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Does anyone randomly stop breathing during the day?

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ConsiderateEmeraldBison5389 +1 point · over 1 year ago Original Poster

HI fellow apnea sufferers i am here looking for some answers & i am hoping this will be the place where i may get some. So i was curious to know if anyone ever stops breathing during the day (while awake)? I do and it happens more than once in a day! In fact when it happens i don't start back on my own like how it stopped but i become aware f lack of breath & then i start breathing again. My 11 yr old son experiences the same thing & we both snore.

I have been told by my cousin when i was little girl & my husband since we've been together that i make sounds of choking while i have slept. I do not know if this has ever happened to my boy. I've never heard it but it could still be happening. I do not use any contraptions to aid in the sleep apnea, nor do i know which apnea i have. I have been diagnosed but i cannot afford a cpap machine. I believe i could never wear it anyways since i have a phobias of suffocating & hate anything too close to my mouth & nose.

If anyone else has this happen have you ever found out if it is related to apnea? Or does it have to do with something else entirely?

Anything i can learn from others here will be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time :-)

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wiredgeorge -1 point · over 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Not breathing during the day probably isn't a healthy habit to get into. You have been diagnosed with SLEEP APNEA but the daytime breathing stops may not be related. Certainly apnea is defined as breathing stops but in the case of sleep apnea, it is a mechanical issue of sorts where the airway gets blocked. You will likely do better talking to your doctor about the daytime episodes.

If you were diagnosed with sleep apnea, you didn't give any details but sounds like you have made your mind up to not seek therapy. A used CPAP machine on Craigs list is fairly inexpensive in many cases and not wanting to undertake therapy due to a supposition you won't like to wear a mask is your decision as it is your health. Again, you might want to speak with a medical professional for alternatives to CPAP if you have real issues with a mask. There are also ways to get help with CPAP for those that can't afford it if they want to pursue that avenue. Good luck.

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EasygoingSpringGreenLlama2172 +0 points · 11 months ago

This happens to me too. While asleep and awake. I always attributed the sleeping issue with possibly having sleep apnea but I could never grasp what is causing it to happen while I am awake. It's not often but it does happen from time to time. Did you ever figure out what's causing your issue?

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wiredgeorge -1 point · 11 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Ten months ago and not another post from the OP. Perhaps someone else will have some insight. This is definitely something that should be discussed with your doctor.

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QuietYellowZebra9670 +1 point · 10 months ago

Yes. I hold my breath without realizing, when I do things during the day. I believe it's from my anxiety. When I realize, I have to really concentrate on my breathing, and tell my self to deep breathe. I know this may sound crazy, but I really do believe it stems from when I was little, and became frightened, and would just hold my breath. I have anxiety and panic attacks. I believe this is the reason I do it. I know I will eventually realize it, by feeling like I'm going to pass out. I'm a shallow breather also. Most people breath so the air reaches their lower stomach. My breathing in just in my chest (shallow breather). I'm just glad to hear, that other people do it also.

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SensitiveLark +0 points · 9 months ago

I am happy to know I am not the only one. I too hold my breath during the day, held my breath when I was little, am a shallow breather, suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

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tiamarie +0 points · about 2 months ago

I also sometimes need to concentrate on my breathing. I will stop, and then realize I was holding my breath. I have suffered from anxiety and PTSD for most of my life. I also have sleep apnea, and on CPAP therapy. I felt so good reading this, and knowing it's not just me :)

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MarkHanson +2 points · 10 months ago

This happens to me when I am in an unintentionally meditative state. I have read about this happening to folks practicing yoga but I am not a practitioner, just a thoughtful person. I notice this and after it happened a few times I was able to calm myself and not see this as dangerous. BUT I suspect it is. I am not worried and trust that if I stay in that state I will take a breath soon enough. And so far I have. Probably not the best attitude but that is mine.

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Farther +0 points · 8 months ago

This is a good description of what happens to me too. Occasionally I will have to tell myself to breathe. However, it never happens when I am exercising or otherwise exerting myself. I wonder if is like central apnea only while awake or is there an otherwise "official" name for this awake hypopnea?

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Varmit +0 points · 8 months ago

Have had your daytime experience for quite awhile and really enjoyed the meditative atmosphere. Then an experienced Yoga instructor told me it is not healthy and have stopped the intentional non-breathing. However, I find that at times, I have to "manually" restart or focus on breathing for a breath or two. I've wondered if it's possible to overwhelm this automatic response just as it's possible to by-pass the gag reflex.

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LitaPintobeen +0 points · 3 months ago

Unintentional meditative state is right. Totally involuntary.

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jnk +0 points · 9 months ago

Serious untreated OSA can damage the body's ability to monitor and regulate breathing at night, and that sometimes gets serious enough to damage its ability to monitor breathing during the day, too. Thus the pauses.

If you gasp or choke at night, you need a sleep study.

Untreated OSA can also at times be the cause of a suffocation phobia, so treating the OSA with a CPAP mask can actually solve that instead of making it worse, contrary to common belief. You just force yourself to use the CPAP long enough for your brain to accept the mask as something that prevents suffocation sensations rather than causing them.

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Tom +0 points · 8 months ago

I believe it’s called sleep apnea for a reason it happens when you sleep. As for during the day that would be something really serious.

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S2S +0 points · 8 months ago

I did stop breathing during the day, but only at the point when I was so tired I was barely functioning. I would catch myself stopping breathing, then start again with a jump. It has been reported a few times, but not after treatment has started. I honestly thought I was close to dying before I finally got a sleep study done and got a machine home next day. They thought it was so serious that I needed a machine right away. The consultant showed me the readout and the graph and said it was the most serious he had ever seen. However, I also responded the best he had ever seen,, so it had just built up until I couldn't function very well. I have never stopped breathing during the day since after a couple of weeks on the machine.

