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Recurring Swallowing/Choking Nightmare


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Every few months I have this extremely vivid realisic nightmare where I have a small object in my mouth - usually a piece of jewelry or a contact lens, but one time it was one of my own teeth - and I swallow it in the dream. When this happens I bolt upright in bed trying to choke up this thing I swallowed, and usually it takes a minute for me to realize that I was asleep and to calm down. I've actually gotten halfway to the bathroom choking and gagging before coming out of it. I'm sure my boyfriend would think I was nuts if he wasn't an Aspie.

I'm not sure what this means and why I keep having this experience. Anyone have any ideas?

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I used to have dreams that my teeth would fall out and I would spit them in my hands too. Weird. I have had dreams that I was choking. But I think that's because I was sleeping on my back and snoring and I would suffer from sleep apnea. I don't sleep on my back anymore. Since I've been on Chantix to quit smoking, I haven't had any nightmares. Well that's a lie, I've had one dream that my favorite cat was kidnapped by these girls and was tortured and killed. I woke up bawling my eyes out and cried out to him.

Maybe you're snoring too and you're suffering from sleep apnea. I don't know. Just something to think about.

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Thanks for the replies. You might be on to something with the snoring/sleep apnea. I do tend to snore when I lie on my back. It's too bad as well because I have degenerative disc disease and lying flat on my back is the most comfortable sleeping position.

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The teeth falling out thing seems to be universal (haven't met one person who had never had such a dream). Another dream (major one for college graduates) is one of missing class/forgetting exams/etc.

And I agree you need to get a sleep study done, Gwen. I'm no doctor, but I am a (potentially fellow, if you turn out to have it) apnea patient, and I wake up occasionally trying to exhale against a closed windpipe (fortunately, my inhalations don't seem to be blocked!). That happens only when I'm sleeping on my back. I fall asleep on my stomach every night to decrease the brain pressure I have from an infection and to calm the acid reflux from said infection mucking up my esophageal muscles' coordination. Apparently my nerve damage also causes my epiglottis to go floppy, causing the apnea itself (I'm not overweight, nor do I have any other risk factor for sleep apnea).

That said, I apparently rapidly flip over to my back some point after falling asleep (I toss and turn and am a "kicker", RLS and PLMS, etc.).

Good luck on your sleep study, hope they find something useful and that you will get better!

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