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Does anyone randomly stop breathing during the day?

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Nightmare +0 points · about 4 years ago

Wow! “Sighing,” I sigh and had never thought of that as a ‘sign’!

Read James Franklin’s [i]The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal[/i], about when signs were evidence and two witnesses of sufficient stature was ‘proof’. This is the ‘proof’ that was lacking to convict Jesus.

I sigh, and am confirming a diagnosis of Central SA as I have written elsewhere here.

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LitaPintobeen +0 points · almost 4 years ago

I'm having episodes while I'm engulfed in reading your responses. It does have something to do with being in a meditative state, which is something that people with anxiety or anger issues have adopted as a calming mechanism. We just gotta learn to reel it back in when it's not necessary. If I can find a link for more information I'll post it.

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Presto +0 points · almost 4 years ago

Hello you all, sorry about my poor english, but it´s not my main language.

I don´t know if I will say something different, but I had some episodes and would like to share my two cents. I think the episodes were because I was so sleepy during the day due to apnea, that I almost fall asleep. Since I get along with CPAP and start to sleep 6 hour or more*, it didn´t happen anymore.

*Like many others, I had anxiety crisis in this journey (for multiple factors, CPAP use included). When doctor gave me an anxiolytic, it was the first time I could sleep more than 6 hours with cpap.

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totor55 +0 points · 7 months ago

Hello, so my story, at least the part up to now:

Problem Now, about 10 years ago, I started to develop alarming symptoms, such as BPPV (Begning Paroxysmal Vertigo, where crystals in your inner ear start moving and your eyes are shifting very quickly), headaches and migraines. After an alarming initial diagnostic of brain cancer, I was cleared, but told that interestingly my brain looked 15 years older than my age (white spots). Since then, I have had symptoms such as memory loss, loss of speech, inability to focus, all in episodes, and a lot of them early in the morning.

Then two things occurred:

  1. I started waking up in the middle of the night, with increasing frequency, with a massive pain the back of the head, around 3-4 ish. I would, if I moved, feel a sort of tingling / burning sensation.
  2. After having owned a fitness monitor to verify the quality of my sleep (Whoop) that confirmed that my sleep was close to ideal - I moved to a different tracker (for completely different reasons), the fenix 6 pro which has an SPO2 monitor. To be brutally honest, I only turned on the SPO2 because I am a little bit of a geek and wanted all the functions on my gadget to work. Even though I did not think much of it, as I would not trust its accuracy.

By total accident, after worst episodes of migraines and bad sleep for 2 weeks, I opened the application on SPO2 records. I was totally shocked to discover that the watch had recorded my SPO2 level to drop to as low as 82% exactly at the time I would wake up.

I did two things:

  1. I went to the doctor, and I am now referred to a neurologist as very likely to have another brain cancer scan - but at least provided me with a medication which improves blood flow
  2. I bought a medical grade oxymeter, one that sits on the wrist but has an extension to the finger

I set the limit of oxygen at 90% which is I think when brain lack of oxygen is really bad. The device woke me up about six times the first night, and every time, all I had to do is breathe, for everything to go back to normal. My level of oxygen was nearly all night below 95%.

So with a bit more research, it is rather bad news, as I probably have central apnea (I don't snore, I am not overweight) so something is confusing the feedback loop, probably putting pressure on me brainstem.

Pity is takes 3 weeks to see a neurologist, as it is quite stressful.

to be continued

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Sierra +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Patron

Have you been checked for sleep apnea? There are in lab and at home tests that can be done. In lab is more comprehensive and may be best in your case. A home is less intimidating and more comfortable. Apnea certainly would be consistent with low oxygen saturation numbers.

There are two basic kinds of apnea. Most have obstructive apnea where the airway blocks off air flow. The other apnea is when the body simply stops breathing, That is central apnea or clear airway apnea.

If you have central apnea and no obstructive apnea a basic CPAP is not going to work well. But there are ASV machines which detect when you are making no effort to breathe and they kick in to provide assistance.

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totor55 +0 points · 7 months ago

, I did more research. Most services to detect are doing what I did with my oxymeter. I might still book a test to ensure the neurologist is looking at proven data.

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Sierra +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Patron

A lab sleep study does much more than an oximeter, but they do measure oxygen saturation as well. See this article:

What Happens in a Sleep Study

A simpler study can be done at home. It does not monitor as many things, but does include an oximeter as well. The one I had was a kit from Phillips called Alice NightOne.

With your issues the main thing you are looking for is a record of when you stop breathing, for how long, and whether or not the airway is obstructed or clear. A CPAP machine does that, but it also provides treatment pressure at the same time which changes the outcomes.

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totor55 +0 points · 7 months ago

Thank you for that, I think I will first get an MRI and from there go to the sleep clinic - or not, if the MRI gives bad news.

