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Choking while sleeping?
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Choking while sleeping?

I'm a 37 y.o. female with sleep apnea and I am fully compliant with wearing my CPAP. Over the last two months, I've had three seperate episodes of waking from sleep and being actively choking. It feels to me like I'm choking on saliva however the episodes were quite serious in my opinion because when I wake it takes me a good few minutes to gain control and clear my airway. Its very upsetting when it happens because it requires a lot of effort to regain control of my breathing. I've experienced this in the past, but maybe only 1x per year and mostly before I was diagnosed with SA. Now I've had this happen 3x in two months and I'm worried.

Side note, each time this has happened I was actively dreaming that I was either choking or diving into a pool and couldn't breathe (or something similar). So I'm also wondering if my body is reacting to my dream or if I start choking first and then my mind process that into my dream to wake me up.

I've also seen some discussion here about GERD and sinus/post-nasal drip. I'm open to the possibility that those may be factors also since I awake with what feels like a lot of fluid in my airway. The episode last night occured after I had eaten cereal with soy milk right before bed and when I awoke after the choking episode I almost felt like I could throw up. Then I woke up this a.m. feeling a little congested. I also moved to a new, drier climate two months ago.

Anyone have any info they can share on this topic? Thanks in advance for help.
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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712042_tn?1254572809
Have you returned to have you CPAP checked? Sounds like it may need a different setting.I have a auto pressure adjust CPAP with a memory card for the respiratory therapist and doctor to evaluate. Hope this helps. Joan.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Calaz, I was on here researching my swollen ankles and saw your question, which prompted me to sign up for an account so I could post an answer. I have severe sleep apnea, am of average weight for my height, and am on a CPAP. I was also diagnosed with acid reflux, which is also pretty severe. I would wake up choking, and really had no idea if I was going to be able to regain control of my breathing, or simply pass out and probably die. It was very scary and has happened many times. I now have bricks under the head end of the bed frame, and take Protonix every day. I cannot allow myself to eat any later than three hours before bedtime. This also includes milk, juice, or pop. The last time I didn't take my medicine, I had my CPAP on and was completely asleep, and woke up choking on vomit from reflux. I am not saying this is the case with you, but it is dangerous, especially if you live alone, like I do. It is important to follow up with this.

I have many other health issues as well, and I can say that I know this for sure...my dreams are controlled by whatever my body is physically experiencing. I have many, many medical dreams. I have heard of people actually choking on their tongues. This is common with people who have large tongues and a small mouth and jaw, or a short, thick neck. I was diagnosed with my SA last July, so it is all trial and error for me. I am on my ninth mask. Haven't found the one that is going to be the non-leaking winner. Still working on that. I hope you make some helpful discoveries with your doctor.
Cheers.
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Avatar_m_tn
I bet you are a milk drinker. MILK WILL DO THIS!! very high in acid levels and will cause exactly what you are talking about. stop drinking milk 3 hours before bed and it will go away!
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