Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

waking up gasping for air as I fall asleep (Page 4)

Must Read
We burp, belch and fart an average of 12 times a day. But why do we have gas? And what is intestinal gas?...the basics here....
Intestinal gas forms from two main sources - swallowed air and bacteria in the intestine. Plus, learn which factors to avoid to decrease the likelihood of gas....
How much gas is normal? Usually symptoms of gas and flatulence are more bothersome than serious. But learn when you should seek help for excessive gas here....

December 27th, 2010
i am so glad i looked this up! i have had this happen to me for years now and it always seemed to be during high stress periods in my life. one time i jumped up gasping for breath and ran all the way to the kitchen. i looked next to me and found my husband had run with me. we had a good laugh but really its not funny, its freakin scary! now i know to either turn on the tv or grab my ds, something to distract me til i get sleepy again. i thought i was the only one who had this problem.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 12th, 2011
Mine feels more like I'm falling over... like I'm slipping and feels as if I have stopped breathing. I wake up and take a deep breath. Feels like I'm passing out but I just fell asleep... weird huh?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 12th, 2011
To continue on my previous post. It feels like I either forget to breath or just don't feel like breathing.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 23rd, 2011
I have had a sleep problem for years but while I was working it was more of an asset than a problem, because I would go to sleep with what seemed to be an unsolvable problem. Next morning I would have the answer to my problem, that made me happy.
But now it wont stop working and I need some rest, I sleep for nine/ten hours in a deep dreamlike sleep and if someone awakes me with a question I wake up in shock and feel really ill.
So I have decied to go to sleep with this problem on my mind and see if I come up with the answer in the morning.
At least reading other peoples probles simular to mine makes me feel as if I am not alone. But I will sort it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 20th, 2011
This is an excellent thread. I have had panic induced breathlessness prior to sleep now for years. I resorted to drinking too much alcohol for a while as the experience was so dreadful and lasted hours. I have now stopped this and I am trying different approaches. This thread reinforces the anxietyvlink ( i already knew I had anxiety), but it means when these events occur I am not in th emind set that I am going to die. Good luck with your anxiety everyone, its a terrible burden but you will survive it
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 11th, 2011
Heres what i feel
Hey guys, i want to share my experiences. (These have only been occuring since i stopped taking drugs)

As i drift off to sleep, i shoot up gasping for a breath. My heart is pounding and im sweating. (This is just drifting to sleep) I sometimes get an image of someone covering my face and thats when i gasp.

Also..

During the day, i feel (about once every 1-2 hours) a movement of something going through my heart. Once it passed, the bottom right hand side of my hear pulses and hurts a little.

I have also suffered a permanent left 'red eye' (Constantly bloodshot).

My breathing is horrendous,, but i put that down to extensive smoking. At the moment i am generally stress free so i cant put it down to that. I have been diangnosed with depression and anxiety though.

Despite the movement and pulsing in my heart, my heart constantly aches. Its kind of worrying as i think i may have done some serious damage taking drugs.

So everyone knows what the drug was, it was mephredrone (mcat/bubbles) And i admit that i totally abused my body when taking them. Sometimes over 300 in the space of 2-3 days.

My best mate died from a heart attack after taking them, others have also died form heart failure or stated as..."Cause of death unknown".

Anybody got any ideas as to what could be worng? I have been to doctors and they shrug me off. I dont think they understand the true effects this drug has on people. It is said to badly damage the heart tissues.

Thanks, Andy.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank Andy794 for this post: Alivetothemax 

replied July 2nd, 2011
Hey All, I too am having syptoms of gasping for breath, thinking I have stopped breathing, usually after I get up in the night to use the bathroom and then trying to fall back asleep. This happened a few years back and I chalked it up to anxiety.
Then it happened last night and I thought OH NO its back. but after reading your threads (GOD BLESS YOU ALL), I don't believe it is Sleep Apnea, the SLeep Apnea sights mostly mention snoring and not gasping I too have been medicating with alcohol and zanex so I can pass out and sleep the night thru. When I don't, I have many episodes of gasping as I drift off... makes taking a nap in the afternoon terrible.
I am going to try the eating early and the Maalox as I know the acid reflux adds to my feeling of not being able to catch a breath. during the day it doesn't bother me but at night I focus on it. I feel really relieved after reading here and I do believe it is anxiety again. I too had many tests years ago when this first happened, believing i had lung cancer etc... and they all came back NEGATIVE.
to think I almost scheduled a sleep apnea test. for the record, I am thin, tall, in pretty good shape for 54, and I exercise every day.
I love this site, helps reduce the anxiety... feeling better already, I will post a reply tomorrow if i sleep successful tonight....
|
Did you find this post helpful?

