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1211508 tn?1343079605

Does this sound like sleep apnea?

For the past 3-4 weeks I've been sleeping terribly.  I fall asleep relatively easily but can't stay asleep more than 3 hours.  I don't feel any more stressed than usual.  But here's my main question.  Upon waking up (which I do many times throughout the night), a change in position causes a sensation that's new to me.  It's like it was physically taxing on my body to move from say fetal to sleeping on my back.  My heart doesn't race or I'm not totally short of breath, but it feels weird...hard to explain.  When I do take a nice deep breath I feel normal again..this odd sensation is very brief, but it's happening nightly.  I feel like I'm breathing fine.  I do notice that the number of inhalations/exhalations slows down dramatically when I'm relaxed and in a near state of sleep, but that's "good" and normal I thought??  I read as few as 5 breaths per minute is a nice target.  

Other facts--38, male, otherwise healthy, and exercise regularly.  
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1622896 tn?1562364967
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Hi JamesAA i think you may need to see a Doctor and ask him for a sleep study , that will give you and your Doctor all the information you need to treat you properly , take care .........Bob
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Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Repeated awakenings at night could sometimes be due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Will brief you on OSA.

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. Now why does this obstruction happen in some people? 1. In overweight people the circumferential diameter becomes smaller. 2. Anatomical factors (structure) like enlarged tonsils, volume of the tongue, lengthy soft palate or abnormal position of the maxilla and mandible can further narrow the lumen 3. Some people are prone for decreased neuromuscular activity to the upper airway muscles during sleep and this reduces the tone of the muscles leading to further collapse of the airway. As the airway 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. Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is by CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) where air under gentle pressure is passed into the airways keeping it patent.

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. In the meantime you could avoid taking alcohol and try to sleep on your side as this keeps the airways patent. If any nasal blocks try to keep them patent with OTC nasal decongestants. Aim for optimum weight with exercises or long walks.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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