Suffocating (in real life) while dreaming in light sleep?

This really bothered me…

I don’t remember how, but I was in a light dreaming stage, having just entered a dream of being in a car, and I could not breath.

I was analyzing the situatoin and at first thought it was fake, I had to be breathing, but it hurt so tremendously bad, I was light headed, suffocating… so I tried to start breathing, and everything felt constricted, my chest hurt, my nose felt full and plugged up (which has happened before but never this bad)

I thought I was going to die… I considered waking myself up, but I didn’t want to lose this dream… I figured it would fix itself, but it hurt so bad…

I had to force myself to breathe really really deeply and eventually I regained my “breath” and felt better, the pain was unbearable, it could not have been dream pain, it was too intense… I’m feeling that feeling in my chest right now just thinking about it, it’s not like asthma

it’s like this small sort of liquid like vibration in my chest… it’s really weird, I don’t know what it means… but…

I had to eventually trick myself into forgetting about breathing, because due to my deep breathing my dream breaths were controlling my real breaths, and if I just stopped I would stop breathing in real life, but if I continued it was all I could focus on and made it hard to do other things.

I remember thinking about death and how close I was to it, I know at an eventual unbearable point I would have passed out or woken up gasping for air, but the pain was unreal…

Do I have sleep apnea? Does sleep apnea occur during NREM? This was not a normal dream, it was a light transitional dream where you can’t really do anything because you feel drugged up and paralyzed, but not fully paralyzed, and your dream and real body melt together.

I also later did an early morning WILD with similar plugged up nose and heart pain problems, but they eventually corrected themselves… I think I may have been on my back too, because if I’m not on my back my limbs go numb and I have severe arm/joint pain the whole next day.

I’ve had an EKG done in the past (though they seemed to not know what the hell they were doing) and they said my heart was fine, that I probably have muscle problems in my chest area, like, tightness, that causes imagined heart pain… but I don’t know.

When I was way younger I would sometimes spontaneously wake up inhaling deeply… so I could very well have apnea, there was no way this was all imagined… maybe I have heart problems too or maybe it was a weird heart chakra related thing… but… it has me kind of worried.

I’m also a hypochondriac I guess since just thinking about heart problems makes my heart hurt really badly, so it’s probably set off by stress too.

Hmmm… Well, this is making a major assumption, since I don’t know what kind of classes you’re attending, books you’re reading, etc., but you said you were studying to become a psychologist (or something psychology-related, at least)? I really have no idea what the cause is, but this may be one possibility: I’ve heard that psychology students have a tendency to diagnose themself with basically everything in the book. From depression, to multiple-personality disorder, right down the line. It seems that when you gaze too deeply into the abyss, the abyss gazes back. :content:

I truly have no idea what the causes of this could be, and if you’re actually worried, I would see a doctor about it in some capacity (although I believe it’s probably nothing). But this might be one (of the many) possibilities. Only a doctor (and sometimes, NOT EVEN a doctor) can tell you what exactly your diagnosis would be, but my guess is that it’s stress-related, like you suggested.

Well, those are my thoughts anyway. :smile:

I’ve noticed that occasionally in a WILD my heart will be racing and I will be short of breath, while this is not that common in a DILD. Sometimes taking a deep breath in the dream and exhaling will help. When I wake up afterward, my pulse is still very high.

It’s weird, maybe with WILD your body has to transition into sleep paralysis more quickly and it affects your breathing somehow?

I’ve heard that psychology students have a tendency to diagnose themself with basically everything in the book. From depression, to multiple-personality disorder, right down the line. It seems that when you gaze too deeply into the abyss, the abyss gazes back.

I think this is what I said along the lines of “I might be a hypochondriac” but maybe that’s not the right term…

The thing is I have considered the possibility of sleep apnea well before ever getting into psychology, and was at a time asked by a doctor if I had symptoms of it, which would suggest he had sufficient reason to be curious… which would suggest that I had symptoms that might be caused by it.

My dad also has it, and so does my grandpa and possibly my uncle, too, I’m not sure if it can be inhereited.

As for SP I really don’t think it’s normal to ever stop breathing or have breathing difficulties, accelerated heartbeat and breathing maybe, I’ve read on various sites that that happens in REM in general, but I don’t think you should ever under any circumstances have such trouble breathing that even though you are already in a sense “passed out” (sleeping) you feel like you are going to PASS OUT from lack of oxygen.

Accelerated SP might explain it though… but sometimes I just isntantly go into SP in one second and it doesn’t have a transition at all, it’s like I’m just there… so I don’t see why that couldn’t happen if I’m in a weird in-between state…?

This really makes me wish America had free heatlh care, but yeah… I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like there are little round things in my nostrils blocking the air current… it’s really odd.

SP can make you THINK you are suffocating due to throat vibrations, but this isn’t it as far as I can tell. I’d say it’s real suffocation to some degree.

Did you ever inhale marbles as a small child? :content:

On a more serious note, if you were seriously feeling you were in real danger, you might wanna ask a doctor again…I mean, you might be imagining it, but better safe than sorry, right?


our insurance is changing though so now is not a good time.

it’d be nice to be a canadian… :confused:

sometimes i do notice my nose is horribly dry and almost impossible to breathe through in the mornings though, so maybe that was just it… i noticed that while awake this morning…

well i was going to meantion soemthing you already did lol.

If it happens again seek medical advice just in case. Sleep Apnea can occure at any stage of sleep. (usually the same stage of sleep when it occurs - rather than randomly.)

I’d certainly concider talking to someone about it though as sleep apnea seems to be a very real possiblity for you.

When I was little, I hated having to sleep because sometimes I couldn’t breathe well at all, and my dreams got worse with each breath that I couldn’t take. :bored: Whenever I had these troubles, my dreams got dark and dim and I couldn’t see anything good at all. It was mostly frustrating, and sometimes terrifying. One time I thought it was over, I couldn’t get any air, and I thought I’d surely die. Well, my body must’ve rolled over from having my face in my pillow or I started breathing through my mouth instead of my nose that might’ve been stuffy. Yeah, it was horrible.

But lately, I haven’t had any problems, and of course, I look forward to sleeping so that I can LD or at least ND. :happy: