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Is it sleep apnea?

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Greetings everyone , newbie here. It's difficult to put in words what I am describing.let me try. I'm in late 40, obese male. I have these bouts of breathlessness in sleep which I am going to talk about, point wise.

1) I never sleep on my back , since childhood I have habbit of sleeping on my stomach, that too on my right cheek.

2) I get this episodes of breathlessness very sporadic, say once in month or so.

3) I have observed the frequency slightly increases in winters or when I have lots of mucus in my nose way. Like couple of days back, I must have caught some allergies or so, my nose is full of mucus, and I keep swallowing it. Yesterday night I had the attack.

4) here's how I feel exactly during the episode. As if I am totally paralysed, not able to move my body, to breathe I try to lift my neck-it feels like Im trying to move a mountain.(remember, I m sleeping on my cheek). Somehow after repeated attempts I move it and manage to breathe. There is a dull ache in my right neck muscles after waking up.

6)my immediate thoughts are this is the end, I am going to die unless I move my paralysed body. There is a dream sequence triggered wherein I am clawing, hitting , screeming at my wife sleeping besides me to shake my paralysed body so I can breathe.

7) weird but the actual feeling of breathlessness is quite pleasant, almost intoxicating, like sinking.

8) besides I remember very often the apneas are triggered when my wife, who is on heavier side, say puts her leg or arm on my body during sleep. I still remember when my kid was small, I was sleeping as usual on my stomach, she was playing , she sat on my back and I stopped breathing and paralysed. I was like screaming at her in dream to move, trying to shake her off. If she had sat for more time I would certainly have died.

I know my experiences may sound weird, but that's what I go through when I run out of breath sleeping. I have read many content on sleep apnea, yet to come across anything similar to me. So is it sleep apnea or something else.?

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snuzyQ +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I would check in with my primary care physician, if I were you, and just tell him/her that you're worried you might have obstructive sleep apnea and could you please have a sleep study. Only a physician may diagnose OSA. The best we can do here is to guess...and you need more than that.

The meaning of "apnea" is "without breath". Some signs of OSA might include having to get up a lot in the night to go pee, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, snoring at night (not everyone with sleep apnea snores), excessive movement of the body in your sleep and irritability and other mood problems, including depression and anxiety. There are many chronic health conditions associated with OSA.

If it is found, from your sleep study and from a doctor's diagnosis that you have obstructive sleep apnea, it would be in your best interest to get it treated ASAP.

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

You do have some concerning issues that should be checked out. I would suggest asking for a sleep study to see if it is apnea. The link below gives the typical symptoms. But the bottom line is that it is apnea when you stop breathing. Sounds like you may be doing that.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Oh,

But someone who has apnea doesn't he runs out of breath in sleep everyday?

Like I said it's one off in a month or when I get nasal congestion?

May be it's different category of apnea? And do people go through same experienes as I do, like inability to move, dreams etc.?

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Kinikea +0 points · over 2 years ago

Or... maybe you have apneas all the time but it is more pronounced when you are congested.

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

Unless you wake up from the apnea you are unlikely to know you had one. I was not convinced I had sleep apnea until I had a sleep study done. It detected 33 apnea events per hour were happening, and I was unaware of it.

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Oh but is there a chance of collapse breath way when sleeping on stomach. So what could be causing obstruction, or is it a case of central apnea probably.

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Ok Sierra, how is that test done? Like if I don't get any apnea on test day.Is it one session test?

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

There are a couple of different ways that the test is done. The more comprehensive test is done in a sleep lab where you go and sleep overnight with all kinds of wires and gadgets hooked up to you. The second method which is becoming more common in Canada is the at home overnight test, where you are given some equipment which you wear overnight while sleeping in your own bed at home. That is the system I was diagnosed with. The equipment is called the Phillips Alice NightOne, and the link below shows a video on how it is worn.

Phillips Alice NightOne Test

The test done in the sleep lab may be more appropriate for you as it seems more complicated than simple sleep apnea. However depending on insurance it may be expensive. Both will give you a count of the apnea events you experience, your oxygen levels, and what sleep position you were in when you had the apnea events.