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CyrusManz +0 points · 7 months ago

I have no clue about your other symptoms but your sleeping pattern, drop in SpO2 etc, sounds very much like Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) symptoms. Once you get a polysomnography done, this would be confirmed however like other people have already said, a normal CPAP won't help you. You will need a ASV PAP machine. In my experience the Philips-Respironics BiPAP Auto SV is the best, however you may have reservations about its recall, in which case the only other choice is a Resmed AirCurve ASV which will soon be discontinued for a more expensive model.

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CyrusManz +0 points · 7 months ago

".....So i was curious to know if anyone ever stops breathing during the day (while awake)? ......."

Without a doubt this has been the most curious question I have ever come across (unless one suffers from apnea and sleeps during the day). Respiratory function is different to some other physiological functions in that it is controlled both, voluntarily and involuntarily. For example you cannot voluntarily stop hearing sounds or seeing images (as long as you are wide awake and not under influence of drugs, of course), but you can voluntarily stop breathing, which means you can voluntarily stop your brain stem from sending a respiratory signal to your diaphragm for the expansion of your lungs, through the Phrenic nerve.

However when a cessation of breathing occurs (whether or not it is voluntary while you are awake ( "during the day" ), or it is an involuntary cessation while you sleep like in the case of "Central Apnea" ), your brain will automatically attempt to OVERRIDE this cessation of respiration, after a few seconds, which is why you can only "HOLD YOUR BREATH" intentionally, for so long before your brain overrides your action and takes over, EVEN if you are under water without an oxygen mask, which is why the lungs of drowning victims fill with water (main cause of death by drowning).

So back to your question, there is no known reasons for anyone to involuntarily stop breathing while they are awake and even if they do stop breathing involuntarily, the body will override it after a few seconds, without the person even feeling it. So its not like "Oh, jeez, I forgot to breath again, what should I do now?" :-)

In conclusion: There is no such a thing as a day-time awake Central Apnea.:-) But if you think you have day-time apnea, you need to see a specialist of some kind to look into this phenomenon.

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totor55 +0 points · 7 months ago

I would love you to be right, but I am living proof you are wrong. If I understand what I read correctly, it is complex: breathing is controlled by a feedback loop measuring oxygen in blood all the way to controlling the muscles required to breathe. Along this chain, many elements can be confused, and the result of the chain is no longer working. For example, the measure of oxygen in your blood can be wrong. I dont know yet what I have, but I now know that even during the day, my level of oxygen drops below 90%, all the way down to 80%. And just to make sure I set this straight: yes, it has happened many times to me over the past ten years when working, all the sudden I had typical pain of CO2 in my lungs (like when running with insufficient breathing), and realised I had not taken a breath for a bit of time, so "Oh, jeez, I forgot to breath again". After ten years, this time I will get to the bottom of this.

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CyrusManz +0 points · 7 months ago

OK, so now we are talking:-) So your SpO2 drops during the day and you think that it is because you stop breathing (according to what I can gather from your last post).

There is however a wide area of science that can explain why your SpO2 drops, other than forgetting to breath enough during the day.

Impairment in gas exchange or ventilation/perfusion mismatches are the most common causes of low SpO 2 in daily routine in pulmonary medicine.

Low Spo2 without other symptoms could signal the onset of COPD, for example.

You need to see a specialist who will start you off with . Arterial blood gas analysis (yes not only Oxygen but also your CO2 should be tested) and then depending on what they find, you can be referred to a more focused specialist.

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totor55 +0 points · 7 months ago

that is what I am doing, consulting specialists

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CyrusManz +0 points · 7 months ago

That's the way to go. "Forgetting to breath" while awake, is really not a thing . There are however a lot of other (scientific) causes for your low Blood Oxygen saturation .

Good luck and let's hope it is not serious .

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Sierra +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Patron

You may find this article in the blog section at MyApnea of interest. It is written by Robert Thomas, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. From this article and others, it seems that the body mainly uses CO2 in the blood not O2 to control breathing. Probably CO2 is more sensitive than O2 in determining whether we are breathing to fast or too slow. My theory in this whole issue of central and complex sleep apnea is that there may be a number of different root causes, like heart failure, drugs (opioids or similar), and altitude, but the problem manifests itself in a control system instability or failure. In the case of low blood circulation the system gets out of sync with breathing rate and CO2. Then it becomes like a poorly performing cruise control in a car. You hit a bit of a hill, the car slows down, and the cruise after a delay give the engine more gas. If this delay is too long then, you may be going down the other side of the hill by the time it gives more gas, and then the speed goes too high, starting the cycle all over again. I see this effect quite clearly in my SleepyHead graphs. An obstructive apnea event happens spontaneously, and like the hill in the cruise control analogy that starts an unstable control system response which then results in one or more central apnea events.

I have not heard of apnea during the day to be an issue, but a number have reported sleep onset apnea. But, I have never seen it documented on a SleepyHead or OSCAR graph. In your case I would be worried about apnea during sleep as I suspect during the day it may be unpleasant but is self correcting at some point. In any case here is a link to the article.

Complex Sleep Apnea - A Patient’s Introduction

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totor55 +0 points · 7 months ago

thank you

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