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Old 06-23-2004, 12:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Holding my breath in my sleep... :(

I've rekindled my appreciation for George Michael's music. Yeah, it's a sickness.

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to ask about. I've written to this forum before about my sleeping-related troubles, and I appreciate all the replies and help I've received. Putting a big pillow between my thighs and holding another as I go to sleep seems to help my back quite a bit. So, thank you.

However...what concerns me a little is the fact that I still seem to hold my breath in my sleep. Almost every single night my wife is woken up by an awful loud noise I apparently make as I hold my breath and then start "letting it out" slowly, all the while making a horrible sound. She has at times woken me up asking me if I am okay.

Obviously, your first reaction is to suggest that I see a doctor, and I've considered that... But I've no medical insurance, and I've never been to a doctor in the U.S. before. Going to a doctor in my native country was practically free (about $20 for an annual fee, after which visits and tests were all free), and I've heard that seeing a doctor here is quite expensive.

Besides, I am not really sure what a doctor could tell me. I am somewhat overweight, so I am thinking that a doctor might simply tell me to lose weight and that's it. But somehow I don't see how the forementioned behaviour could be explained simply with being too fat.

So I guess I am wondering if anyone here has come across an issue like this, holding their breath in their sleep... I think it might be a big reason as to why I don't sleep well and wake up tired most of the time.
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Old 06-23-2004, 02:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do a google search on Sleep apnea.
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's called sleep apnea. If loosing weight (which commonly causes mre problems with sleep apnea) doesn't help then they have CPAP machines. It's forced air breathing. You wear the mask or whatever at night while you sleep. Some people find the inconvenience of the mask minimal compared to the improved sleep and greater energy during the day. Hubby was on a CPAP machine when he was intubated and unconcious from his head injury. Being on that machine for a week seemed to "train" his body to breath right and for about 3 months I never heard him stop breathing during his sleep. It may help retrain your body - at least temporarily to keep breathing. But yeah - loosing weight is probably your first best bet as I am sure that CPAP machine treatment is expensive.

Get some health insurance. It will be worth the cost if you want to seriously pursue getting rid of this. Then go see a Dr because other health problems can complicate it too. Get everything figured out and you may get some relief. IN the meantime - buy your wife a pair of earplugs - I know how it can disturb a wife's sleep.
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Last edited by raeanna74; 06-23-2004 at 04:22 AM..
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by raeanna74
It's called sleep apnea. If loosing weight (which commonly causes mre problems with sleep apnea) doesn't help then they have CPAP machines. It's forced air breathing. You wear the mask or whatever at night while you sleep. Some people find the inconvenience of the mask minimal compared to the improved sleep and greater energy during the day. Hubby was on a CPAP machine when he was intubated and unconcious from his head injury. Being on that machine for a week seemed to "train" his body to breath right and for about 3 months I never heard him stop breathing during his sleep. It may help retrain your body - at least temporarily to keep breathing. But yeah - loosing weight is probably your first best bet as I am sure that CPAP machine treatment is expensive.

Get some health insurance. It will be worth the cost if you want to seriously pursue getting rid of this. Then go see a Dr because other health problems can complicate it too. Get everything figured out and you may get some relief. IN the meantime - buy your wife a pair of earplugs - I know how it can disturb a wife's sleep.
Exactly. Sleep apnea was the first thing I thought of as well. I also think you're right to think your extra weight has something to do with it.

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep, It's sleep apnea alright.

But...I'd like you to know that even a ten pound weight loss can mitigate your symptoms.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Also, if you sleep on your back, sleep with at least one arm over your head. This stretches the diaphragm, allowing you to breathe easier.

Worked for my wife.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Note that losing weight doesn't always help with sleep apnea, but it's worth trying for its own sake and it's LIKELY to help.
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Old 06-23-2004, 08:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My dad has the same problem, and is currently using the forced air mask, and on a weight loss program. He's been doing that for about a year now, and has been feeling a lot better, and sleeping better as well.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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One bonus of using the forced air mask is that since you sleep better and have better energy during the day then you are more active during the day. More activity means it's easier to loose weight and the cycle repeats itself making your situation easier and better to deal with.
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All of that, yeah. I like mine, honestly.
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Old 06-27-2004, 12:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Cpap is definitely a non evasive way, but really is a bandaid for the problem. There are surgeries that can help that problem. Somthing to look into.
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Old 06-27-2004, 06:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The surgeries are (1) not guaranteed, (2) very painful, (3) not permanent. Do not trust a surgeon to tell you the benefits of the surgery in this case. See news:alt.support.sleep-disorder for details.
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Old 06-28-2004, 08:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have sleep apnea and I have used a CPAP for several years. I also am lucky enough to have insurance or else I'd go without. One home remedy I've heard about is to take a pocket tee shirt, remove the pocket and sew it in the middle of the back. Then take a tennis ball and sew it into the poscket. The rationale is with the ball there, you can't sleep on your back and are forced to sleep on your side. This reduces your chance of snoring and sleep apnea.
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