AR15.Com Archives
 Ever woke up not able to breath? Doctors feel free to chime in.
UmpaLumpa  [Member]
11/12/2007 6:56:38 PM
Wow that was scary as hell. I woke up in the middle of Saturday night completely unable to breath. It was like my throat closed and I had no air in my lungs to force it open when you exhale. The more I tried sucking air in the more it seemed to seal shut. I jumped up out of bed and ran to the bathroom (I donno why I did that) but I thought for sure I was a gonner. When I finally caught my breath I managed to inhale some of my spit, which of course caused me to immediately start coughing.

So hear I am in the middle of the night trying to cough but can't because I never got a full breath to even really cough, and at the same time my body is also trying to take these huge breaths to catch up from my lack of oxygen. But all I could do was take a small gasps of air then my uncontrollable coughing would take over completely emptying my lungs.

My lungs hurt today, I tried so hard to take breaths that those muscles are soar like after a hard day at the gym.

This isn't the first time this has happened but this was by far the worst "episode" yet. I usually wake up and sit up in bed and catch my breath. But this time it took a lot longer to be able to breath and when I finally was able to breath all i could do is cough like crazy.

I'm thinking I have sleep apnea but the I don't have all the symptoms. I donno what does Arfcom think?
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Fat_McNasty  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 6:57:47 PM
You in hailed a bug in your sleep..
uxo2  [Member]
11/12/2007 6:59:18 PM
Penis in mouth.............
ben72227  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:01:16 PM
Asthma?
Colt45guy  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:01:49 PM
sleep apnea.




dibs on your guns and ammo!
1Andy2  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:02:20 PM
It was a succubus.
Disintegr8or  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:02:53 PM
How much do you weigh?
fosters  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:04:02 PM
Its been discussed on Coast to coast...I forget what they called it
HKOVERKILL  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:04:06 PM

Originally Posted By UmpaLumpa:
I'm thinking I have sleep apnea...


I'm thinking you could be right.

Apnea can kill you. If this is not the first time, have it checked out.

Do you snore loudly? Tired during the day? Can nod off at work/school?

Have it checked out.


HKO
Grumple  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:09:30 PM

Originally Posted By UmpaLumpa:
Wow that was scary as hell. I woke up in the middle of Saturday night completely unable to breath. It was like my throat closed and I had no air in my lungs to force it open when you exhale. The more I tried sucking air in the more it seemed to seal shut. I jumped up out of bed and ran to the bathroom (I donno why I did that) but I thought for sure I was a gonner. When I finally caught my breath I managed to inhale some of my spit, which of course caused me to immediately start coughing.

So hear I am in the middle of the night trying to cough but can't because I never got a full breath to even really cough, and at the same time my body is also trying to take these huge breaths to catch up from my lack of oxygen. But all I could do was take a small gasps of air then my uncontrollable coughing would take over completely emptying my lungs.

My lungs hurt today, I tried so hard to take breaths that those muscles are soar like after a hard day at the gym.

This isn't the first time this has happened but this was by far the worst "episode" yet. I usually wake up and sit up in bed and catch my breath. But this time it took a lot longer to be able to breath and when I finally was able to breath all i could do is cough like crazy.

I'm thinking I have sleep apnea but the I don't have all the symptoms. I donno what does Arfcom think?


It's also possible that you suffer from asthma. At night your natural cortisol levels are at the lowest point and can cause an asthma attack/ night awakenings. Very common among asthmatics. From what you are stating, I am willing to say that you "May" suffer from mild persistent asthma. Usually controlled by an albuterol rescue inhaler on an as needed basis. The albuterol stimulates and beta receptors and causes your smooth muscles to relax. During an acute asthma episode you smooth muscles constrict almost like an elastic band around a straw and collapse you bronchi and bronchioles and constrict the your airflow.

Asthma characterized by Night time symptoms such as awakenings, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or dyspnea.
cluster  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:12:03 PM
pay your $15 co-pay and go see a doc.
WinstonSmith  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:14:30 PM
Google sleep paralysis.
ben72227  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:16:38 PM
Sleep Apnea could be it, but since you didn't give very much specific info. I'm more tempted to go for acute asthma (perhaps because the weather is changing, or you have a cold, or there are autumn allergens in the air, etc.). Either way - you need to see a doctor.
UmpaLumpa  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:22:22 PM

Originally Posted By uxo2:
Penis in mouth.............


No joking dude, I seriously thought I was gonna die, 30 more seconds and I would have been on the floor completely unconscious.


To answer the other posters:

I fluctuate in weight between 185 to 190, I am 5' 11" I'm a little overweight but not by much.

