You won't find "awake apnea" in too many places because apnea is probably the wrong term to describe what is happening. Apnea is used to describe events in sleep lasting 10 seconds or more or in waking states when there is prolonged cessation of breathing. As in big trouble. Those events you mention would be more appropriately termed "pauses" and may be related to hyperventilation events. OK, probably in your case it's gonna be:
OK, I'll give you one. If you briefly hyperventilate, as seen in a yawn or a sigh, there is a brief period where you don't breathe, a compensatory pause, if you will, which I suppose you could call a central apnea, but is harmless.
But if you wanna talk about the causes of hyperventilation in general, then the floodgates open:
See, the thing is, if you're 25, in excellent shape, no history of any illnesses or other symptoms, we may go in one direction. If you're 65, chronically ill or have symptoms that point to heart or lung disease, it's a different ballgame.
An internal medicine guy is a good place to start if you want to get worked up. Bring this up during your annual physical. (And if you say, "I haven't been to a doctor in 50 years" don't think that's a good thing.)
OK, SOAPBOX TIME AGAIN. Your descriptions are very good, and we can kinda guess in your case (but you still left out a lot of potentially very important information). However, some people may read "funny breathing feeling" and go, "yeah, I got that" when then really mean "shortness of breath" or "tightness in the chest". In one description, it's easy to say, ahh, you're a hypochondriac, but in the other the person may need to call the ambulance and go to the ER NOW. A lot is lost in trying to describe things in text. I think people who post have to be aware of the effect they can have, and the readers have to consider everything very carefully.
OK, one MORE thing. I think if you somehow made it down this far, you have a thirst for knowledge and information that is admirable-- and "I'll fly with you anytime, Maverick."