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holding my breath during sleep

I hold my breath during sleep. I wake up with the feeling that I am under water. I let out air first and then gasp for new air.  I can feel my blood pressure is very high upon waking.  I was diagnose with sleep apnea but I maintain that I have central apnea too! I quit using the machine because I feel like I am holding my breath and at times I end up with my lungs and stomach full of air. I asked my doctor about central apnea and he insist it is too rare to be my problem. I have other nerve problems like brain zaps in my sleep,and very sensitive nerves, like when I am startled even a little, my nerves shock me all over my body.  I wondered if I have a nerve impusle trauma.  Anyone heard of these problems?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Central apnea is NOT rare- many people have central apneas and Central apneas IS sleep apnea. The breath 'holding' you experience isn't really holding hte breath, but it is the mind getting confused and thinking it's got too much oxygen, so your lungs don't take another breath as usual- do NOT stop using youre machine!!! Sleep apnea can and does kill people!
Avatar universal
I have had so much help from the folks who work at the oxygen place where I got my CPAP machine.Have you explained to them what you are experiencing?Maybe you need to have your machine reset.I have mine set at 14 and if I feel like to much air is coming in I just hit the button and it drops down to 9 and then slowly builds back up to 14 and by that time I am back asleep.I agree sometimes the machine is just plain annoying so I put a small fan on my bedside and aim it right at my face.I lay on my side facing the fan and put a large pillow behind me so I don't roll over on my back.I also put a smaller pillow between my knees so I'm more comfortable.This seems to work good also.But wearing the machine is really important because every time you stop breathing it is really bad for your heart.When I was tested in the hosp I stopped breathing 41 times in an hour.I was so shocked at this.Even tho my husband teasing calls me "Darth Vader" because of the noise the machine makes,especially if I try and say something while I'm hooked up,I still wear it because its just so important.I have never heard of central apnea so I'm going to look that up.
661851 tn?1224924148
It's not central apnea, it has psychological causes at his roots that's why doctors don't know what to tell you because it's not apnea. I cured myself long time ago, suffered from it for 9 years. check out this article at outbreathing.com
1 Comments
If you are still on here. How did you cure yourself
Avatar universal
Naz ... Why would you tell someone that is holding there breath while sleeping that they arn't? I just had a sleep study done two weeks ago and guess what ... I HOLD MY BREATH WHILE SLEEPING! Yes, the doctor claims this is very rear condition and needs further testing and observation. PRC ... your not alone out here, I will write more as I learn more about this condition.
1 Comments
I am going through this now and to be honest it is not a pleasant feeling. I dream that I am diving under water and as I run out of air I am racing to the surface each time. Last night was the worst I have experienced as some of the times I really thought I was drowning. So if anyone knows if this is retaliated to my apnea? I also didn't sleep with my machine, my fault I guess, but scary either way.
Avatar universal
I am in disbelief right now. Literally everything you described I am experiencing and have been for years. From holding​ breath during sleep to the brain zaps and sensitive nerves. I have no real answers but it's comforting to find someone​ else that is have the exact same issues. I thought I was falling apart!
Avatar universal
I did find this: Catathrenia is a rapid eye movement sleep parasomnia consisting of end-inspiratory apnea (breath holding) and expiratory groaning during sleep. Catathrenia is distinct from both somniloquy and obstructive sleep apnea. The sound is produced during exhalation as opposed to snoring which occurs during inhalation.
Avatar universal
I too hold my breath during sleep, but it is a bit different from what I find other people say on the internet. I don't "wake up gasping for air". I actually hold my breath well into waking up! Upon waking up, I would be in a half-conscious state where I don't have full control of my body but I can feel what I am doing, and I feel I am voluntarily holding my breath, because it gives me some kind of pleasure. It's often accompanied by a continuous (and often high-pitched) "moaning" sound from my throat as I very slowly letting out the breath. I don't know why this happens. I don't experience pleasure when I hold my breath while awake. I tried searching the internet but it seems no one else has the exact same problem as I do.
1 Comments
I think you're describing what I have been experiencing for many years, although just recently noticed the negative effects on my health. I'll wake up either in the middle of the night or in the morning while/after involuntarily taking a deep breath and holding it, then pushing with my abdominal muscles while stretching/expanding my chest, creating pressure in my chest which manufactures the "rush of blood to the head" feeling. That's the "pleasure" feeling, but it certainly doesn't feel good.  Think it's an old habit, and I'd really like to figure out how to stop doing it.

This stretching, breath holding, pushing behaviour has resulted in chest pains, once mistaken as cardiac symptoms, but which I now firmly believe is costochondritis, after being cleared by multiple EKGs and even a stress echo. I 'm also worried that the pressure generated in my chest could be causing a hiatal hernia, or even a damaged esophageal sphincter which could be giving me acid reflux.

If anybody has heard of or has experienced anything like this, it would be nice to hear from you. How does one stop doing something that only occurs when one is asleep?  
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