This post has been removed because it did not meet our Community Guidelines.

replied September 30th, 2011
Soon as I fall asleep, I ssuddenly stop breathing....
It seemed as if my health changed in one day. I work at a restaurant and while I was at work, things got pretty busy for us. I was running back and forth, fixing plates for customers and filling up food that I was running out of. When the crowd died down, I got myself somethng to eat. After I ate, my body just changed. I was hurting all over, and within the next hour, my pulse rate was very rapid. I had to sit down for a while. I was able to get up and leave on my own. By the time I got home, I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. I checked my blood pressure and it was fine, but my pulse was 106 bpm. I drank some cold water and just sat there and rested for next few hours. My pulse rate was still whack, though. It would slow down, then speed up for a brief moment. I would get some tingling or slightly warming sensations in my foot, leg and arm. Then I stretched out on the sofa to relax some more and watch TV. I start to doze off to sleep, and I wake up suddenly gasping for breath!!. nd it happpened each time I dozed off!!! Now I'm lying here in bed at 2:02am, still looking up info because I'm horribly afraid to go to sleep out of fear that I won't wake up!! I absolutely don't know what to do!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 3rd, 2011
Experienced User
Mental Stuff causes physical pain etc.
I have had anxiety, panic attacks and major depression for 30 years and a lot of this seems familiar. As for sleep apnea I have had that a couple of times and it is weird to wake up gasping for air, but one of my medications can do that - benzodiazepams - tranquilizers. I'm also on other antidepressants that treat the anxiety and depression too, so sometimes it takes a concoction of them. Yes I know about the blood pressure problem - while I was going through this psychological trauma - and my mind was going 100 mph too, there were times that I would get up and grab something before I would start passing out. You would not believe all the things that can happen to your body from emotional problems - it is as if your physical body is dying yet it is all in your heart and head I guess - kind of traumatic for the rest of your body. I even had an MRI in the past 10 years because I was sure there was some physical problem as well and it was negative. They can't seem to find anything "physically" wrong from their point of view. Menopause sure turned this emotional disorder to a greater level than worst (if such a level exists) and I feel said that anxiety is so common in our fast-paced society. I have a son who has had his hair falling out since his very early 20s and stress is killing his hairline (he has a high stress job). I used to have the thickest hair around for a caucasian and now I only have half the hair I used to have and people still think it is thick! I got some help through something called the emotion code - some book written - check it out. I was able to remove a heavy feeling I have had in my chest for 30 years - I guess I had some kind of psychic trauma that needed helping, and I have been able to cut down on quite a few meds just because of this emotion code. Oh I look everywhere for cures and maybe when I'm 6 feet under, I'll finally have complete relief!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 18th, 2011
Hello all,
It's Hyperventilation Syndrome.

A very common, very underdiagnosed condition which can usually be corrected with breathing retraining, but sometimes requires relaxation techniques and correcting poor magnesium and/or zinc status.

Explanation: Some people seem more prone to over-breathe when stressed (or repressing stress), and over time, this can cause a mild blood-gas imbalance, which can become habituated. Respiration involves breathing in Oxygen, and breathing out CO2. Either out of balance causes problems - CO2 and Oxygen are required for normal respiration.
When you chronically over-breathe, the body runs low on CO2, and there are various compensatory mechanisms, like pseudo-asthma symptoms, etc. But it makes people very prone to panic attacks, and can turn mild stress into acute anxiety.

On to the sleeping issue. When you chronically over-breathe (which might be very subtle - you can still be a slow over-breather, is might just mean you're breathing slightly too deeply, or yawning/sighing frequently) you run low on CO2... CO2 is what triggers the normal breathing mechanism, and it's the presence of CO2, as opposed to the absence of Oxygen, which causes the feeling of air hunger.

When you fall asleep with a stress-induced breathing pattern, the body relaxes too quickly, and you stop stress breathing... The problem is, your CO2 levels are too low at this point, and once your breathing relaxes, the CO2 trigger isn't there to make it kick in automatically. So you simply breathe out, waiting for the CO2 to build back up, but it takes too long and your body interprets it as you've stopped breathing -> wake up!

