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does everyone wake up gasping?

This area is for Sleep Apnea questions and general Sleep Apnea Discussions.

Postby Mary K » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:11 am

Dear Damnidunno

I haven't been tested yet so may not even have sleep apnea, but I do occasionally wake up gasping for breath and sweaty and feeling smothery. I am also mentally sluggish and fall asleep at inappropriate times. Mary K
Mary K

Re: gasping, seeing colors

Postby ceborris » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:02 pm

Thank you, Curt, and others who have replied. I am going to get a new sleep study because I too am afraid I may just not wake up one of these times. I also sometimes imagine upon awakening that if I swallow or try to breathe I will swallow some (obviously phantom) object in my throat and die. So I actually keep myself from taking a breath/swallowing for several seconds after waking. Yikes. I'm thinking too it might be a tongue issue (I'm one of the few people I know who can touch tongue to nose easily. :} I experience from numbness and weakness right after as well. It'd all be interesting, especially the colors, if it wasn't so scary. If anyone is from the NYC area and knows of good docs/sleep centers, please let me know.

Curt wrote:
ceborris wrote:I have been waking up gasping off and on for several years, but with no regularity. Most often this happened if I fell asleep in a chair. I had a sleep study done a few years ago and they determined that I did not have apnea (because, as I reported, the gasping/cessation of breathing didn't happen every night) but told me that during the sleep study I did wake up 90-some times in that one night -- not normal for a thirtysomething, non-overweight woman. I continue to wake up gasping on occasion and sometimes will see the entire room in a different color (usually red) because of lack of oxygen. I wonder if the sleep study was incorrect or if I should have another one done. Any thoughts?

I have the same problem. My sleep study showed that I had mild mild apnea. Plus when I did the sleep study, the jumping up and gasping for air didnt happen there :(
They did however give me a cpap machine but no matter what pressure they put it at I'm still jumping up and gasping for air. The techs say they dont know why it's happening and cant figure it out.
I see the same thing as you do. The room is red and sometimes I see images (people, writtings ect.) in red also. I beginning to think my tounge is the culprit. When I am awake I can stop my breathing with my tuonge.... cant explain how I can do it but I can. I'm assuming that this is what is happening when I start to fall alseep. I normally jump up within seconds of dozing off.
I hope this helps.

stop breathing

Postby bettercpap » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:11 am

I too have done this but failed to know it my selp till I went off of sleeping meds and went to cpap. My was so that when I did awake I set up in bed with a rapid heart beat and felt like an elephant had been on my chest. I was experiencing this 3-4 times an hour. I failed to get much rest since this was the most disturbing of my life. I felt like you, I felt i would die if I fell back asleep. The doctor kept me on the med for a while till I get adjusted to the cpap and mask. Last night was the first night I have sleep all nignt lone in so many year. Praise the Lord for helping us through doctors of all kinds.

Postby Louise » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:32 pm

When my doctor suspected sleep apnea, she asked if I had ever gasped for breath while sleeping. I responded that I only dreamed about gasping.

She smiled and sent me immediately for a sleep study... It wasn't a dream....I was gasping for breath.
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gasping choking occasionally

Postby friedemann » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:29 pm

I have not been diagnosed, as I have not mentioned it as it happens so rarely. So when I see the doctor, it slips my mind. But I heard the radio talk show about apnea and the symptoms fit me quite well. Being tired and lack of motivation.
I have been told by partner that I snore softly at night - OK, - and many days I wake up with a sore throat. Must mean my mouth must be open.
I have remembered the dream prior to the choking where I breathe out all the air in my lungs(similiar to taking in a deep breath and then breathing it all out). Thing is, in the dream I breathe it out so much that I CAN'T take a breath in (try it while you are awake and you will understand what I am talking about). Throat closed right up? I don't know. My younger brother had is adnoids removed when he was young because they were "getting in the way of breathing" I guess. Maybe I got the same thing.
This breathing problem happens when I sleep on my back. Normallly for the majority of my life I have been a stomach sleeper and still do on occassion.
Does apnea happen to stomach sleepers?

Postby harryhood » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:26 pm

I never gasped. My breathing would just become more and more shallow until I stopped. My wife didn't even notice it until after I told her about my sleep study and then said she did see it. It would happen every few seconds.


Postby Jay$- » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:05 pm

I dont understand how that happens and a relative in my family does it often and i just dont know exactaully how to treat it...?? ( doctors i mean...) Scary!!! :cry:

Re: does everyone wake up gasping?

Postby kenjenmark » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:42 pm

Anonymous wrote:
damnidunno wrote:I was wondering if everyone with severe or any type of sleep apnea wakes up gasping for air and they remember it?

