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Avatar universal

Asthma and sleeping problems

I mean I feel fine as far as the asthma goes. The inhaler is working. But ever since I moved apt.'s and developed it, I haven't been able to sleep. I never get more than 5 or 6 hours(I fall asleep fine), and I wake up very restless and anxious. This is the main symptom that I can stress, is waking up very restless and anxious, rolling from side to side until i eventually just sit up. This has been happening for 20 straight months. No anxiety or depression problems. Never HAVE HAD problems with those. Never had sleeping problems until asthma, that's it. Even 5 or 6 hours, the sleep quality is very poor. I wake up wanting to sleep more! But Can't. Either the doctors don't know or don't listen, "I am 26, healthy, and don't snore, I can't have sleep apnea" or....?

While trying to get diagnosed for the asthma, I did have an endoscopy, because I've always had problems swallowing food. The dysphagia has been happening my entire life. The endoscopy didn't show anything abnormal with my throat, but the biopsies showed that I had eosinophilic esophagitis. Not sure if this is relating, but worth mentioning.

Tried the anxiety, antidepressants, and sleeping pills, and nothing has even been able to touch this problem. I mean they don't even phase it. It as not improved one inch this entire 20 months.
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Avatar universal
Nate,

Had the exact same problem as you - asthma and acid reflux.  Only slept 5-6 hours then woke up with an "angry feeling"  restless, uneasy then in morphed into sleeping 9+ hours and waking up exhausted.  I underwent a sleep study (polysomnography) at Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic which diagnosed me as having UARS (Upper Airway Resistance syndrome) which is a sleep breathing disorder.  Read Dr. Park's article on UARS at doctorstevenpark.com.  I highly recommend getting a sleep study at Stanford - they are the top sleep disorders clinic in the world
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The first thing to to talk with your GI doctor to see if the eosinophilic esophagitis is something worth treating.

You could also have laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, which is different from GERD. Have you tried taking acid reflux medications? This can not only aggravate asthma, but also diminish your sleep quality.

It's difficult to say what's going on without examining you, but if this issue continues, you may want to consider seeing a sleep specialist. Asthma may be just one aspect of a bigger picture.  Also, it's important to note that you don't have to be overweight or snore to have sleep-breathing problems.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
These are the test my sleep study will test for. Do any of these test for UARS?

Brain waves (Electrodes placed on scalp)
Heart rate or electrocardiogram (Electrodes placed on chest)
Eye movements (Electrodes placed on the sides of eyelids)
Chin muscle tone (Electrodes placed under chin)
Leg Movements (Electrodes placed on lower legs)
Air Movement (Small sensors placed underneath nose)
Breathing effort (Belts placed around chest and stomach)
Blood oxygen level (Small device placed on fingertip)
Snoring sounds (Microphone)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal

You can have UARS for various reasons.  I suggest you read Dr. Steven Park’s book “Sleep, Interrupted”  for an in-depth discussion on UARS and sleep disordered breathing.  The sleep study at Stanford without insurance is very expensive - $4k at least.  Sleep studies at other clinics are less expensive - $2k and up.  I suggest asking your primary care physician for a autopap prescription and then buying one from cpapauction.com or craigslist.org.  You can buy one on craigslist.org probably without a prescription.  They are sold by regular people on craigslist.org.  I checked it for you and saw that there were Iowa postings starting at $350.  Set the initial pressure to a low setting like at 7 cm and see if you feel a bit better – if so then you definitely have sleep disordered breathing.  Dr. Guilleminault at Stanford began testing cpap on UARS patient starting off at 7 cm so I know this is a safe setting. Then incrementally increase the pressure until you feel refreshed.  Check out cpaptalk.com and apneasupport.org for guidance with cpap.  I know many people will disagree with this but it’s hard to even function with UARS and I know how desperate you are because I’ve been there.  I bought cpap on my own and found my optimal cpap setting – it is working for me.  I was so desperate I was even suicidal.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yea, that sounds like me with the feelings I have while waking up. While taking Seroquel, I could sleep 8 or 9 hours and still wake up exhausted. I was reading about UARS and they talk about having a small jaw, throat, or having a big tongue ect. I had an endoscopy, and he really didn't find anything abnormal with my throat (I don't know about my mouth). So is it still possible that I could have this?

How much they want there at Stanford Sleep Clinic? I don't have insurance or much money and the state turned me down for the sleep study here in Iowa.

We all deserve to sleep and I feel like I'm being denied a necessity! It's so frustrated sometimes I can't take it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for replying. When diagnosed, I did take a cycle of Flovent for the ee and I have had relief from the dysphagia. I did take some acid reflux meds before being diagnosed for asthma, just to cover all bases, but I stopped once diagnosed.

What can be happening to me? I'm so distraught about all this. What can be making me wake up every morning with anxiety and restlessness that doesn't have to do with mental. I mean, I feel fine mentally. I feel like I've always felt. I know I'm not depressed. I never have problems falling asleep, in fact, I feel so normal as I'm going to bed I have hope that I might sleep through the night normally. But I don't. Is there a sleep disorder that is caused by asthma? Because before asthma none of this existed. Really the only clue I have to go on. None of the GPs get it. They just want to prescribe meds. I was denied in going to a sleep clinic. I have a feeling the next time I go to this doctor he's gonna send me to a Psychiatrist.
Helpful - 0

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