i can't breathe

Hi Allison—

I’m glad you wrote in, because your sleep disorder is a serious and life—threatening condition! Fortunately, a solution to your sleep problem is only a phone call away.

Your difficulty falling asleep and repeated awakenings short of breath inform us that you are suffering from a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when our airways in our necks become narrow or blocked—due to the relaxed muscle tone that naturally accompanies sleep onset. Your blocked airway is causing you to struggle for air while you are asleep.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include difficulty falling asleep at night (we keep having to “wake up” to breathe), mild to loud snoring, pauses in breathing, loud snorts and body movements upon resumption of breathing, frequent awakenings during the night short of breath, dreams of being underwater or drowning, and complaints of tiredness during the day—due to disturbed sleep at night.

Because your airway is closing each time that you fall asleep, this “cycle of apnea” can repeat literally hundreds of times per night. Sleep apnea puts a burden on your heart, and has been conclusively linked to increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

What’s the meaning of these repeated arousals during sleep? You’re not getting the air you need to breathe, and your body is sending an urgent a message. It’s time to locate a sleep expert in your area at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Call today to make an appointment. The life you save may be your own!

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