Woke Up Gasping For Air

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1254
   Posted 1/8/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I've posted about this before, but it happened again last night. I was asleep for about an hour when I woke up gasping for air, my vision was blurry, and I couldn't breathe enough to say anything at first. I stood up and was dizzy and was up for hours afterward.

When it happened before, an ENT said I didn't fit the profile for sleep apnea (don't snore, thin, and young), so he wrote that off. But, I have no explanation for it. It doesn't happen very often, but it is so scary that I dread it happening again.

I never had this before Lyme, so I don't know whether to think it's a Lyme symptom or not.

Has anyone had anything similiar?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 652
   Posted 1/8/2009 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I went about a two week period where this happened to me...and it's happened a couple random times since then. I, too do not fit the profile for sleep apnea. It was the strangest thing and I DREADED going to sleep because it's the scariest feeling upon waking up...it was as if I had been holding my breath. The only thing I could think of is that it's just one more neurological problem...brain not sending respiratory system the right signals...

I'm sorry that the only thing I can say is - no, you're not alone!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1120
   Posted 1/8/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I have this also, and somewhere I read that its called "air-starvation." That describes it perfectly for me. I read that on a Lyme-symptom list, sorry I dont recall where I read it but its definately from Lyme.  D

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1161
   Posted 1/8/2009 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I had this for about 2 years before getting diagnosed. I used to wake up as you did. With the feeling of not being able to breath combined with a feeling of impending doom. It was hard to describe but i'm sure you can relate. More like waking up with a panic attack or air starvation. I did one of two things back then. I would go on a walk around the neighborhood, yeah sounds nuts at 4am. Or i would take a shower to calm me down so i could relax enough to fall asleep, for some reason the shower had a calming effect. Later on i realized this happened more often in the winter than the summer. I think it has some to do with humidity, not sure if you have a humidifier or not. And i think some of it had to do with lyme, bart or babs. I do recall, this feeling slowly went away after a year or so of doxy and biaxin. I haven't felt this feeling in almost 3 years now.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 1/9/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Before all my exercise intolerance and fatigue set in, I was fit with weight appropriate to height.  When we eliminated other things, I had a sleep study - and whether I fit the profile or not - I have sleep apnea.  It also has to do with the shape of the airway, tone of the muscles, and stuff like that.  There are Dr's who conduct these sleep studies.  Sounds like it'd be a good idea to have one done.  They actually measure how many times an hour your breathing is delayed, if there's restless leg, and if you get into REM sleep.
If I don't use the CPAP machine, I can relate to the gasping for air thing.
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