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Old 08-21-2001, 08:21 AM   #1
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janedoe321 HB User
Unhappy Loss of Breath, when falling asleep

Hi. I have always had some kind of sleep 'disorder', usually always within the first 30 minutes of falling asleep...Either I'd wake up with my heart beating extremely fast, (as if I was very scared of something),
or wake-up not knowing where I was at. Now, it seems that just when I'm getting ready to doze off, I lose my breath, which in-turn, wakes me back up. I will do this for hours. It's as if I'm trying to fall asleep, but just when I'm going into deep sleep, I end up gasping. Also, it seems I do this more if I have eaten late (or alot)....& it also seems to happen the week before I 'start'??? http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif Anyone ever heard of this?? Thanks for any input.

 
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Old 08-21-2001, 05:52 PM   #2
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I have experienced the same symptoms! Actually, it feels as if I just walked up ten flights of stairs and I'm short of breath. I have never had any trouble falling asleep--just the opposite. I can sleep at any time of the day. I have never heard of anyone with those symptoms before. If you get any answers, let me know!

 
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Old 08-23-2001, 03:22 AM   #3
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pacemaker HB User
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Janedoe321 & Amy:
You might want to check with your Doc's about
doing a sleep study to see if you have sleep
apnea

 
Old 08-28-2001, 09:26 AM   #4
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I agree with pacemaker. My uncle has sleep apnea and it is a very serious disorder. He never got into deep sleep and was always tired and very dangerous when driving. He got a mask that he wears to sleep in and it forces air in and keeps him breathing normal. Some people require lifestyle changes i.e. diet, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol. This has changed his life and he is feeling much better. I urge you to chech it out with your doctor to find your answers.
Take care,
1stBarbi

 
Old 09-02-2001, 10:35 PM   #5
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Dear JaneDoe,
I am experiencing exactly the same thing. As I am falling asleep my breath feels like it is literally sucked out of me and within two seconds I get the feeling you get after holding your breath for 45 seconds.
It started in the middle of the night, I would wake up in terror because I wasn't breathing, and it wasn't like something was obstructing my air passages it felt as though my brain forgot to tell my lungs to breath. Each time I am awakened by this problem from a deep sleep I always have about two very terrifying seconds were I feel like I will die. As soon as I can breath I take in a huge gasp of air.
But now besides dealing with this problem when falling asleep and in the middle of the night it is happening to me in the daytime. Many times during the day actually. I am getting pretty scared. I also have perpherial neuropathy in my hands, legs, feet and face, so I am concerned that it is something neurological going on. I also wonder if it could be from GRD, I have that too and it has progressed to Barrett's.
I left this message under neuropathy topic as well but as of now no response.
I can't tell you how great it is to find someone else with the problem. I haven't slept in three nights, just took a Xanax, so guess I will either sleep tonight or suffocate.
Maybe it is just stress and we will have this conquered in no time.
I too am waken from my sleep from a 'scared heart' feeling, I wake to the feeling you get when something scares the you know what out of you. Like my heart stopped for a second then took off in a rapid beat. I have done that consequtively early in my sleep, maybe 5 times in ten minutes. That just started.
Let's keep in touch and share info. I will get back to you after I see a neurologist, but don't know when that will, just moved out of state, just had a death in the family, and my son is getting married in week. Good luck to you.
Hope to hear from you soon.

[This message has been edited by SuzyB (edited 09-03-2001).]

[This message has been edited by SuzyB (edited 09-03-2001).]

 
Old 09-03-2001, 11:48 PM   #6
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Sleepless in Brooklyn HB User
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To all you guys, I have been experiencing the same thing for about a year now. I am a smoker (a little more than a pack a day) and I always figured this problem was due to that. My heart will pound very rapidly, and it's almost as if I start hyperventilating. If any of you guys find out any info on this very annoying occurance, please post it.
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Old 09-04-2001, 12:11 PM   #7
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janedoe321 HB User
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Hi everyone. Thanks for replying. To 'SuzyB' and 'Sleepless in Brooklyn', it is good to know I am not 'nuts'....my husband cannot understand what I am doing. I agree with "pacemaker' and '1stBarbi' in that we do need to go to a sleep clinic to get this checked out. I'm afraid that I will not do any of the symptoms the night I have to stay over, as I do this so spiratically (sp)....It is very scary. I have heard of sleep apnea, as a friend of mine was diagnosed with this. He quit breathing over 70X the night he stayed over. I'm unaware if I do that or not. I mainly have the problem of losing my breath before even falling asleep (or actually while "trying" to fall into deep sleep)...Very unusual, but as I see, I am not alone-- Thanks again for letting me know. I will keep in touch, especially if I find out anything. I will post it on here. Anyone else, please do the same. Take care all!