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Kinikea +0 points · over 2 years ago

I think where you have your initial sleep study done depends on your insurance. I was listening to a radio show a few days ago and the sleep doc said that with Kaiser Insurance the initial study is done at home and followed up as necessary in the sleep lab. There was a sleep dentist on the show as well singing the praises of dental devices.

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snuzyQ +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

That's OK, but the sleep dentist is not supposed to install dental devices for apnea before the patient has had a sleep study and a medical professional (i.e. M.D.) has issued a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. A lot of patients don't understand this and think they have apnea (because they snore and because they're fatigued during the day) and go straight to the dentist to get a device because they don't want to mess with CPAP. The unresponsible dentists don't mind this at all and promptly give them what they are asking for. This is perfectly legal, by the way, but it is outside the ethics of responsible patient-centric care. Plus, it's dangerous, besides, for obvious reasons.

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Kinikea +0 points · over 2 years ago

So sorry, I must have not been clear. The radio program I was listening to had a moderator, a sleep doctor (MD) and a sleep dentist (DDS). The sleep doctor was working in conjunction with the sleep dentist. Where I live there is a large military population and the dental device works well for the men/women in the field without electricity. I guess someone needs to invent a solor CPAP machine.

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Ok . How about the experience which I wrote about. Like a feeling of paralysis etc. Did u all experience it too?

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snuzyQ +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

My husband experienced something similar, through watching me, in my days before CPAP, and in my sleep, suddenly stop breathing for over a minute and a half. When I came to, he was shouting over me and shaking me and tears were running down his face.

This was a life changer for me. I set up an appointment with my primary care physician for the very next day and CPAP became a part of my history after that.

icarus: You really don't have to go into detail with your doctor about what you have experienced in your sleep. I didn't. Just tell him/her that you're really worried that you might have sleep apnea. At the most, tell him/her that you've noticed your breathing gets all choked up in the night. That's true, isn't it? Or, tell him/her what your wife has reported to you (Often, these are the very best tip-offs for doctors). It's very inexpensive for these health insurance companies to allow a home sleep study (one night)...and then you will know exactly what you've got...or haven't got.

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Yeah she tells me I snore loud, but guess she never observed me choking, primarily may be I sleep on stomach. That question still remains. If the airway collapses when sleeping on back is there a possibility of it collapsing when sleeping on stomach?

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

In my opinion the airway is more likely to collapse when sleeping on your back, however I'm sure it can collapse when sleeping on your stomach as well. A sleep test is the way to find out.

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SleepDent +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. It is possible for the airway to collapse and to create sleep apnea in all sleeping positions.--- On the back, on the stomach, and sleeping on both sides. However, not every patient actually has airway collapse in all positions. Typically, sleep apnea is worst when sleeping on the back because the force of gravity is worst in that position. There is a variant of OSA called positional sleep apnea. This is when the patient had sleep apnea only when sleeping on the back, or when he has more apneas on the back than in the other positions in a ratio of at least two times as many. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D. The Naples Center for Dental Sleep Medicine. Practice partner, dental sleep medicine, The NCH Healthcare System, Practice partner, dental sleep medicine, The Millennium Physicians Group.

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icarus +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Ok, yesterday it happened again , my wife puts her leg on my back in sleep , and there I go, stopped breath, vigoursly trying to shake her leg off, first thought I'm going to die, this is the end. Once I manage to shake her off I breathe.

Guess that's not something in common with apnea. This triggering of breathlessness under weight, that's what I could never understand. May be some nerves in my back getting stressed or something like that.

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

There are two basic types of apnea; obstructive and central. Obstructive is essentially when the airway collapses, and their can be many causes and aggravating contributors. The central apnea occurs when the body just decides to stop breathing. It is less well understood, and again there can be many contributing factors. A sleep study would certainly give you a very good idea whether or not you are actually having apnea, or if it is something totally different.

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sleeptech +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

The way you describe being unable to move sounds like sleep paralysis. Not a lot can be done about that. If you also have sleep apnoea (which is quite likely) then treating it may just help. It's certainly worth getting checked out anyway.

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