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what could be causing sudden constriction of breathing especially at ni...
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what could be causing sudden constriction of breathing especially at night?

Besides having dust mite allergies for over 30 years, for approximately six months or so my neck and shoulder muscles are extremely tight.  I also feel a pull on the front of my throat and after lying down (but felt that way falling asleep in an upright position as well) just as I am starting to try and relax myself to sleep, I get up with a sudden jerk because it feels as though my air is being cut off and then I have a bit of difficulty getting back to sleep.  I went to my doctor and she prescribed a sleep study which I had and afterward was told to get another test, but I honestly don't feel it's sleep apnea.  What else could it be? I seriously think it has something to do with the tight feeling I have all around my neck, front and back of muscles and my shoulders, too.  I've been very stressed for a few reasons and am trying to de-stress myself, but in the meantime any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.  I'll sleep better when I know what's going on and how I can better help myself.  Thank you.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
You can stop breathing while falling asleep and not have sleep apnea. Do you normally sleep on your side or stomach? If so, don't start off sleeping on your back, since this is when your tongue falls back the most. Just as you're falling into deeper sleep, since your muscles begin to relax, you'll wake up suddenly. Tension and stress can definitely aggravate this condition. Also, try to avoid eating or drinking alcohol within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I'm no doctor but I can relate to the issue.  I've also been dealing with a high level of stress for the past 6 months and as a result, I've had muscle tension that sometimes drives me mad.  It gets so bad at times that I end up gasping for air and have a hard time swallowing especially when the muscles around the throat area and the area around my collar bone become tense.  It feels as though all of the muscles are pulling down and I sometimes get lightheaded.  I also have an anxiety disorder so this severe neck tension that is different from the usual tension I get, makes all my neck muscles look extremely pronounced. Sometimes it causes me to instantly get anxiety related chest pains when the neck tightens. God forbid the muscles at the back of my neck (the inner shoulder area near the base of the neck) becomes tense at the same time as the front muscles........It's like my back looks hunched and broader and the tight tense feeling is even worse. I refuse to go to sleep fearing that I'm going to either choke or suffocate.  It was very frightening the first few times it happened to me but I began researching the issue and went to my doc.  You didn't say if you get headaches or a tight feeling around your head as well.  If this was the case, then for sure you could say that it is a muscle/stress tension issue....seeing as neck tension plays a major role in tension headaches.  But my advice is, I know the stress may be a lot but you must try to relax or the cycle of stress will only add more to the problem and the tension is going to end up in other places like your back.  I always tell people that I can put up with the back tension but this neck tension gotta go cuz it's sending me mad!! It's has me feeling so horrible at times.  But try taking a warm shower or a warm soak in the tub to ease the tension.  Also you could get a family member or even just go to a massage place to get a massage.  I mean there are muscle relaxers out there but I would only use that as a last desperate resort seeing as I'm more of a naturalist but you can look into it if you want.  Good luck and sorry about the longwindedness
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