I don't snore, I know this because other people tell me. I know I have snored a few times in the past but who hasn't? I'm not a chronic snorer.

I had Asthma when I was younger (around 8-10 yrs old )but it went away and I haven't had problems with it in since, I am 27 yrs old now. I am not tired during the day and no I don't fall asleep at work unless I have only had like 3 hours of sleep. I rarely have headaches too.
ReallyLongAction  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:23:28 PM
I believe it may be sleep apnea.
Sub-MOA  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:25:21 PM
Acid reflux...

You did the classic "wet burp" in your sleep and then you aspirated it.

I've had it happen to me once or twice... no fun a-tall
UmpaLumpa  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:29:24 PM
The only other symptom I have of sleep apnea besides waking up being unable to breath is stalls between breaths. I lay in bed watching tv and when I get very confortable I have noticed that sometimes I tend to skip a breath or two every now and then.
CZ75_9MM  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:30:15 PM
Your bronchial tubes probably got filled with mucus. I have that problem on occasion since I have allergies.
AR-10  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:34:33 PM
It doesn't sound like sleep apnea to me.

I have sleep apnea and I have never experienced an inability to breath through conscious effort. I sometimes stop breathing, but I've never woke up and found myself unable to breath.

A doctor visit is definitely in order, and the asthma subject should be explored.
UmpaLumpa  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:34:58 PM

Originally Posted By ben72227:
Asthma?


You know now that I'm thinking about it, you could be right. The past couple of days it seems that I haven't gotton a full breath. I can take a full deep breath but its like my lungs aren't pulling enough oxygen. I remember having similar problems when my asthma was acting up.
Code4AR  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:36:08 PM
I actually had the same thing probably a week or two ago... It is one of the most frightening feelings thinking you're gonna die. When it happened to me, I didn't go back to sleep b/c I didn't wanna tempt it to happen again.

Although I didn't, I would consider going to the doctor. If it happens again, I know I will.




To the guy that said something about penis in the mouth, GROW THE FUCK UP... The guy has a serious problem, and you make God damned jokes...



ETA: On second note, I don't have asthma, and I am 5'11" 220 or so. Only medical problem I have is chronic migraines, nothing respiratory related...
Sub-MOA  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:37:58 PM
What did you eat before you went to bed? Something fatty/starchy/greasy.... right?


I'm telling you man, the whole waking up with your throat closed up thing is acid reflux not asthma.
Sique  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:39:06 PM
apnea
Master_of_Orion  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:40:20 PM
asthma

I have it. Happens maybe 2-3 times a year. I have an emergency inhaler next to my bed.
niceguymr  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:44:11 PM
I've had the exact same experiences. It's sleep apnea. I know this because I've been clinically diagnosed. I did an overnight sleep study and the works.
Admiral_Crunch  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 7:46:04 PM

Originally Posted By AR-10:
It doesn't sound like sleep apnea to me.

I have sleep apnea and I have never experienced an inability to breath through conscious effort. I sometimes stop breathing, but I've never woke up and found myself unable to breath.

A doctor visit is definitely in order, and the asthma subject should be explored.



Same here. I have sleep apnea, and I have never experienced anything like what you're describing. I might stop breathing in my sleep and wake myself up, but once awake, I can always breathe. My throat has never constricted.

See your doc.
otto-nyc  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:48:40 PM
+1 on possible Asthma.

But it could be a GI issue (gerd).


Do you have a wheeze, or cough anything up, and does the symptom seem to only begin when you are laying flat?


See a doctor sooner rather than later. Odds are it's something that can be controlled with minimal interference to your lifestyle, but if you don't deal with it, could get dangerous.
UmpaLumpa  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:49:29 PM

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
What did you eat before you went to bed? Something fatty/starchy/greasy.... right?


I'm telling you man, the whole waking up with your throat closed up thing is acid reflux not asthma.


I ate one sausage taquito from Whataburger before going to bed.
olds442tyguy  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:52:52 PM
I've had exactly what you do.


The next time you wake up like that, try exhaling first. I'm 100% serious too. I'd fight to try and breathe in, but my lungs were already at full capacity and I wouldn't realize it. Your body tricks you. Naturally your body wants to get more air sucked in, but if your lungs are already full of used up air it throws you off.


I'm undiagnosed, but I'm 99% confident I have sleep apnea. Mine gets real bad in the summer from what I assume is the thick hot humid air. If I get really drunk or smoke more than a half pack a day it will act up too.
Dragracer_Art  [Member]
11/12/2007 7:53:36 PM

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
Acid reflux...

You did the classic "wet burp" in your sleep and then you aspirated it.

