Asthma attacks in sleep?

Hi guys,

Last night had a dream about suddenly having an asthma attack, I woke up (at 5am) and it felt like the asthma attack had become real because there I was tight chested out of breath and wheezing a bit. It calmed down after i sat up taken some salbutamol and done some breathing exercises.

But i was wondering can you have attacks in your sleep? And is there anyway to prevent them? cos my sleep pattern is a bit dodgy at the mo, which could be due to my asthma or depression :/

Any advice welcome, Tired x

12 Replies

  • Is asthma this erratic before it calms down...

    Hi funny you should say that i had a dream when i was told i'm diabetic and in the dream i'm shocked and end up having an attack but i woke up and same thing was happening to me, my night symptoms were not controlled so my gp increased my Flixotide top up to night too. but im still Having attacks during the day.

    id say speak to your gp and get this checked out. im trying to get my appointment moved forward. But not having much luck.

  • the waking at night is not unusual and has a perfectly reasonable explanation. The body works roughly on it's own internal clock, and at 4am +/-1hr all the body functions are at their lowest/slowest so that includes lungs and breathing. Likewise 4pm is the best time of day.

    I can use the nocturnal waking as a sign that my asthma is about to go down hill. I'll wake around 3-4am for a few nights before the dip. took me a while to work out the link, but think last night was just soooooo hot, or the gale blowing through the bedroom, in one side and out the other hahaha.

  • I have had a severe attack while I was asleep last year which resulted in an ambulance in the early hours of the morning which at first I would not allow my mum to call due to being disorientated as I was still half asleep and hypoxic from the attack, at the time I had severe insomnia and my asthma was really unstable with me having a lot of admissions so both things contributed to me having an attack in my sleep. I personally don't really dream about having asthma attacks.

    Glad to hear that it was relieved with your salbutamol and breathing exercises. :) I think the only way to try to prevent them is to get your asthma under control as symptoms during the night suggests your asthma is not under control, maybe go and see your GP and/or asthma nurse and explain what has been happening. It is possible your current medications need changing or that you need more medications to control your asthma. As for depression I don't really know anything about its links with asthma/nocturnal asthma.

    take care simi :) x

  • Thanks for the response.

    Damn, just stepped down my meds because my peak flow was getting so much better, maybe it wasnt the best plan :/

    Im seeing the doc on wednesday for my regular check up anyhoo so I'll ask if she thinks i should step back up. Luckily I've not had a hospital admission yet just hope it stays that way.

    as for dreaming about them? i dunno just seems to interrupt my dreams occassionally and then i wake up like that.

    tonight i just cant seem to sleep fullstop. oh well nevermind off to try some relaxing music to shut off.

    hope you are all doing ok,

    tired x

  • Cant believe this has come up. I'd kinda been scared not knowin if this could happen, just about convinced myself it couldn't an last week i had a dream where i couldn't breath properly and when i woke up my asthma was really bad scared me i'll admit but was too worried to bring it up cause parents thought it was nothin an partner wasn't around so been left feeling really stupid an worried

  • hi cazzy,

    hope your doing ok. I was worried too that day as i wasnt even dreaming it was asthma related. But now that im desperatly trying to stay positive i drawing the positive side out and say all this extra weird stuff my asthma is doing is helping me to realised that my asthma is more a combination of nocturnal and excerise induced and not as allergy related as my doctors initially thought.

    i think its scary but oddly beneficial.

  • Yeap you can have asthma attacks in your sleep. I have heard to the wording black attack to describe an asthma attack in your sleep. Not sure why this is the name used but it doesn't sound nice at all. I always them rem attacks after the period of sleep they can happen in. It's something to do with your bodies activity in rem sleep can be like you are awake and this then leads to an asthma attack. I have then a lot and so far I haven't found a way of preventing them. I sleep propped up on 8 pillows and this helps keep my airways open and I get to sleep better this way as I can breathe better and also I have to sleep with my bed-room window open on a locked child latch and this helps as well. Hope you can start getting some quality sleep soon not being to sleep is horrid and just makes things worse as you are still tired when you wake up. Take care

  • i sleep on two small cushions lately because my rib ache is that severe - i have noticed that i now wake up at the crack of dawn with a heart palipitation and attack. Im still trying to find a soultion to this without the addition of more medication.

    I ordered a new bed which i cannot wait for it to arrive - i think there is something in the mattress (apart from the dust mites!) that is triggering it off on a massive scale during the night and this is starting the daily 6pm asthma attack.

    i've been on a low lately due to these night attacks and seems like i need to be on inhaler of some sort all day to get that 24hr prevention.

  • still not sleeping great but im breathing better :)

    @ asthma family I would love to sleep with my window open, unfortunately pollen is a major trigger so i tend to have to keep it shut :/

    Hope you are all managing ok with this humid weather.

    tired x

  • hi

    have you been for a check up recently - i had my preventer topped up when i started to have persistent night time symptoms. it may be worth checking this out with you doctor sooner than later as ive learnt once it kicks off its really hard to get in control again!

  • Such a relief to know im not going mad and that it does happen. I sometimes manage to sleep sittin up a bit. Im tryin more so now as it got me worried was hoping it wouldnt happen agen but it happened last night follwed by a massive thunderstorm not good.

  • Pollen is one of my many triggers but with the help of cetrizine (anti-histomene) I am able to manage the pollen a lot better. i also have a nasel spray I have to take twice a day if needed which I am only taking at night at the moment as I am not requiring it in the morning. I only seem to be getting the nasel discomfort at night. Hope you get another better nights sleep tonight

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