Forum · No Dx but struggling most days

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[-] ConvivialWhiteHummingbird8200 +1 point · about 1 year ago

Hi everyone! I came across this site while researching what may be wrong with me . I had a sleep study done a few months ago which was negative. But most nights I wake up several times and am either gasping for air or feel as though I've been holding my breath. My heart is pounding and sometimes I just feel awful. More often, however, I am having dreams of drowning, or holding my breath while a big wave is coming, or laughing so hard I can't breathe or I can barely breathe under water...the list goes on and on. I don't snore, or at least if I do, that's not my problem, but when I read about central sleep apnea, it was like a light went off. That seems to fit my symptoms of shallow breathing (dreaming I'm under water and as long as I don't breathe too deeply I can do it) and the not breathing at all.

I think this sounds like a crazy person, but I hope someone out there can understand what I'm talking about and tell me where to go for help. The sleep study was negative and I'm not surprised. I don't believe I do this every night, but I would say about half of the time. The doctor didn't seem to treat anything except regular sleep apnea with a cpap.

Do those of you with central or mixed apnea do this on a nightly basis? Given my description above, does it sound like this may be what I have? I'm a generally healthy woman who is very active eats pretty healthy and doesn't smoke. I also suffer in the mornings from headaches but sometimes they last all day. I am being treated for TMD with a mouthpiece but it hasn't proven to stop the headaches, etc. I really need help. I never feel rested... If anyone out there can offer any advice, I would appreciate it! Thanks!

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[-] Sleep +1 point · about 1 year ago

Hello ConvivialWhiteHummingbird8200, Welcome to MyApnea! Most sleep studies will check for central apneas, so if your test was negative then it appears that not a significant amount of those were found. While your sleep can vary night to night, it is possible that this is something that perhaps you don't do every night and may have not been present the night of your study. Sometimes people can also have sleep apnea that is positional, such as when you sleep on your back, apneas worsen, or it can be related to a stage of sleep, such as REM sleep, which is the type of sleep most associated with dreaming. If you never feel rested, I would recommend discussing this with either the sleep doctor or your primary care physician. It would be interesting to see what your sleep study reported for the number of awakenings during the study, the total sleep time, the sleep efficiency (how much of the study was sleep), and the number of arousals- which can interrupt your sleep and perhaps cause you to feel unrefreshed.

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[-] ConvivialWhiteHummingbird8200 +1 point · about 1 year ago

Thank you for your reply. Do you think I should see a neurologist/sleep specialist instead of a pulmonology/sleep specialist? I had a very hard time relaxing there and didn't feel it was a typical nights rest, but I did sleep. My daughter says I don't snore and she sleeps with me every night. I typically am either on my side and then wake up repeatedly on my back . The dreaming of choking or holding my breath has happened in both positions. I feel so awful every morning and don't know where to turn.

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[-] Sleep +1 point · about 1 year ago

Sure. Did you have a followup visit in the sleep physician's office to go over the results of your study? Or were the results just relayed to you over the phone? I am just wondering because a full study in a sleep lab can give you a good amount of information on your sleep, not just if you have apnea or not. You probably didn't have a typical nights sleep at the sleep lab, most people don't. A thorough sleep doctor (both pulmonary and neurologists) will be able to review your study and report and be able to see how the quality of your sleep was. If you feel that you are never rested and it bothers you, I would suggest being persistent with the doctors. Whether it is calling the sleep doctor or perhaps your primary care doctor to say that despite you being negative for apnea, you still don't feel rested, and see what they advise. Good luck.

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