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sleep disorders

i keep feelin like i cant breath and find it hard to swallow sometimes im scared to sleep in case i dont wake up i keep thinking im gonna die or something bad is gonna happen to me and i dont know why its really getting to me now it seems to be getting worse like everynight and i can not live like this im so tired n scared its like when im falling asleep i like go dizzy and then i wake straight away coz it scares me wot is goin on please can you tell me.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
If this happens also during the daytime when you are up and awake, I'm more at a loss for ideas. You surely should be evaluated for a possible cause. There are things like vocal cord issues and spasms in the throat area that a doctor would probably consider. Also reflux, which could occur day or night.

If this always happens as you are going to sleep and/or wakes you up from sleep, my first thought would be sleep apnea. Before I was diagnosed and began using a CPAP, I had become very afraid to sleep, and avoided it till I collapsed in exhaustion. Much of what you describe is what I experienced. Since I got my CPAP working well for me I have not had one episode of the sense of choking or difficulty breathing.

While you are waiting for a doctor to figure this out for you, if it is sleep apnea, it may help to elevate the head of your bed a few inches and sleep only on your side or stomach (stay off your back). Not a cure, but positions you in a way some with sleep apnea do a little better. Also, sedatives and alcohol are best avoided if one has untreated apnea. If you find that's not your issue, you can go back to whatever is comfortable and usual for you.

If this a recurring thing with you, do seek medical intervention and not just wait for it to go away. You need your sleep - good sleep is so very important to our health and well being. Best wishes.
82861 tn?1333453911
You have a whole lot of anxiety and it sounds like you're waking up in a full-blown panic attack.  The feeling of not being able to breathe is caused by anxiety and is typical of a panic attack.  So is the dizziness and difficulty in swallowing.  

When we have anxiety, our bodies produce adrenaline.  If we're unable to calm down, we get even more scared and anxious and produce even more adrenaline.  It's the old fight-or-flight response to fear, but you don't know exactly what's causing the fear.  The body reacts in specific and measureable ways to adrenaline by increasing your heartrate and respiration.  If you hyperventillate, you get dizzy.  Muscles can begin to spasm, including the sphincter muscles that control urination and defaction, which is how it happens that people soil themselves when they are dreadfully scared.  Some people may vomit in a panic or other fear-related situation.  It's all adrenaline from the fear response.

If you can identify what is causing your anxiety and panic, you'll hopefully be able to control it better.  Pay attention to your body when the symptoms first begin.  Constantly tell yourself "it's only anxiety and adrenaline.  It can't harm me."  Pay attention to your breathing and consciously slow it down.  Breathe in through your nose to a slow count of 4 and out through your mouth to a slow count of 4.  If you can't control your breathing, just breathe into a paper lunch bag for a few minutes.  Pay attention to how tense your muscles are and try to consciously relax them while you breathe.  I feel it first - and the worst - in my facial muscles.  

You can learn to automatically calm yourself with these exercises if you stick with it.  The trick is to identify your anxiety triggers and calm your anxiety before it escalates to a full-blown panic attack.  Of course, that's not going to do you much good if you wake from a sound sleep in a panic attack, but you can still use these techniques to calm yourself down and hopefully get back to sleep.

If you haven't done so already, please see your doctor about this.  Whether it's strictly anxiety or something physical like reflux, sleep apnea or one of many other possible conditions that may contribute to it, you don't have to feel this badly.  :-)
1355118 tn?1298564879
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi, breathing difficulty involves a sensation of difficult or uncomfortable breathing or a feeling of not getting enough air.

Some causes are anxiety, stress, lungs disorder (bronchiolitis, COPD), obstruction in airway, disorder of heart like angina etc. dust in air, allergies, lack of exercise, obesity, compression of chest wall, hiatial hernia, panic attack can also cause difficulty in breathing.

Difficulty in swallowing may be due to possibility of esophageal spasm (nut cracker esophagus) or stricture (food pipe) due some anomalies. I would suggest you to consult a gastroenterologist and get evaluated by a endoscopy or barium swallow to rule out the condition.

You need to undergo proper evaluation. Proper nutritious food, morning exercise, relaxation techniques if having stress will help you. I suggest you to consult physician for further evaluation. Take care and regards.
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