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Shuteye +0 points · 7 months ago

I find myself having to "manually" or consciously breath when I wake up in the middle of the night and periodically do the same during the day. Very unsettling.

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S2S +0 points · 7 months ago

Yes, it is like you just forget to breath, then your brain suddenly realises you are not breathing. You have to make yourself breath. When this happens it makes you think, what if you delayed breathing for a few seconds more? Would you still have the sense to make yourself breathe? Makes you think!

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theMezz +1 point · 7 months ago

I've experienced the same thing and only had my CPAP a week

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Dan2019 +0 points · 7 months ago

I don't have sleep apnea. I only have the problem of "forgetting " to breathe during the day. I went to my Dr because I thought it might be COPD or heart trouble but nothing wrong with me. Could be anxiety but there is no reason I can think of. But conclusion is it must be psychological. Is that it? Nothing can be done?

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S2S +0 points · 7 months ago

It can be just the brain forgetting to send your body the signal to breathe. I used to do this when I was tired or had just lost interest and drifted off into a world of my own. Then I would realise I was not breathing and start again with a gasp or a jolt and a little bit of a panic sometimes, but I could do this without anyone noticing.

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airspree +0 points · 7 months ago

Years ago when I was scuba diving I would always outlast every diving partner I had. We would have to surface when they ran low on oxygen and I usually had a lot of time left, so I considered it a positive thing to be a slow and shallow breather. I forgot about it over the years but recently noticed that I still breath quite slowly when I am engrossed with something I'm reading. My exhales will be extended and sometimes I would realize that I had stopped and remind myself to breathe in. I've recently been diagnosed with Afib and Sleep Apnea. Stop breathing 23x per hour. I wonder if it isn't just very very slow breathing? 10 sec before starting to inhale, is that considered a long time?

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sleeptech +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Commentator

If it is so slow that your oxygen level is dipping significantly between breaths then it would be scored as central apnoea on your study. If your were breathing that slowly it would also be bad for you. However, your breathing when you are asleep is governed by a different mechanism than when your are awake, so the two are probably not related. If your events were obstructive then it's nothing to do with your respiratory rate.

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InternetRandom +0 points · 6 months ago

What you may have is central apnea instead of obstructive apnea. Central apnea can affect a person during the day, with lapses in breathing or very shallow breathing because of lack of signaling from the brain, while obstructive apnea is significantly less likely to occur while awake, as obstruction mostly happens due to muscle relaxation and lack of awareness due to unconsciousness. You should get a referral to a pulmonologist or a neurologist for assessment, as most "sleep labs" are for sleep related issues only

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doctorlulu +0 points · 6 months ago

I don't stop breathing during the day, but my wife hasn't given up all hope.

Found this:

Your autonomic nervous system, a.k.a. Dysautonomia, is the part of your nervous system that controls involuntary actions, such as the beating of your heart and the widening or narrowing of your blood vessels. When something goes wrong in this system, it can cause serious problems, including

Blood pressure problems Heart problems Trouble with breathing and swallowing

Autonomic nervous system disorders can occur alone or as the result of another disease, such as Parkinson's disease, alcoholism and diabetes. Problems can affect either part of the system, as in complex regional pain syndromes, or all of the system. When they affect your breathing or heart function, these disorders can be life-threatening.

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dgingeri +0 points · 6 months ago

I do. I get really involved with solving problems or planning computer infrastructure design, and will frequently hold my breath without meaning to, and then take a big breath in and out to kind of catch up on my O2 levels. My coworkers have commented on my "frequent sighing" due to this habit. It's not intentional. It's just me being me.

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shanelybrothah +0 points · 6 months ago

My case involves having to be conscious of my breathing most of the time and I've also been experiencing multiple episodes a day. While having an episode, it would usually go along together with the feeling of weakness, loss of balance, the feeling of delayed body movement, and inability to swallow. With regards to the delayed body movement, it would always be as if I would move my body but only feel the action itself milliseconds later. It's horrible. My head feels heavy and if I move around too much, I get nauseous. I'm only 16 and I fear that I suffer from some deeper neurological disorder, besides CSA. Please guide me.

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shanelybrothah +0 points · 6 months ago

I've considered going to a doctor for diagnosis but due to living in a third-world country, it's a pain to go spend money on overpriced appointments so I was hoping if there are any opinions I could get here such as a means of self-diagnosis perhaps? My parents are informed of the symptoms I'm feeling but I really don't want to stress them too much. I hope someone understands the situation.

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KiwiKat82 +0 points · 4 months ago

So sorry to hear about this suffering you’re going through. I spent a lot of my youth with very strange symptoms like these, I still have issues at times. That delayed movement you described is exactly what I experienced the few times I tried to smoke pot. It scared me terribly and I would cry so I know it must be awful. Ultimately I have had a severe anxiety disorder that has manifested in bizarre physical ways. I came here today looking for answers about a ringing in my ears upon exertion or strong emotion. I had all kinds of tests done, but no neurological test yet. I found that I hold my breath constantly to the point where my breathing reflex seems like it’s literally involuntarily malfunctioning. and I am wondering if that could be the culprit.

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mktorresd95 +0 points · 5 months ago

Does anyone here suffer from Hashimoto's disease or from hypothyroid while having the what I am calling 'Walking Apnea'? Since it happens while you are awake. I suffered from Hashimoto's disease and have had the stop breathing part since I was in elementary school. I would like to know if anyone else has the same thing going on. If not just move along.

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