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What causes difficulty in breathing while sleeping?

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Answered by

Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 947 Questions
For just this past week, once or twice a week, I forget to breathe while I'm sleeping. Lying down awake, I'm fine. But moment I fall asleep, I stop breathing. I'm unsure if this is sleep apnea or GERD. Tonight I have GERD symptoms (stomach pain, radiating pain, nausea, belching, muscle spasms in throat etc) tonight also I have these "apnea like" symptoms... Does this sound like sleep apnea or a side effect of GERD? What can I do to sleep? Will advil help?
Posted Sat, 30 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Manisha Gopal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
most likely gerd but need details to clarify

Detailed Answer:
From the query it dosent seem like sleep apnoea but still some impprtant points need to be clarified to reach a correct diagnosis.

1. dose this happen anytime during the day when you cant breathe? When you are focussed on doing something else?

2. What happens when you wake up at night? can you sleep back after that or it repeats?

If the answer to 1. is yes, and 2. is NO: then we may need an EEG, Sleep study and MRI brain to rule out neurological issues.

However, if it is not so, then meds for GERD like pantoperazole + domperidone in morning would help a lot.

Maintain food restrictions- avoid the ones which are prone to increase GERD symptoms.

Try to elevate head end of bed by some degress - will prevent regurgitation.

So, dont panic, most likely its just uncomfortable breathing episode and due to gastritis but still I have added few questions to clarify the situation.

Wish you speedy recovery.
Dr. Manisha Gopal
MD Neuropsychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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