Hi Leslie -

In another day, a dream analyst might have spent a good deal of time—hers and yours—attempting to identify the origin of this dream. What is the deeper meaning of this violent choking? What terrible trauma—childhood or recent—is this woman trying to purge from her soul?

A number of clues left in your dream report, however, guide us in a different direction. First of all, you do not feel the dream is related to past psychological issues—and feelings always are the best indicators to true meanings of dreams.

Second, your dream focuses starkly upon one central event—your choking. If the dream was related to past psychological issues, we would expect more plot line and associated material to appear in the dream related to these issues.

Third, you report that the object choking you varies and is nondescript. You write that you don’t choke on “on anything in particular.” This is hardly the description of a significant dream symbol.

Finally, knowing what we do about sleep disorders today, we have to wonder if your dream—instead of sending a symbolic message—isn’t simply sending a literal one. Chances are, you may actually be having difficulty breathing during sleep! In turn, this difficulty breathing causes your dreams of choking.

Even if you don’t snore loudly or have other common symptoms of sleep apnea, your airway still may be collapsing during REM. Before you invest in a psychiatrist, you might consider taking our: Sleep Apnea Quiz. If you answer yes to four or more questions, it’s worth your while to find and visit a sleep specialist to discover what options are available. Treatments for sleep apnea are quick, safe, and effective.

Just think! Sometimes a “choke”—is just a choke!

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