Post # 1
I am asking because I am concerned for my husband. DH claims he is having trouble breathing at night. I am pregnant and up all the time it seems, and I really don’t notice that he doesn’t, but he claims to, so I believe him. He says it feels like he quits breathing sometimes. I have noticed once or twice in the past that he doesn’t quit breathing, but its almost like he fills up his lungs and then, at a snail speed, lets the air out, like he’s trying to force himself to exhale. I noticed it as recently as two weeks ago and as far back as two years ago. He does have asthma, but he hasn’t used his inhaler or needed to use it for nearly 3 years. He typically only uses it if he has a really bad chest cough as it helps open him up and he used it as a child when he was in track or other sports.
He complained of this a few years ago, around that 2 year mark I was talking about, but then it seemed to go away or he just never complained about it. Then a few weeks ago he said he though he needs a sleep study done because he “quits” breathing at night. He said he can’t explain why he feels that way, but on the nights he complains abut this, he wakes up the next day very tired and nervous about it, as he should.
I am NOT looking for medical advice on a forum to cure this or anything. I am more so looking for people who were in the same boat and can maybe shed some light on what this could be. He has an appointment on Monday with a doctor to get some tests done and from there she will probably recommend a sleep study or a specialist or something.
Is sleep apnea going to be the best guess or could it be something else?
Post # 3
Does he have trouble breathing at night, or when he’s sleeping? There is a difference.
Post # 4
Oops. I guess I meant while he is sleeping at night. He never feels this way when taking naps or anything else. I assume just when he is in a really deep sleep, which is usually at night. That’s why our mind immediately went to sleep apnea. Sorry about that!
Post # 5
It could be sleep apnea then. Asthma can have odd triggers though. I know GPs will refer someone to a sleep study here, don’t know the system there though. My GP would be my first place to go. A sleep study sounds like a good idea, but something else might also be suggested, like a pulmonary function test.
Post # 6
It does sound like sleep apnea. The only thing is, I’m surprised that he’s aware of it! Most people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t remember waking up in the night. The biggest symptom they have is fatigue during the day. Does he carry weight on his stomach? That would predispose him to sleep apnea. And some people just have it even at a normal weight.
The other possibility that occurs to me is very bad acid reflux or GERD, which can certainly give someone a breathless feeling as though their oxygen is suddenly being cut off.
Either way it sounds like a really good idea to see the doctor.
Post # 7
@megz06: I do this exact same thing when I sleep – fill up my lungs and then almost hold my breath while the air comes out slowly, making kind of a pop-pop-pop sound. I’ve woken myself up doing it and have been told by others that they hear me do it. It’s not something that happens every night, I think I might even go through periods of times where it happens and then long periods where it doesn’t.
I’ve never been overly concerned but I found some message boards awhile back where people discuss this happening to them. Apparently it’s different from sleep apnea, but the consensus seemed to be that nobody knew what caused it. I know this isn’t much help but just thought I’d share my own experience.
Post # 8
It does sound like possible sleep apnea to me.
Post # 9
I get the same thing sometimes. At first, I thought I was waking up with panic attacks. My doctor thought I had GERD. Turns out it was allergies to dust mites/post-nasal drip. I got a prescription for rhinocort and haven’t had trouble since. We also got rid of a lot of the extra furniture, knick-knacks and the carpeting. It’s worth checking it out.
Post # 10
This happens to my husband and it is a combination of asthma and allergies. He takes an inhaler right before he lays down and it helps significantly.
Sleep apnea is more waking by a loud snore, which is your bodies way of opening the airway. You would more likely notice sleep apena than your husband would. Good luck to him to find out what the problem is!
Post # 11
Interesting. He is a skinny guy, but he does have a little lower belly pooch. It’s soft though, not a bloated pooch. Hopefully the doctor can figure something out.
That’s exactly what my husband goes through. He isn’t overly concerned right now either, but on days it does happen he gets a little worried.
Very interesting! I actually just washed the bedding two days before this happened. I didn’t get to vacuuming the room over the weekend, but we don’t have carpeting in our room anyway. However, we do have a dog…I wonder if maybe its the dog hair irritating his asthma at night? I would assume it would happen during the day then too especially since he rubs his face all over the dog daily, but who knows. We do have furniture I could move out of there too. I guess we will see what the doctor says. I hope its something like that!
That’s kind of what I figured too, and he doesn’t snore. I always assumed sleep apnea was snoring related more too. At any rate I too hope he figured this out. It’s kind of scary that he’s aware of it.
Post # 12
I also have my mattress, box spring and pillows encased in allergy-proof covers. Ideally, DH would be the one to change the linens and do all of the vacuuming, but I don’t see that happening.