 
Old 12-13-2001, 02:57 AM   #8
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pacemaker HB User
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Hey Jandoe321 :
I have done 3 sleep studys the 1st & 2nd
were a bust did not sleep much but was told
that I have RLS & Sleep Apena I now use a CPAP
machine It seems to help Take care
Merry Christmas
Pacemaker

 
Old 12-26-2001, 12:26 AM   #9
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I too suffer from this on occasions. I am just about to fall asleep and jerk awake, my heart pounding and I think I am about to die. Its so frightening. I think its my stomach then I think its my heart jumping. I stopped eating chocs, stopped eating/drinking tea after 6pm and just don't know what is causing it. I owuld be very interested in reading any more replies as its a real worry.

 
Old 12-26-2001, 01:47 AM   #10
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I have been doing this for almost 10 years now.
This came on around the same time I was diagnosed with Anxiety.
These spells really suck when you have an early morning wake up call as they can keep you dosing and jerking all night long.
I dont condone drinking alcohol by any means but I used a nightcap as a sure fire way to get rid of it. Then I realised that even the nightcap wouldnt work, if I was EXPECTING these episodes to happen. They happened anyway.
Most people who suffer from this view their bed as a torture chamber. Even going into the bedroom and seeing your bed can give you a feeling of doom during the day!
Best advise from experience is to go to sleep as relaxed as possible, and dont force yourself to sleep.
A T.V. in the background turned down to a low volume also helps.
The racing heart symptoms can be frightening enough to make you wake your spouse (again) just to make sure they are alert enough to dial 911 in case you cant!
I have noticed with my problem, there is a slight tickle in the throat which induces an automatic reaction to cough. When you do this in your sleep, it is restrained and the cough becomes so weak it temporarily blocks air.
I notice this tickle in the throat, deep down during the day when I sit down at work, when I am really exhausted. It makes me cough the cough doesnt seem to relieve anything.
I take an ACE inhibitor (blood presure medicene), and that is one of the side effects....but I wasnt taking it 10 years ago when this all started!
Just putting in my two cents worth.
Good luck everyone.
D@N
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Old 12-31-2001, 12:16 AM   #11
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D@N
I know what you mean about waking your spouse !!!!! I love my bed and normally don't have any trouble falling asleep as I always read before going to sleep. When I jerk awake with pounding heart I know I panic and just can't settle so I sit up and read some more. It happens again and again all night till the early hours but I am so tired. I get really shivery and feel so cold as if my blood sugar levels have dropped so I get a cup of sweet tea. I don't know if this helps any.
My doc has never heard of this and has suggested sleeping pills but it doesn't happen so often that I feel the need for drugs. There is just no pattern to this happening, it comes out of the blue. The next night I sleep no bother till the next time

 
Old 01-07-2002, 05:54 PM   #12
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I have this horrible sleep problem also. I fall asleep fine but within minutes it seems my body makes me jump up desperately from bed sometimes taking my covers & dog with me. It seems like I can't breath. Sometimes I think it's coming from my stomach. This goes on all night, every couple of minutes. As soon as I start to fall into any kind of deep sleep I stop myself for some reason & jump up violently. My husband even tried to hold me down and I feel desperate to jump out of the bed and land on the floor. I have black N blue marks all over me from banging into the bed and nightstand. Sometimes I'll go for a few weeks without this then it starts up again. I'm exhuasted from literally not sleeping all night.
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Old 01-07-2002, 07:57 PM   #13
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Chris, you sound worse than me and thank goodness I don't have a dog. Have you spoken with your doctor about this ?
I wonder if it has something to do with my hormones as I am perimenopausal but then I blame everything on hormones Are you in that age group for this ? I do have trouble with my stomach and take Losec but I really don't know what is causing this jumping. It bothers me so much. I can go weeks without it happening too but then back it comes again out of the blue.

 
Old 01-27-2002, 01:27 PM   #14
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I had the same problem before my Pulmonologist ordered a sleep study done. I was found to have sleep apnea. What happens is we quit breathing, then our brain "wakes" us up to breathe. We may do this over and over again all night long. I had over 40 complete apneas during the study. It's no wonder we are so tired the next day. This also causes oxygen deprevation. Giving me headaches, and severe fatigue the next day.

I have been on CPAP which is called continous positive air pressure. This keeps the airways open allowing me to breathe properly.

Please get to a Doctor right away. You are at a high risk for strokes and heart attacks. If your Dr. won't order you a sleep study or won't take this seriously, find one who will. I believe neurologist also handle this.

 
Old 01-27-2002, 01:31 PM   #15
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Susy B,

I'm concerned about you. Please don't take Zanax. At least not before you go to bed. This will relax your muscles and you will have more trouble breathing. Have you had your visit with your neurologist? What did he say? How are you now?

Let me know, I care.

 
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