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Gasping for air upon falling asleep
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Gasping for air upon falling asleep

I am a 48 year old, reasonably fit male with severe OSA (110 apneas per hour) and a sleeping heart rate of 122 beats per minute. Prior to having a sleep study completed which established the forgoing data, I was for about six weeks experiencing a signifigant problem falling asleep. Just as I was drifting off, I would jolt awake gasping for air. The feeling was horrible. Sort of a desperate fearful sensation. This could repeat itself as often as 5-6 times in a row before I would actually get to "sleep" bearing in mind that I would then apnea 110 times per hour through the night although usually never again awakening until morning.
One of the odd parts of this is that it would only happen upon falling asleep for the night. It would not happen if I laid down for a nap in the afternoon nor would it happen if I was to wake up in the night to get a glass of water or go to the bathroom and then lay back down to sleep again.
Currently, I am using a Bi-Pap machine to address my apnea and I'm having some success with getting used to it. However, this falling asleep problem is continuing while wearing the Bi-Pap and I can tell you, it's awful. I've been searching around on the net and I've found plenty of people who have the same problem but no real solutions. I reviewed the problem with both my ENT specialist and Bi-Pap therapist who really didn't have any suggestions.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Your situation is a difficult one. In theory, the BiPAP should prevent your violent obstruction, but having such a high index, you probably still have a few apneas, despite you being on BiPAP. Did you talk with your sleep doctor about this. You may need to try different xPAP models, but the best person to talk this over with is your sleep doctor. Good luck.
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