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I sound like I'm choking in my sleep?!

I've been away for the past few days and shared a hotel room with my sister. She said I woke her up in the night last night because I sounded like I was choking/ struggling to breath. This morning I'm a bit sob, tight chested and I've got a cough. She didn't wake me at the time, just moaned at me this morning! I usually have my own room so I have no idea if this is her exaggerating, something random or something that happens a lot!

Has anyone else been told the same thing? Kind of concerning to be told that!

Thanks :)

8 Replies

It might be worth mentioning to your GP in case they want to screen you to see if you need a sleep study done. They just monitor your oxygen saturation overnight with a probe on the end of your finger to see if your oxygen dips - which could be due to obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnea. It essentially means that your airway in your throat either narrows or blocks temporarily when you are sleeping, restricting or obstructing the flow of air. Most folk that have it, experience terrific tiredness and fatigue constantly as they arent getting good quality sleep.


I agree with NurseFurby, deffo woth mentioning to GP and getting it checked out (here is my pic of what the probe looked like if you're interested) But if its at all reassuring my ex used to complain ALL the time that i sounded like i was really struggling/gasping/choking in my sleep and my sleep study was negative, so unless my breathing has gotten worse and the apnea has gone it is possible to sound nasty and it not be a problem :-)


Thanks nursefurby and soph :)

It's weird but I'm never overly tired during the day, yet I do wake up a lot at night. Then again, I live in halls!

I'll mention it next time I see someone.

Thanks for the link soph, that was really helpful and reassuring!


Nurse furby, you said you had hypopnea right? What kind of treatments have they offered you or is it a case of live with it? A quick google told me that are sleep apartus' available but that doesn't found fun. Also the NHS suggests the usual ""loose weight, stop smoking and don't drink"". Also on this note... whenever I go to any docs they say ""you don';t smoke do you?"" I have never smoked and I think theyre hoping I say yes so they can be like ""well there's your problem, thats why your asthma is bad"".

I am yet to get this test as my docs near mums either dont seem to know it or want it left to my consultant so im waiting til im back at uni to harass them. I don't know why it hasnt been suggested as I don't rememebr the last time I wasnt tired.... and recently im waking up every night (this is asthma tho).


Hi Unigirl, yep I have hypopnea. We agreed not to treat at present, as the treatment would be non invasive ventilation at night (CPAP/BIPAP). Thankfully he was fairly pragmatic about it, and felt that adding such an invasive treatment would probably make me feel worse not better, given everything else Im dealing with, but its kept under review due to my scoliosis (I will have little option at some point). The decision to treat or not will depend both on whether its hypopnea or apnoea, and the amount of incidences during the night/degree of desaturation.

With regard to risk factors for sleep apnoea, Im very underweight, have never smoked and dont ever drink... They think mine is caused by congenital cervical abnormalities from a syndrome I have, which causes my airway to partially collapse. There will be plenty of folk who fall outside of those risk factors, but yes those things certainly do increase the risk of sleep apnoea. When I had my sleep assessment, I was orob the only non obese person there and they have a vast amount of bariatric equipment (beds and chairs) as most of their patients are morbidly obese.

Of course docs are gonna ask about smoking - it has a huge impact on lungs - and sadly a huge amount of asthmatics continue to smoke... part of GP practices role is health promotion, I get asked too, dont think anything of it - I certainly dont think they are wanting me to say yes!

I hole when you get back to Uni your consuktant will consider overnight pulse oximetry to screen you for sleep problems - they are extremely unlikely to send you straight for a polysomnography as it may not be needed and its v expensive. Obv if the pulse oximetry showed regular significant desaturation then they woukd investigate further.

I dont know where in the country you are but Papworth (largest cardiothoracic hospital in UK) has a big dedicated specialist sleep clinic called the RSSC (near Cambridge).

Im guessing youve been checked out for other causes of tiredness and fatigue? Hypothyroidism, anaemias, endocrinogical issues?


Might be sleep apnea as sometimes it can make you gasp for air in teh middle of the night - as if your airways have closed. I have it - and if you feel tired during the day etc it could be possible.

Your Dr could refer you to the Royal Brompton in London (South Kensington) they are fantastic there as they will do a sleep study - wire you up for the night from 10pm and remove it in the morning and give you the results after an hour or so while you are waiting in your room.

Hope you get sorted



Seems sensible as it can cause breathing problems through your nose and other things, so Ive read.

I know it has a huge impact on lungs, I think they always have a confused look on their face too as I have such a baby face so they feel odd asking the question (although teens smoke these days). I'm not insulted by it, its just if I have of smoked I would of stopped the second I got asthma, I would try anything I could to make it better (within reason).

I don't think I'm seeing my cons til next month, GPs could offer me the treatment though couldnt they?

I am in the north west so not really looking to travel that far. I have noticed that a lot of board members seem to be around that area, or maybe it is just that they mention specific hospitals more.

I have been checked for those things, my bloods came back funny this month and the receptonists didnt really explain, just said I needed em done again so going back for that next week. I am seeing GP today so hopefully she'll explain better. Apparently my Full Blood Count is low (I mentioned it on another post ). But I have never had anything abnormal crop up before and they have done my bloods alot. Also I am tired throughout the year not just recently and although i am a lot more tired at the moment, I am getting a lot of night time symptoms so I assume thats what is making it worse.


if they've ssaid your FBC is low then that could explain fatigue (and also - i cant remember if you are the sort to get lots of pulse ox, but low FBC can make pulse ox read higher!). I think they're system for treating anemia is silly, i am still symptomatic when sat on the bottom end of 'normal' but they wont treat till i drop below normal, and yet once they've started treatment they wont stop treatment until you are WELL over the normal limit. It is therefore possible that you have been feeling rubbish-y with the anemia stuff for ages but have been *just* too high to treat, but once you've dropped below normal they will treat you until you are feeling actually decent again. That would also make sense with them doing a re-test as chances are you are only slightly below normal and so may have been low, but normal and dropping slowly over time!!


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