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Can you suffucate in your sleep?

 
 
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 02:20 am
First, when I had a cold, I dreamt I couldn't breathe. Then I woke up and I found out my body had been trying to breathe through my stuffy nose. Why didn't it switch to mouth breathing automatically?

Then, I had another dream that I couldn't breathe. This time when I woke up, I got sleep paralysis and my body kept trying to force me to go back to sleep. Normally, I would have, except that this time I was lying face down on my bed and I couldn't breathe. When I woke my body up, I got up and gasped for air.

Why was my body trying to force me back to sleep when I couldn't breathe? Why didn't it roll back over? Was I ever in any real danger? Or would my own body have saved me somehow by rolling over or forcing me back awake?
 
View best answer, chosen by PinkLipstick
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 02:45 am
I am bemused that you write as though your body were an entity independent of you.

There is a condition called sleep apnea, but those who suffer from it are not necessarily in danger of suffocation--and they almost never know that they are having any breathing problems. It seems to me that you just experienced some problems due to your stuffy nose. You could try propping pillows up so that you are sitting up when you sleep, or you could sit in a reclining chair while you sleep.

In any case, if you have a genuine medical problem, the best advice you can get is from a physician, not some joker like me online. Online advice is worth exactly as much as you paid to read it.
PinkLipstick
 
  0  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:16 am
@Setanta,
I wouldn't say I have a medical problem, I just move when I sleep and I'm scared one day I'll end up face down again, unable to breathe, and that I'll just die in my sleep. Is that possible?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:23 am
Contact a physician. Death is usually considered to be a serious medical condition.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:41 am
People with sleep apnea suffocate when they are in deep sleep and sometimes even die.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:47 am
This member has not described an experience which resembles sleep apnea. It is grossly irresponsible of you to post something like that, Brandon. Where did you say you attended medical school?
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:06 pm
@Setanta,
Though the thought of someone turning his back on himself is amusing.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  5  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:10 pm
@Setanta,
Thanks for being the adult in the room. If one feels concern for asphyxiation in his/her sleep, one should contact a physician. One shouldn't be depending on A2K denizens for medical advice.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 03:43 pm
@PinkLipstick,
I to once have a dream of not being able to breathe and when I woke up I found that one of my very heavy cats [20 pounds plus] was sound asleep on my chest.

I remember laying still and watching this silly cat happily sound asleep while going up and down on my chest.

You got to love them for some reason or other...... Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 09:21 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
This member has not described an experience which resembles sleep apnea. It is grossly irresponsible of you to post something like that, Brandon. Where did you say you attended medical school?

I have sleep apnea and have discussed it with many doctors.
maxdancona
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 10:06 pm
@PinkLipstick,
It is highly unlikely. I googled for a while and couldn't find a single case where an otherwise healthy person died this way.

Sleep Apnea is linked with increase death rates from other causes (i.e. stroke or heart attack). But look at mortality statistics (which lists the ways to die and the number people who die this way). This doesn't even make the list.

If this was just a one time symptom of a cold, then I wouldn't worry about it. If this happens more times then it might be sleep apnea (which you should have treated). In that case I would certainly talk to my doctor and ask to see a specialist.
PinkLipstick
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 11:35 pm
@maxdancona,
I haven't had another incident since then. I guess I was just really scared because I had never experienced anything like that before. It was scary to think something as common as sleeping could be deadly. I had never thought that as a possibility. Surely, death by sleeping would be more common knowledge if it actually happened, right? Because everyone sleeps every night.

I wonder if your body automatically wakes you up when something is covering your face?
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2014 11:36 pm
@PinkLipstick,
It probably wakes you up when blood CO2 gets above some level. And if that happens, you might be inclined to hyperventilate a little. Panic will do that.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 03:07 am
@Brandon9000,
If that is true, then you ought to have recognized that what this member was describing was not sleep apnea, Dr. Brandon.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 04:11 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
If that is true, then you ought to have recognized that what this member was describing was not sleep apnea, Dr. Brandon.

To simply repeat a description of sleep apnea which I have heard many times from my doctors and which is widely known is not equivalent to pretending to be a doctor. I think I'm capable of parroting back a description of an illness which I have. I didn't actually say that the OP had it. The answer to the post title, "Can You Suffocate in Your Sleep?" is yes. Sleep apnea is one example of an illness with which you can suffocate in your sleep.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 04:16 am
@Brandon9000,
Then why did you make that dire statement? You said nothing to suggest to the author that what she described was not sleep apnea. Your initial post in this thread was irresponsible, and not appropriate to the question in the OP.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 04:18 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Then why did you make that dire statement. You said nothing to suggest to the author that what she described was not sleep apnea. Your initial post in this thread was irresponsible, and not appropriate to the question in the OP.

It was, however, a direct and correct answer to the thread title, "Can You Suffocate in Your Sleep?" Doctors have told me that people with sleep apnea can suffocate in their sleep.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 04:20 am
@Brandon9000,
Suffocate in "your" sleep? They can't suffocate in my sleep. Your answer was inappropriate and alarmist. But Little Miss Can't Be Wrong will never admit that, will you?

Ah . . . i see you have edited your post. How weaselly of you.
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 04:21 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Suffocate in "your" sleep? They can't suffocate in my sleep. Your answer was inappropriate and alarmist. But Little Miss Can't Be Wrong will never admit that, will you?

The thread title poses the question, "Can You Suffocate in Your Sleep?" I answered the question directly, and I was correct. It's not alarmist or anything else to answer the actual question that was asked.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 04:23 am
@Brandon9000,
So now you're a f*cking lawyer, too, huh? When someone asks a detailed questions such as that, it is appropriate to advise them to seek professional help. You're not a doctor, you're not a lawyer, and you have no business making such a remark without appropriate disclaimers. You made no such disclaimer.
 

 
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