Do you remember the myth of Sisyphus, from Greek Mythology? Sisyphus was a king in Ancient Greece who upset Zeus one day. (Something about the pecking order, I believe).
Zeus thought Sisyphus needed to think things over for a while, so he sent him to Hades, where Sisyphus was forever forced to roll a rock uphill. Whenever Sisyphus neared the top, the rock would roll back down upon him, and then Sisyphus would be forced to start again.
Does this ring any bells?
Judging by how you feel when you wake from this dream—mouth dry like sandpaper, out of breath, sweating, unrested—I strongly suspect that you have sleep apnea, a condition characterized by difficulty breathing during sleep. Furthermore, I think your dream is an excellent illustration of how apnea often is represented in dream form. Other “typical apnea dreams” include swimming deep in the ocean and suddenly running out of air, crawling ever further into a cave and then the air runs out, or of being in a tight box or room with air running out. Clearly—the common theme is lack of air.
Drive your browser over to the Signs of Sleep Apnea page, Steve. Take the quiz by yourself at first, then take it with your bedpartner. If the quiz rings some bells, and if living with apnea is beginning to feel like living with Sisyphus (in Hades), then the next place you want to drive to... is a sleep clinic. You’ll be happy you did—I promise!
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