Forgetting to breath and jolting..

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by whitelori 1 day, 8 hours ago.

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  • #34173

    ✘ Not a client

    Hi, really struggling at the moment with my sleep, up till about six months ago I had no problem sleeping and would be out like a minute after hitting the pillow. Now I’m really having problems and it’s taking me hours to get off, I have developed this really odd problem of forgetting to breath and then shocking myself out of pre sleep with a panicked body reaction to not breathing, it’s like a sensory hand grenade which sets my breathing off, starts my heart racing and is DRIVING ME INSANE…… I’m exhausted, please help if you have any ideas….


    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Paulmac,
    I have the EXACT same thing. I went to two neurologists and also a dentist who works with sleep apnea patients. After a sleep study (using Ambien to go to sleep!), they found no apnea, yet the episodes of not breathing were driving me crazy. They all looked at me like they had no idea what I was talking about when I said my tongue was doing something strange and I could not breath upon falling asleep. I researched central sleep apnea and even had a brain MRI which was thankfully normal. I was told central sleep apnea was rare, but I was convinced I had it. I even ended up buying a $3,000 night guard that kept my tongue in place with hopes it would help. It is called an Oasys. I look like a martian when wearing it! Also, I was given benzodiazapines to help calm the nervous system. So after all that, I have actually found or noticed these episodes happen more or are worse during periods of extreme stress or long periods of no sleep. I think it is that flight or flight that kicks in and the not breathing is just one of the manifestations of anxiety and maybe something going on that you have not dealt with. When mine started, I was able to identify that there was something happening in my life that I was afraid of. Just know it will not last. I thought mine would, and I went nuts thinking about it just like thinking about sleep. I worried it would never go away and this was my fate. And why on top of insomnia, would yet something else happen to prevent sleep? So while it still can happen to me, and actually has, I brush it off as a one off and try and think of what stress other than worry over sleeplessness could be causing it. I know how you feel and it is so maddening on top of also dealing with the insomnia. I have so many things that happen that can bother my sleep (restless legs, the breathing thing, snoring sometimes, hot/cold flashes!) so I understand that this has added more complexity. So maybe for you, is there is something going on that you have not thought of that could be making this happen right now? I can tell you that the holidays are just horrible for me. It is the worst time of year for my anxiety and sleep. It should be a happy time, but the amount of things that have to get done just overwhelm me. Just know you aren’t alone and the brain will take over eventually and make it past the breathing episodes. I was surprised when it happened for me.

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