Does asthma attack in a dream mean attack in real life?

Sometimes in the middle of a dream I'm suddenly very tight chested and can't breathe - I take my inhaler in the dream and it generally gets better but feels very real. When I later wake up however my breathing is fine. Do you think this could be indicative of a breathing problem in my sleep or is it all just a dream do you think?

4 Replies

  • Sounds like panic to me. I think that maybe you are not sure that you have your asthma under control. If so, you should talk to your asthma nurse and get some reassurance that you are fine, which you are!

  • The brain is a very clever thing, my daughter used to have mild sleep-apnoea (stops breathing in her sleep). We noticed during the night that she was coughing, but when we asked her about it in the morning, she didn't know about it. We spoke to the GP and the ENT specialist, they said that even when we are asleep the brain continues to monitor our blood/oxygen levels. If the brain detects a drop in oxygen levels because the throat is restricted, then it makes the body cough to clear any obstruction there might be (in my daughters case it was her enormous tonsils). So would suggest that if you ever did suffer an asthma attack during your sleep, then the brain will first make you cough (without waking you) and if that doesn't work, then it will fully wake you. Personally I have had 2 asthma attacks during sleep (I have GERD/CVA which can occur during sleep) and each time my brain made me fully awake. In fact so awake, it was like a fight-or-flight reaction, i.e. my adrenal glands were working overtime to make me as awake as possible to get me breathing again. As Chrissie suggests, the dream is most likely some anxiety about your asthma, many people have a recurring dream (or recurring theme in a dream), particularly if it is something of concern. But to reinforce, if you are under control, don't worry too much, as stress is not good for some of us. Hoping this helps!

  • Definitely agree with you on this one - if your body can deal with it without waking you, it will. If it's tougher, it will wake you up. I've noticed this with myself a few times. I've also noticed it with my little brother (and he doesn't have any health problems).

  • I've had these types of dreams before sounds like a "seeing" dream if it is a "seeing" dream I would keep your inhaler on you as it will happen like and you will feel like it's happened before I had my first "seeing" dream when I was 13 it was strange and I still get them now I don't dream much but almost all of my dreams come true if you are getting "seeing" dreams keep them to yourself until you learn how to read them but pay attention to the message it's not always the one in the dream

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