepressants, antibiotics, beta blockers, blood-pressure medications, cholesterol medications and drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Abnormal dreams are most common when an individual first starts or decides to quit taking drugs such as these (Beck, 2011). Although not completely understood, many sleep physicians tend to think that abnormal dreams can occur whenever REM sleep is disrupted. If you or someone you know starts to experience frequent nightmares, it is important to alert your physician.

-Mr. Sleep

Beck, L. (2011). The Next Nightmare. The Wall Street Journal.

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