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Doctor insights on: Normal Oxygen Levels During Sleep

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Dr. Scott Bolhack
3,107 Doctors shared insights

Oxygen (Definition)

Oxygen is a gas that the cells in your body need to work properly. The air we breathe normally has 21% oxygen. A maximum of 100% oxygen can be given. Babies with heart or lung problems may need ...Read more


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In a person with sleep apnea, what causes the rises and falls in oxygen saturation of arterial blood during sleep?

In a person with sleep apnea, what causes the rises and falls in oxygen saturation of arterial blood during sleep?

Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is defined as stopping breathing for 10 seconds. During that time, the body is not getting any oxygen. In addition, there can be instances that last less than 10 seconds, or where a less than adequate effort to breath is attempted. These also reduce the oxygen intake.

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Completed sleep study and have mild sleep apnea. Oxygen recorded during sleep 86%. Will a CPAP machine help ease my high rate of PVCs (20, 000) a day.

Completed sleep study and have mild sleep apnea. Oxygen recorded during sleep 86%. Will a CPAP machine help ease my high rate of PVCs (20, 000) a day.

CPAP and PVCs: Hi Derrick, there is data that demonstrates that CPAP usage does decrease the number of PVCs, but this was only in patients diagnosed with heart failure. Keep in mind that regular CPAP usage should improve any current symptoms related to sleep apnea such as day time fatigue and will also prevent long term complications such as pulmonary hypertension. Hope this helps!

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Oxygen level frequently drops to the 70's % while sleeping. I don't like the cpap machine and I can't tolerate it. The cpap machine is in the closet.

Oxygen level frequently drops to the 70's % while sleeping. I don't like the cpap machine and I can't tolerate it. The cpap machine is in the closet.

Frequent drop in O2: Eventually can cause problems, such as pulmonary hypertension, systemic hypertension, cardiomyopathy. If you can't tolerate the cpap, talk to your doctor for a regimen to lose weight or if needed to have surgery to improve your sleep apnea.

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Oximeter is giving a reading of 92 with a pulse of 103 for a 3 year old that has asthma while asleep after xopenex (levalbuterol). Is this normal? Is oxygen too low?

Oximeter is giving a reading of 92 with a pulse of 103 for a 3 year old that has asthma while asleep after xopenex (levalbuterol). Is this normal? Is oxygen too low?

See below: A pulse ox of 92% indicates a moderate asthma attack. Pulse is normal. More importantly is wether or not your child is responding to treatment. Proper treatment can prevent the attack from becoming severe with a pulse ox <90%. You want to prevent that. CALL YOUR PEDIATRICIAN FOR ADVICE. If unable to reach he/she have your child evaluated in ER/EC

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Symptoms of oxygen depravation while sleeping?

Symptoms of oxygen depravation while sleeping?

Sleep O2 deprivation: The symptoms vary from mild sleepiness to difficulty concentrating and adhd, anxiety, panic, depression, severe sleepiness, irritability, and mild cognitive deficits to complete disorientation and full delirium that can take days to clear. If it is very severe, a person could die in their sleep.

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What is oxygen saturation (spo2) while sleeping that is dangerously low?

What is oxygen saturation (spo2) while sleeping that is dangerously low?

It all depends: Without knowing a detailed medical history to determine if "low" oxygen may be a chronic, well compensated issue, it is impossible to answer. Typically normal oxygen staurations are within 94-97% while sleeping. Patients with sleep breathing disorders, like sleep apnea may experience dips in this saturation. However, it is standard to try and keep saturation above 89%. Talk to your doctor.

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Will be on oxygen while sleeping affect my progression through sleep stages?

Will be on oxygen while sleeping affect my progression through sleep stages?

Likely improve: If you are on oxygen at night for something like sleep apnea, then likely you will get better sleep quality (and progress through deeper stages of sleep) with treatment.

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Consistent oxygen saturation of 89-90 while sleeping. Is this considered obstructive sleep apnea?

Consistent oxygen saturation of 89-90 while sleeping. Is this considered obstructive sleep apnea?

Right on the brink: Typically, O2 sats while asleep in a healthy individual should be >90. If yours are typically hitting 90 or below then, I'd say you are right in the crack between barely normal and barely abnormal. I'd think for a 19 year old nonsmoker you could do a bit better than that so it all depends on what else is going on. That number by itself doesn't diagnose OSA but "yes" you could have it.

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My father is about 45 years old and have respiratory problem while talking oxygen in while sleeping.

My father is about 45 years old and have respiratory problem while talking oxygen in while sleeping.

Sleep Apnea?: What you describe sounds like sleep apnea or some type of airway obstruction. He needs to have a sleep study done to determine the severity, cause and proper therapy.

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Is it normal to have cortisol surge during sleep, causing slightly higher morning gluc level then bedtime level? Typical: morning ~ 98, bedtime ~83.

Is it normal to have cortisol surge during sleep, causing slightly higher morning gluc level then bedtime level? Typical: morning ~ 98, bedtime ~83.

"Dawn phenomenon": Hi. Yes, cortisol begins to rise in the wee hours of the morning and is part of what leads to the "dawn phenomenon", the rise in glucose often seen beginning before awakening. I hate to assume, but assume you're diabetic or you wouldn't be checking your sugars. Based on your bedtime and morning sugars, at least, your diabetes looks very well controlled!

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Hi I'm asthmatic its been really bad for past 6weeks I can't lie flat while asleep fel like my airway closes my gp won't help feel like oxygen leveldr?

Hi I'm asthmatic its been really bad for past 6weeks I can't lie flat while asleep fel like my airway closes my gp won't help feel like oxygen leveldr?

Concerning!: You may need to add an inhaled steroid like fluticasone to your asthma therapy in addition to your fast acting inhaler. Be sure to use a spacer (we call them aerochambers here) with your puffs to maximize the lung distribution of your meds. Also you should have a peak flow meter to measure your lung volumes with. You can tailor your medicine to the level of restriction, is the idea. Good Luck

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I was just diagnosed w/sleep apnea & was told my oxygen dropped to 68. I know normal levels are in the 90s. What is the effect of levels in the 60s?

Sleep apnea: This is a serious condition. Low levels mean that your system esp. Your brain is suffering from periodic deprivation of normal oxidation of the blood, which is dangerous, you should be under care for the apnea, which often is applying pressured air via a face mask to keep oxygen levels normal.

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When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, the doctor said my blood oxygen level was normal. Do I actually need a cpap?

When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, the doctor said my blood oxygen level was normal. Do I actually need a cpap?

CPAP: Normal oxygen does not mean that your oxygen saturation did not drop. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea like daytime somnolence, problems concentrating or with memory or irritability or if you have high blood pressure, stroke/tia, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, you have to be treated. Also moderate and severe osa have to be treated, even w/o anything of the above.

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,002 Doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more