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Avatar universal

Possibly Central Sleep Apnea?

I've been dealing with an issue over the past three or four years where I'll be laying in my bed falling asleep and then all the sudden I feel as if I can't move and I'm not breathing properly.  I'll wake up from this state with my heart beating very fast and very out of breath only to lay my head down again and repeat the same sequence sometimes up to 6 times in a night.  I'll wake up the next morning very tired and out of it sometimes with a headache.  
I looked up CSA and it seems that it usually deals with a pre-existing condition.  I'm a 16 year old, I work out 5 times a week, I eat a very healthy vegetarian diet, and I don't believe I have any diseases or pre-existing conditions.  This problem has been escalating over the years and it's gotten to the point where I am often so tired that I will fall asleep in school and have this same sleep apnea episode while in school which is pretty embarrassing.  

I have yet to receive a sleep study and my parents don't really believe me about this issue.  The only 'treatment' I've tried is somewhat illegal.
This episode happens nearly almost day, like a good amount of children my age I use marijuana in a variety of ways somewhat often (1-2 times a week) Any of the nights that I go to sleep while high or buzzed I have no sleep apnea problem and I fall straight to sleep.  I would say that this is due to the CBD in marijuana but often times I vaporize or consume edibles which is mostly THC and still receive the same positive sleeping effects.  Not sure if this is relevant just thought it could possibly help.

Thanks so much for answering this question, I would really like to get over this issue!
6 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Considering your symptoms of wakefulness after sleeping without any evidence of chest pain, cough or numbness, it is most likely that you may be having Obstructive Sleep Apnea. When a person sleeps the airways are usually patent allowing normal passage for air entry. The upper airway that is at the region of the tongue and the soft palate is the most compliant (soft) part. So, this is liable to collapse and cause airway obstruction.

As the air way collapses the lungs do not have air entry leading to deoxygenation (decreased oxygen) of blood and the person wakes up. This period of non entry of air is called ‘Apnea’ and the waking up is called an ‘Arousal’. This keeps alternating and the person may not actually wake up all the time, but these repeated arousals can disturb the sleep architecture and cause fatigue, headaches and daytime sleepiness. These people are also more prone for Hypertension. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more common in people who snore.

I would advise you to consult a sleep specialist who would assess with first a sleep questionnaire, and then he may ask for a polysomnogram, which is an overnight sleep study as this helps to detect the apneas.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the information, their is a strong possibility that this is obstructive because my dad also has obstructive sleep apnea.  
However, I don't snore, I'm not sure if that's related to obstructive but it seems relevant.
Avatar universal
T also have a real bad headache when i awake, I snore, and sometimes feel the presence of someone or feel the bed moving.
Avatar universal
First I'd like to thank the OP for sharing and describing his experience in detail, I'm going through the same thing right now.

I think the answer provided by Anitha is the standard and simplest answer anyone will likely get from any Doc,  but it can be misleading I believe.  What we are dealing with here is Sleep transition central events.  Nothing to do with obstructive sleep apnea.  Thanks to OP.
Avatar universal
When we enter sleep (specifically NREM sleep), our breathing becomes solely
dependent on metabolic control. If, at the time of sleep onset our CO2
levels are too low, a compensatory breath pause occurs. This is analogous to
a deep sigh, which is also usually followed by a pause. In some cases, the
pattern of sighing and breath-holding becomes repetitive. This is frequently
seen in people under stress or experiencing anxiety. During sleep onset, a
normal compensatory breath pause may lead to an arousal, to which the
subject reacts by taking deep breaths. This is followed by additional
compensatory pauses, as the subject attempts to fall back asleep.

In essence, you may be slightly hyperventilating as you try to fall asleep,
which leads to normal compensatory pauses in breathing. The more you focus
on the pattern, the more likely it tends to persist. The solution is to work
on relaxation techniques, to slow your breathing and avoid excessive CO2
drops. It is good to have the reassurance of a formal sleep study, to rule
out any underlying pathology. However, I can tell you that most people who
have pathological sleep apnea are unaware of their problem. In contrast, the
ones who are aware of breath pauses usually fall into the benign sleep-onset
apnea category. In those cases, it is also reassuring to know that once you
enter a deeper stage of sleep, your breathing will automatically normalize.
Avatar universal
Have suffered obstructive sleep apnoea.
Medicated with Provigil 100mg at breakfast and dexamfetamine sulphate 45mg in 3 divided doses, not to be taken after 6pm.
It works.
However the problem keeps reoccurring. For one who needs strong hypnotics for chronic insomnia the problem is more than a little complicated!
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