unable to breath during sleep

Woke up last night fighting to breath in. I have had it before over the years but very scary. Feels like throat is stuck together. Does anyone else get anything like this? I didn't think it would happen while using bipap but it was very bad last night. Can't do my heart much good, as it's still bouncing around this morning, I feel v drained, although I did go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I have AF, leaky valve and severely reduced lung function mainly due to scoliosis

I have mentioned to Drs, and had it checked out many years ago, but it was felt it was due to either anxiety, or after effects of cough/cold

Will mention to Brompton Drs again when I go on Tuesday, but thought I would ask all you experts out there. Jean

15 Replies

  • Jean, this is so basic that it's probably ridiculous and if so please ignore it. I'm just wondering if any of your meds or the Bi-pap could be dryin up your mouth and throat to the point where your throat does feel stuck together ? I ask this because a med that I started in 2014 has the effect of drying my mouth out so completely, that sometimes when I wake up, I feel I can't move it. By taking a drink of water the sensation goes and I also find sucking a hard sweet like a barley sugar or butterscotch, generates loads of saliva and makes my mouth /throat feel normal again.

  • I know what you're saying, and yes my mouth does get dry with bipap, but it is different. I've been giving it some thought during the morning, and I'm going to get some more pillows and attempt to sleep more sitting up, as I do tend to sleep fairly flat on 2 pillows ,and with the bipap tend to sleep more on my back than I used to. But as I say, this has been going on for quite a few years, even when I was fairly fit and well. It was just so bad this morning it did scare me somewhat. Thanks for your reply. Jean

  • Has your mask been checked recently to ensure it is fitting/working properly?

  • the mask is fine, this happens with or without bipap, usually it is mild and just wakes me up, but last night was particularly bad, and took me a few attempts to be able to breathe in. thanks for replying

  • Hi Jean, I agree with Billiejean that this sounds like your throat drying up. I get this most nights due to being a mouth breather. I am not on oxygen and had this prior to taking any medication. I always have a glass of water by my bed. As I am used to this happening, I don't panic any more as I know that a drink will solve it. Like you, I go back to sleep afterwards.

    Take care,


  • Thanks Helen6

  • hi misuse....I found the best and quickest way to relieve dry throat is sipping a cold fizzy drink....so I put a small fridge next to my bed....coke seems to be the best as it helps wash your mouth at the same time....


  • oh, hadn't tried that one, will give it a go, thanks

  • 😊xx

  • Could you be suffering from sleep apnoea?

  • not as such, but I do use a bipap every night because of high CO2 levels. I have had numerous sleep studies and never shown up as sleep apnoea as such.

  • Do check with your consultant, but I haven't been able to lie flat for over 3 years now. Mainly because I can't breathe properly when I do and also because I have spinal fractures so lying flat is agony. I prop myself up with large pillows and cushions - do really prop yourself up well and you should find it much easier to breathe.....good luck :)

  • Thanks Loisiana. Jean

  • I used to have this problem wake up chocking couldn't swallow ,dry mouth ,when I asked doc at hospital he said it was all part of copd ' I always put it down to being a mouth breather and thought just had a dry mouth,speak to ur doctor,it's no botherd me since being on puffers, hope u can get this sorted it is scary xx

  • Not a very successful visit to Brompton Tuesday. I think they are flummoxed. Saw Dr I haven't seen for quite a few years, he's now a prof. We had a long chat. My problem is my lungs are scrunched up due to scoliosis, nothing else seems to be going on. My lung function is worse, which may be due to the bad infection I had in Dec and which took three lots of ABs to knock on head. He feels there was really no need to change my inhalers as Atrovent and Flixotide are as good as any as I have no underlying disease as such and no asthma as such. So no change of inhalers. He hopes pulmonary rehab will help, I have assessment on 7th Sept. Talked about various things such as sleeping flat, no problem with that, other than waking up fighting for breath during night, which he thinks more pillows may help. very frustrating. So can only hope PR kicks start my breathing. We shall see. I knew at some point Brompton would say they had helped me as much as they could, but hoped it wouldn't be just yet.

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