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Doctor insights on: Rapid Shallow Breathing During Sleep

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I was wondering what would happen if your breathing was obstructed during sleep?

I was wondering what would happen if your breathing was obstructed during sleep?

Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when breathing is obstructed during sleep. Symptoms are often daytime sleepiness and unrefreshing sleep. Left untreated it can lead to poor health outcomes like high blood pressure and heart problems. Discuss with your doctor. ...Read more

Dr. John Landi
35 Doctors shared insights

Shallow Breathing (Definition)

Shallow breathing is the opposite of deep breathing. Tachypnea is the medical term that to describe breathing if it is too fast, particularly if one has rapid, shallow breathing due to an associated lung disease ...Read more


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What does it mean when a child has "paradoxical breathing" during sleep? How is it treated?

What does it mean when a child has "paradoxical breathing" during sleep? How is it treated?

Chest IN & tummy OUT: In normal young children, both the chest and tummy expand when breathing in. With paradoxical breathing, the tummy expands when breathing in, but the chest gets sucked inward (downward). Paradoxical breathing can be normal in babies & toddlers because their chest cages are still "soft". After age 2-3 years, normal toddlers (without airway restriction) usually don't have paradoxical breathing. ...Read more

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What treatments are commonly prescribed when you have poor breathing during sleep?

What treatments are commonly prescribed when you have poor breathing during sleep?

Many: It depends on what you mean by poor breathing. If what you mean is asthma or a lung disease such as copd, careful treatment with your doctor is imperative. Others with heart conditions can have shortness of breath. If sleep apnea is the issue, the most commonly prescribed treatment is cpap. Oral appliances that keep the lower jaw slightly forward may also help. ...Read more

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What causes pausing of the breathing during sleep at 25 years old?

What causes pausing of the breathing during sleep at 25 years old?

Sleep apnea: This could be related to sleep apnea, meet with a sleep specialist or your pcp so that they can examine you and possibly even get a sleep study. ...Read more

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I need help for a gentleman friend of mine who has episodes of not breathing during sleep?

I need help for a gentleman friend of mine who has episodes of not breathing during sleep?

Possible Sleep Annea: This is a frightening thing to witness and should be investigated. Sleep apnea is a disorder where for various reasons a person stops breathing breifly when asleep. Associated with many complications. In my opinion, seeing a doctor certified in sleep medicine is the best bet, but many primary care doctors care for patients with this kind of problem. ...Read more

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What could cause unexplained rapid breathing during sleep?

What could cause unexplained rapid breathing during sleep?

Sleep disordered: Breathing is common in sleep apnea, heart conditions and asthma. A thorough examination by your primary care doctor is warranted. ...Read more

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I was wondering what would cause unexplained rapid breathing during sleep?

I was wondering what would cause unexplained rapid breathing during sleep?

Elivated co2: IF a person obstructs during sleep the co2 will rise and the oxygen level decreases. The brain will be stimulated to change this an you will increase your respiration to increase you oxygen level nd decrease you carbon dioxide level ...Read more

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Can anything else stop your breathing during sleep other than sleep apnea?

Can anything else stop your breathing during sleep other than sleep apnea?

Yes: In some people who drink lots of alcohol the muscles get more relax and that can cause obstruction of the air way and create issue of narrowing the air way. ...Read more

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What can I do to stop mouth breathing during sleep?

See your doctor: You may want to be evaluated by an ent, dentist or oral surgeon to determine why you are a mouth breather. Do you have any nasal obstruction? Is your tongue really enlarged? Do you have sleep apnea? ...Read more

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I am sweating during sleep. It seems I just finished playing football but the breathing is normal. Is it normal or is there something wrong with me?

Sweating in sleep: Don't go directly to osa as you mentioned. Many other problems can cause nocturnal sweating. Discuss with your primary doctor first. Need expert nasal exam, abdominal imaging is a possibility and cxr, maybe TB test, some people need cardiac work up. ...Read more

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Overweight with poor blood work. Also stopped breathing for 2 minutes at a time during sleep. Need MD-signed statement to fly non-Economy. Help!!!

Overweight with poor blood work. Also stopped breathing for 2 minutes at a time during sleep. Need MD-signed statement to fly non-Economy. Help!!!

