Home Lung and airwaysDyspnoea Choking and shortness of breath when sleeping: causes and solutions

Choking and shortness of breath when sleeping: causes and solutions

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The shortness of breath or the feeling of suffocation is also called dyspnea and is nothing more than a subjective experience of difficult definition that becomes exasperating and that many people who suffer from panic disorders and other associated diseases tend to live, where they perceive difficulty breathing, but is it really shortness of breath or just a perception?

In other words, the feeling of suffocation is among the most overwhelming symptoms of anxiety, people describe that they feel as if the nose is blocked and that the chest does not have enough capacity to open and contain the necessary air. This turns into something exasperating, at the same time it generates enough fear not to be able to sleep or rest. This should not go unnoticed because it can represent a sign of a serious medical condition, panic, or even related to lifestyle factors.

It should be taken into account that treated on time, a host of important health complications can be avoided. For this reason, FastlyHealrecommends you go to a doctor who will ask the pertinent questions, a physical examination to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment to manage the sensation of suffocation when sleeping. Here are the causes and solutions for choking and shortness of breath when sleeping.

Feeling of suffocation and shortness of breath when sleeping due to anxiety

There are multiple causes of the sensation of suffocation in which physiological, psychological, social and environmental factors intervene.

Normally, when we breathe, blood cells carry oxygen and also release a waste product called carbon dioxide that is carried through the body and eliminated by the lungs. When there is a feeling of suffocation or shortness of breath, the adequate supply of oxygen is obviously not being received and carbon dioxide builds up in the body.

The most common cause is anxiety . The person may report having been sleeping and suddenly waking up with a feeling of suffocation or suffocation, this is due to a problem of inadequate breathing that is medically called hyperventilation or excessive pulmonary ventilation. This situation causes the person to desperately try to search for air faster and deeper.

Anxiety constitutes an emotional state of the human being coming from the mental interiority of the person, which also perceives a sensation of imminent danger, this disorder is related to the high level of stress throughout the day that, at the same time, can manifest itself with nausea, tachycardia, abdominal pain, headache, and tiredness. In the following article, we show the best tricks to cure anxiety .

Feeling of shortness of breath when sleeping due to sleep apnea

Another important reason for shortness of breath when sleeping is sleep apnea, a distressing pathology for those who suffer from it, enduring hundreds of stops of breathing in the same night that may or may not go unnoticed.

This is more common if the person is a smoker, overweight, has larger than normal tonsils or adenoids, sleeps on their back, or takes some drugs.

In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail the symptoms, causes, and treatment of sleep apnea .

Other less common causes of choking and shortness of breath when sleeping

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A chronic disease of the lungs characterized by progressive and irreversible airway obstruction.
  • Asthma : Inflammatory bronchial disease triggered by multiple causes and triggers.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia: a heart rate and rhythm disorder that manifests as a sensation of night suffocation.
  • Angina pectoris : crushing pain in the heart area where there is a decrease in blood supply to the heart cells.

What to do if I am short of breath when sleeping

The solution will depend on the cause of the problem:

  • The first possible way to improve the feeling of suffocation when sleeping is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day to release accumulated stress, practices such as yoga are recommended.
  • Second, you must learn to manage your breath: first, it is advisable to take a short and slow inspiration of approximately 4 seconds, repeat it 2 times and, finally, hold your breath for 2 or 3 seconds. All this should be repeated approximately 4 times throughout the day, especially before sleeping in order to make breathing regular, especially for those who suffer from panic. Practicing abdominal breathing and avoiding falling into excess of nerves improves symptoms of shortness of breath.
  • Keep the body as healthy as possible by improving the diet , avoiding sugars, saturated fats and refined bread. It is recommended to add salads and natural juices to the diet.
  • It is also recommended, in case of obesity, to improve your lifestyle and lose weight , while this happens, the ideal thing would be to sleep on your side and not on your back to improve symptoms, reducing the pressure that is exerted on the lungs by the excessive weight.
  • Finally, chronic diseases such as asthma and COPD have their basic treatment indicated by the specialist.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Drowning sensation and shortness of breath when sleeping: causes and solutions , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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