Hello, I am currently 100 lbs over weight, 32/male. I have had this problem even when I was just 40 lbs over weight. One thing, I had a sleep study and was told my apnea events were not severe enough even for a CPAP machine. What had been happening was that I would wake up feeling unable to breath and with an extremely fast pulse. I had a heart monitor on that picked up a rate of 162 but as soon as I wake up good it stops and I am fine. But here lately, I've been waking up multiple times with the sense that I'm dying in my sleep, usually a feeling related to breathing or my brain shutting down... but it goes away when I wake up good. It seems to usually always happen within the first hour or two after falling asleep. I also have non-24 hour sleep wake cycle, a free running sleeper with a flip flopping sleep cycle from one week to the next. I have had this problem for 15 years, and is uncontrollable.
Please tell me what you would make of these things. Why am I waking up with these feelings? Can it hurt me? I have also had other medical tests, such as echocardiogram, EKG, stress test, mltiple blood tests, MRI of the head due to headaches...nothing to explain my symptoms. I take no medications, and have no diagnosis related to this.
There are a number of sleep hygiene issues and circadian rhythm issues that need to be address, between you and your sleep doctor. It sounds like you're obstructing, while you're sleeping, but not with enough frequency or duration to quality for a formal sleep apnea diagnosis. I would begin all the conservative sleep apnea treatment recommendations, including timing of meals and alcohol, sleep position, nasal breathing optimization, and good sleep hygiene habits. CPAP or oral appliances are a consideration, despite not officially having obstructive sleep apnea, if you have the anatomy.
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