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waking up gasping for air
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waking up gasping for air

I have been reading about people waking up gasping for air, which has been happening to me; many times a night till I finally go sleep sitting up on a chair. 5 pillows do not help this problem.  It feels like phlegm is gathering in my throat. I do have excessive mucus year round, but usually it's more of a stuffy nose and phlegm which I can spit out.
Could this be connected to any medication? I am on Nova-Mirtazapine which is supposed to help me sleep. However, possible side effects are anxiety and agitation.  The more this happens, the more frightened I am to go to sleep. I have not been able to see my doctor yet about this; but have a feeling it won't be taken seriously.  It sounds so made-up somehow.
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If you talk to your doctor about your symptoms, especially the part about waking up, gasping for air, he or she should take it seriously. Certain sleep medications may make you more drowsy, but anything that relaxes your nervous system can make things worse, since more muscle relaxation can cause more upper airway obstruction in deep sleep. Incidentally, mirtazapine was found in an older study to decrease the apnea events by about 50%. It's thought that maybe by shifting some of your REM sleep into non-REM sleep (when muscles are not as relaxed), you don't stop breathing as often. Maybe you're in the other 50% where it didn't work.
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