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Can't Fall Asleep Due to Constant Choking

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Stevef +0 points · over 3 years ago Original Poster

Hi all,

I will summarise my situation in bullet points.

  • I suffer from OSA, which has worsened over the past few years, as I have gained more weight.
  • I had an in-hospital sleep study done 3 years ago, however that night (Murphy's Law) I had the best sleep of my life, and the test therefore only showed an AHI of 12, whereby previous in-home sleep studies showed between 32 and 36. I believe it is way more now.
  • I tried to onboard onto an APAP machine, however could not get used to it.
  • I have 3 problems:
  • "Usual" OSA, which also causes loud snoring and disturbance of my wife, even when I lie on my side.
  • Sleep onset apnea. Although not officially diagnosed, I have trouble falling asleep (been persisting on an off for 5 years) whereby as I am about to transition from an awake state to an asleep state, I stop breathing, and have to wake up to breathe, therefore being alert, and having to start the whole sleep transition process over again. This is really torturous, can persist for hours, and can usually only be address by taking a sleeping pill. It is unknown as to whether this is an obstructive problem or a central problem. When I was onboarding onto the APAP, the machine did not help at all with this problem.
  • Staying asleep. Until recently, once asleep, I only used to wake up once or twice to use the bathroom, and then was able to return to sleep fairly easily. Lately however, I have difficulty returning to sleep, and it seems to be related to point 2, however it feels more obstructive now. In other words, as I am able to transition from an awake state to an asleep state, I end up choking, and then have to breathe and become alert again, and restart the sleep transition process again. This also keeps recurring, often for hours.

I consulted a sleep specialist here, and he advised that I should try the machine again, which I am willing to do, but concerned that it will not address all of my problems. I also am starting to diet and exercise to lose weight.

Would appreciate any thoughts, or sharing of experiences that may assist.

Thanks, Steve

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wiredgeorge +1 point · over 3 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

If the doc wants you to use the machine, you should likely insist on another in-clinic sleep study and titration. Sounds like the metrics for setting the machine up have changed in three years. Good luck!

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sleeptech +1 point · over 3 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I agree (to the surprise of no one). Especially in an instance where there are possible complicating factors, an in-lab titration is definitely the way to get the best results.

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CPAPUser +0 points · over 3 years ago

I, too, felt like I was choking when using my CPAP machine. A technician at the CPAP clinic advised me to wear the machine when sitting in a chair - reading, or watching TV, not sleeping. That really helped me get used to the machine. Now I wear it only to sleep , and I actually have a hard time sleeping without it.

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