I've had it happen to me once or twice... no fun a-tall


Been there done that.

NOT fun at all.

Edit to add... I have experienced similar breathing problems while sleeping...almost like I'm skipping a step in the breathing process, and stumble to catch my breath...until I get in rythym again. It's really weird.
UmpaLumpa  [Member]
11/12/2007 8:02:19 PM

Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:
I've had exactly what you do.


The next time you wake up like that, try exhaling first. I'm 100% serious too. I'd fight to try and breathe in, but my lungs were already at full capacity and I wouldn't realize it. Your body tricks you. Naturally your body wants to get more air sucked in, but if your lungs are already full of used up air it throws you off.


I'm undiagnosed, but I'm 99% confident I have sleep apnea. Mine gets real bad in the summer from what I assume is the thick hot humid air. If I get really drunk or smoke more than a half pack a day it will act up too.



I tried it, and It didn't work. God forbid if it ever happens again I think I'm gonna try to force mouthfulls of air down. I will definitely go see my Doctor about this, I am leaning more twards it being my old problem with Asthma returning to haunt me.

ETA: They only scary thing about it if it is asthma, I don't think an emergency inhaler wouldn't work. When I woke up I couldn't take any small amount of breath, the inhaler would only squirt the medicine in my mouth, it wouldn't have gotton though to my lungs.
Houstons_Problem  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 9:38:43 PM
See a doctor. You probably need to be tested for sleep apnea and asthma. The sleep apnea test will involve an overnight stay at a sleep specialist. You will be instrumented with a laser beam on your finger tip that detects blood oxygen levels, your pulse will be monitered, your breathing will be monitered, your brain waves will be monitored.

There are two kinds of sleep apnea. One is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which is caused by the soft tissues in your throat blocking off your breathing. The other is central sleep apnea which is caused by your central nervous system not sending a signal to cause you to breath.

You may be in the early stages of sleep apnea or you may not have it severely. I had an episode similar to yours. It seemed to happen when I went on vacations out west. I was never tired, nor did I wake up with morning headaches. However, I would wake up gasping for breath. I thought at the time, that my body was merely breathing too slow for the higher elevations (9,000 feet) out west since I live at sea level.

About two years ago, I started getting extremely tired. I never fell asleep during the day, I just felt tired all the time, sort of like you feel when a cold hits you real hard.

Eventually, I found myself waking up gasping for air and sweating sometimes. I went to the doctor and he ordered a sleep study. I had an index of 89, with 40 indicating the bottom threshold to have severe OSA. My test showed that I had a few central sleep apnea events. I was ultimately tested on a cpap machine and the OSA was reduced to normal levels and the central sleep apnea events did not occur.

I now wonder if the events I had on vacation a few years prior to the onset of the severe OSA were early signs of sleep apnea before it became severe.

You should be tested. Asthma is also easily diagnosed.
Skg_Mre_Lght  [Member]
11/12/2007 9:47:08 PM

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
It was a succubus.


Aye....the Ol' Hag Night Mayr. I have had that happen a couple of times.
Eitek1  [Member]
11/12/2007 9:58:37 PM
I will second acid reflux. I have sleep apnea and while that is unpleasant this is a whole nother deal. I thought someone was strangling me.
It was a most unpleastant experience.
vpost35  [Member]
11/12/2007 10:16:09 PM
My sleep apnea showed itself just as his did, waking up unable to breath and in a panic wondering WTF!!!!!. After my sleep test My Doc said the soft tissue is blocking airway, and each episode was stressing my heart, gave me a CPAP now im good to go. Basicly told me I was on the tracks and the train was coming at a high rate of speed. do yourself a favor GO SEE YOUR DOC.

Vince
endlesssummer  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 10:23:27 PM
enquire with your Dr. about an overnight "sleep study"....keep a journal of what you eat, time you go to bed, time you wake up, medications you are taking, any new construction in the house, etc...most docs should ask these question...any known allergies?
BigZ  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 10:25:05 PM
A combo of Acid Reflux and or Sleep Apnea.
I suffer from it. It's weight related and also the elapsed time since my last meal. It can also depend upon what kinds of food I consume.
The best way for me to overcome it: STAY CALM, try and to relax, short breaths and exhale, relax my diaphragm.

Hopefully this might work for you as it has for me in about...the 100th time over the last 15yrs or so.

This will scare the crap out of whoever you're with.