Bro, I freak out all night long gasping for air in a panic. Including feeling numb and convulsing and it feels like I'm going to die. Most nights I don't even want to go to sleep. I have the cpap machine (resmed s8 compact) with the nasal mask, but I'm not sure it's working. My pressure is at 8.2 and I should probably have them up it. I'm pretty sure my tongue is blocking my airway. So yes, I gasp for air and I remember every time I do it, because it's horrific. Does anyone else have this happen to them.

I thought I was going crazy. glad to see I'm not alone. you've described my symptoms to a T. Yes, i've expericenced this same thing. On many occasions I've actually woke up yelling because the feeling of suffocating was so severe, with my heart racing, very scary. Also, sometimes when i start falling asleep, it feels like i'm going into a coma and my legs feel weighted or like their paralized, but they actually are not, so i wiggle my toes to get the feeling to go away.

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:50 am

Lately, I have woken (at least a few different nights) feeling like I stopped breathing and was trying to catch my breath. It's very scary, but somehow always fall back asleep despite the fear...possibly b/c I have trouble falling alseep and a baby, very sleep deprived. Also, my husband mentioned I woke myself up from snoring once. He works third shift, seven days a week, so I'm not sure if that was a one time event or not. Could this be apnea? Thanks.

Postby Morpheus » Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:28 pm

Gasping was my only, recurring, and increasing symptom over about ten years. I was low on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, but when sleeping on my side no longer worked or I visited friends who lived at high elevations, it got pretty intolerable. Turned out, of course, I had a moderate case of OSA.
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Postby TonyH » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:30 am

I never knew just what exactly was happening to me when this attack happened. The first time i thought i was just waking up from a dream i was drowning in. i would eventually calm down and be able to breathe again normally and fall asleep. it wasn't until i found this forum that i feel i might have something terrrably wrong.Again i hava had another episode of waking up gasping for air.. not able to breath for about 30-40 seconds then a distinct acidy taste is left in the mouth for awhile, as well as a thick mucus in the throat. i know i snore.... but is the snoring an underlining prelude to these strange episodes?...i need to know. Should i go see a doctor?... is it some kind of acid reflux ... now that i think of it all of the times i have had these episodes.. it has happened on nights where i eat late and i eat spicy food...its a strange feeling...sitting up here at 3am not able to fall asleep after having an episode typing and typing to pass the time...i havent had an episode in some time.

Re: gasping

Postby scopro » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:20 am

s4burf wrote:I went to the doc because I had been feeling lightheaded and tingly in extremities. I showed slightly elevated blood pressure, so we began working on that....

I have experienced my arms tingling and waking me up. I thought I was restricting blood flow to my arms sleeping on my stomach with my arm under the pillow. This obviously was before starting my CPAP therapy. Is the arm tingling a sympton of OSA?

Sleepy in NC,
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Postby Maria7 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:27 am

Actually it was gasping upon awakening that finally prompted me to see a sleep doc. I already knew I snored. I was staying at the son's lakeside place in Maine when he came running into my room one morning, sure I was breathing my last. It was the first time he actually had a room across from mine and he heard me through two closed doors. I had been awakening with pounding headaches and probably was gasping with the pain. Not sure. Now I realize that I held my breath so often and for so long that the veins in my head were probably ready to burst from lack of oxygen, thus the pounding headaches. It may not be what is happening to others, but it sure was what was happening to me. I was a stroke waiting to happen. Four months on CPAP and gasp-free.

If you think about it, if you held your breath for a significant lenght of time, when you finally did breathe you'd probably gasp for a while. I could never hold my breath awake as long as I did on the sleep study, 1 3/4 minutes plus many many times. No wonder I was gasping and my head hurt.
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Postby virginia57 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:04 pm

I have very severe apnea, and have never woken up gasping. I just wake up during the night, many times before I started treatment. I snored like a freight train, but It never bothered me much, so I thought. My oxygen was as low as 80 percent on my study a year ago, so I'm sure I needed air. It could be that the medicine I take surpresses the central nervous system and makes it hard for me to respond to an apnea event. Maybe waking up gasping is a good thing for us. Virginia
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Waking up gasping

Postby KPSRA » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:44 pm

I also have been waking up gasping,(as much as 3 to 5 times a week), have spent the night in a sleep center and am awaiting the results but in the meantime I bought some of those nose things for snoring and quess what for the last few weeks havent has a gasping attack, (until last night) but still I think in my case they have helped. Worth a try especially if you are diagnoised with mild apena.


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