You can ALWAYS avoid this if you practice a controlled under-breathing exercise for a minute or two before sleep. The Buteyko technique is perfect for this. Don't take an expensive course in it - books like Close Your Mouth tell you everything you need to know about correcting this condition.

It can cause a VAST array of symptoms because it messes with body chemistry and becomes a vicious circle. Many chronic hyperventilaters present with symptoms of acute anxiety, panic, hypochondria, and almost all believe they have undiagnosed cardiac problems. Left untreated, it can turn into chronic fatigue/burn out. It's slightly more common in people with mitral valve prolapse, but also very common in otherwise completely healthy people.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank MaynardFP for this post: Alivetothemax  Amandasretreat 

replied November 27th, 2011
I get it after I chew too much gum. too much air in the belly. Try reducing the air, problem should go away.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 10th, 2011
Hi, by reading some of your posts, I can totally relate to how you feel. I have had this problem whereby when I drift off to sleep (at the beginning) I literally bolt up gasping for breath, sometimes I have bolted up so quickly my poor partner has gotten a smack in the face (poor man). I have had tests done, had sleep tests done, oxygens levels are good (although I am a smoker) which doesn't help.. the list goes on. I can only put it down to anxiety. I used to suffer from pannick attacks years ago but managed to control them by breathing excercises and some councelling. The only time I don't gasp for breath is when I have some wine in the evenings which makes me very sleepy and I am okay. So this is telling me that it must be my mind playing games with me. I am going to try yoga hoping it will relax my mind.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 19th, 2012
Sleep study
Hi just wanted to add my experiences, I have had all of the above, recently come off citalopram, an anti depressant, I now get dizzies, can't sleep as soon as I start to snore it wakes me up, have had shortness of breath too. I have a sleep study on the 9th feb will update with results to help anyone that stil needs it x
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 19th, 2012
Hi just wanted to add my experiences, I have had all of the above, recently come off citalopram, an anti depressant, I now get dizzies, can't sleep as soon as I start to snore it wakes me up, have had shortness of breath too. I have a sleep study on the 9th feb will update with results to help anyone that stil needs it x
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 6th, 2012
I AM SLEEPING AND MY GREAM TURNS INTO ME GASPING FOR AIR. But in my dream that I've been having for yrs now, make me wake up gasping for air, gagging, on the verge of throwing up. I have learned to control it in my DREAMS, but I'm scared what if I don't catch my breath?!! In my dream i know when my breathing is about to stop, and in my dream I slow myself down and try to take gulps of air until my body allows me to wake. Plz help
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 15th, 2012
Im 17 and showing signs of panic attacks, I know that I have had bad anxiety for a while now but reading all of these posts it seems all of you are older, 20-40s. Is it normal to have these young?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 15th, 2012
try this
I started having my panic attacks when I was about 26. There is nothing in any of these posts that I have not done or experienced. I have spent many nights parked outside of the e room waiting for my attack to subside. Now we fast forward I am 54 now and I have learned to deal with them. Here are a few things that may help some of you. Play some music when you go to bed. Play the same cd every night. Count the bars in the song. Count the key changes and melody changes. Listen to every single note in the songs. Tap your foot to the beat. A steady rhythm will actually stabilize your body. It will slow your heartbeat naturally. if the cd finishes before you fall asleep play it again. if you wake up gasping for breath, and I know this is hard not to panic but instead of gasping and sucking for air breath out slowly and this will unspasm your throat muscles and allow you to breath in. if it’s really bad talk to a doctor and have them to prescribe a beta blocker. It will control how fast your heart will race. Think of a beta blocker as governor or throttle control for your heart. I still have episodes but I take a beta blocker and I let it do the work. I take comfort knowing that it is controlling how fast my heart is going to beat and I just ride it out. I stopped riding on rides at parks that would throw me into a panic attack. I won’t get on an airplane or anything that makes me feel like I am not in control. But believe me the music will work.
Good luck
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 16th, 2012
Thank you. I have been looking up some of my weird habbits, one of the things I do is I pick at the skin on my scalp sometimes it gets painfull but it usally gets better after a shower. Picking at my scalp it bad but it calms me down sadley I feel that i cant do this anywhere else but home. Some of the things I read about online about scalp picking is scarry.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 16th, 2012
I also bite my nails and crack my knuckels.
|
Did you find this post helpful?