Won't forget the look on my girlfriends face, trying to call for an ambulance the first time she witnessed it.
pdsarge  [Member]
11/12/2007 10:32:41 PM
Been there. Sleep apnea is most likely the cause. Find a pulmonary specialist and get checked. Happened to me a few times before I got my CPAP. Doesn't happen anymore. Good luck
twig  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 10:55:01 PM
Does the Mrs. or so say you snore? If so, it's a sign of sleep apnea. Especially the explosive time snoring, gasping ect. I also wonder if it can have something to do with REM sleep. During REM your motor cortex is active (dreams) but your brainstem blocks messages. So you are in a sense paralyzed (except some minor twiching). I wonder if you were to awake out of REM suddenly, the motor cortex could be playing catch up and stop you from breathing? Then it becomes a question of did you awake cause you can't breath, or you can't breath cause you awoke? I guess you can disregard my ramblings. It's happened to me a few times. Mine is usually accompanied by not being able to move as well. Best ask your doc.
Waldo0506  [Team Member]
11/12/2007 11:15:50 PM
asthma? For almost 15 years I had to use a nebulizer regiligiously to stay alive (apparently it cant help you spell) and NEVER did my lungs open because of coughing, it temporarily works, but then they close again.

If the OP had asthma and his lungs closed to the point of no air movement they would have been inflamed to the point of no return and death would have set in. Also, his blood oxygen level would have been going downhill long before he reached that point and he would have probably been unable to wake up.
dawg_killer  [Member]
11/12/2007 11:34:54 PM
Does your throat sting after one of these episodes? You have both acid reflux and sleep apnea. I have it too.

While sleeping on your back two things happen: you have an episode of sleep apnea where you do not breath for some amount of time (apnea) while at the same time you regurgitate into your mouth (acid reflux). When the apnea episode ends you take a large breath and aspirate that reflux into your lungs. You wake up unable to breath, feeling for all the world like you are about to strangle. Scares the shit out of me every time.

here's how I manage it:

1) I went to a specialist and had a sleep study to diagnose the apnea.
2) I try to sleep on my side or with alot of pillows, sitting up slightly.
3) I lost 35 pounds.
3) I do not eat within 3-4 hours of going to bed. Especially dairy, for me.

YMMV.

-DawgKiller

uxo2  [Member]
11/13/2007 12:24:28 AM

Originally Posted By UmpaLumpa:

Originally Posted By uxo2:
Penis in mouth.............


No joking dude, I seriously thought I was gonna die, 30 more seconds and I would have been on the floor completely unconscious.


To answer the other posters:

I fluctuate in weight between 185 to 190, I am 5' 11" I'm a little overweight but not by much.

I don't snore, I know this because other people tell me. I know I have snored a few times in the past but who hasn't? I'm not a chronic snorer.

I had Asthma when I was younger (around 8-10 yrs old )but it went away and I haven't had problems with it in since, I am 27 yrs old now. I am not tired during the day and no I don't fall asleep at work unless I have only had like 3 hours of sleep. I rarely have headaches too.


You really need to go and see a docter...

They are the only ones who can diagnoise you properly..

Sleep apnea.....Easy fix...The monster machine CPAP
Hoppy  [Team Member]
11/13/2007 12:37:12 AM
My neighbor had a heart attack a little while back. He reported the same symptoms, woke up not being able to breath.
MikeSSS  [Member]
11/13/2007 1:10:39 AM
You can get an overnight sleep apnea test. I got one, turned out I stopped breathing for over 7 seconds...once every 41 seconds.

Sleep apnea interrupts your sleep and makes you reluctant to sleep but it also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by a large amount. SA is serious stuff.

If stomach fluid comes up and you inhale it your lungs can be chemically burned. Hiatal hernia can cause this, I think. The surgery for hiatal hernia has a lot of risks.

There is a machine called a CPAP machine. You wear a mask over your nose and it keeps an air pressure level a bit above ambient pressure on your respiratory system when you breathe. It keeps your airway inflated so you don't get that obstructive sleep apnea and it also prevents the stomach fluids coming up into your mouth and being inhaled.

Got a CPAP a few years ago and now I can sleep. I don't fall asleep at the wheel all the time. It's wonderful to have refreshing sleep after decades of having none and sleep apnea sleep is not refreshing.

When I'm driving cross country the CPAP lives behind the passenger seat plugged into a surge protector that is plugged into an inverter. If I get sleepy I just pull into a truck stop or rest area, strap on the mask, flip the switch, recline the seat and sleep for a while. No more driving drowsy.

CPAP can extend your life by decades if you actually need one. A sleep test will quickly find out if you do need it. They ain't cheap but they are worth it. Some people who get them won't use them so if you need one you might find one a lot cheaper than new.
webtaz99  [Team Member]
11/13/2007 1:37:51 AM

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
It was a succubus.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

We haaaaave a winnah!

Your only hope is to find who sent it and kill them.
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