You need help: Not note. If you are overweight, stopped breathing for 2 mints, most likely sleep apnea you may not be a candidate to fly, till your medical condition improves. Get medical help get cured then you don't need any note. ...Read more

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My 4 year old weird breathing during sleep, snoring, and drooling with a foam-like salava. For past two days was a little fatigue looking and a little pale, kinda like tired...., really worry.?

My 4 year old weird breathing during sleep, snoring, and drooling with a foam-like salava. For past two days was a little fatigue looking and a little pale, kinda like tired...., really worry.?

Warrants a visit: To the pediatrician, can still be a viral upper respiratory problem with blocked nasal passages, but you need to get it sorted out, goo luck ...Read more

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I feel physical pain like I'm being electrocuted during sleep paralysis. I feel I'm not breathing/heart attack & I will die. I'm scared to go to sleep?

I feel physical pain like I'm being electrocuted during sleep paralysis. I feel I'm not breathing/heart attack & I will die. I'm scared to go to sleep?

Anxiety issues?: The pattern of symptoms & the timing does not seem to make sense with any organic condition that I am aware of. Sleep paralysis should not cause pain. I think there's some type of phobia or irrational / subconscious fear leading to bedtime anxiety. I think you should see a counselor or at least talk to someone who you are close to about your problems. Do you have a family doctor or use HT Prime? ...Read more

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I am experiencing sleep paralysis, episodes of not breathing during sleep and uncontrollable jerking. The following also describe me: Sleepiness, Disorientation, and Confusion. What should I do?

I am experiencing sleep paralysis, episodes of not breathing during sleep and uncontrollable jerking. The following also describe me: Sleepiness, Disorientation, and Confusion. What should I do?

Seek professional dr: Seek someone who is sleep medicine boarded or has a detailed sleep medicine practice (not just someone who runs a sleep study center, although lots of docs who participate in this do have this background) ...Read more

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What causes my son to sometimes make really high pitched noising while breathing during his sleep?

What causes my son to sometimes make really high pitched noising while breathing during his sleep?

Nosiy breathing -kid: If your child is havign noisy brreahting in sleep you hsould have him checked out as it could be snoring vs a floppy airway. Your pediatrician should lsiten to him and if necessary will refer yo to an ENT md. ...Read more

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My son jumps on my back, I feel my back bone is alright but feeling uncomfortable during breathing especially while sleeping?

My son jumps on my back, I feel my back bone is alright but feeling uncomfortable during breathing especially while sleeping?

Muscle spasm?: Try sleeping on your side with a small comfortable pillow under your head and neck to relieve tension on your spine. Maybe also a heating pad or warm water bottle on your back to relieve muscle spasm. If breathing still does not feel normal, please have your lungs examined by a local doctor. ...Read more

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My 5 week old is still having seizure like activity, heaving breathing an gasping while sleeping, throwing up during/after feedings. Any explanation?!

My 5 week old is still having seizure like activity, heaving breathing an gasping while sleeping, throwing up during/after feedings. Any explanation?!

Seizures???: You say still having seizure like activity. Has it been evaluated before? Was it really? Babies do a lot of distinctive movements and noises both awake & asleep that can be mistaken for a problem or they can have real issues. If you can record a video of what you are seeing take the kid in for an evaluation. If the kid doesn't do it during the visit at least your video can show what happens. ...Read more

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What are some things that can happen to a teen upon waking that look like a seizure. He was taking barbitutes for sleep. Shallow breathing and limp?

What are some things that can happen to a teen upon waking that look like a seizure. He was taking barbitutes for sleep. Shallow breathing and limp?

Need more info: Based on question it sounds like you noted that your son has very shallow breathing and limp but not clear if he is responsive or not or if any unusual movements noted. Whether or not there is known barbituate exposure if there is any question about responsiveness or mental status he needs to be evaluated by a medical provider now. ...Read more

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When phenobarbital is taken for sleeping could it cause a 16 yo to have is eyes rolling and be unresponsive and shallow breathing this happen in 1998?

When phenobarbital is taken for sleeping could it cause a 16 yo to have is eyes rolling and be unresponsive and shallow breathing this happen in 1998?

Yes: Phenobarbital is an anti-convulsant barbiturate and a sedative hypnotic. It is not commonly used for sleeping anymore, having been replaced by benzodiazepines.
It does induce sleep and depresses respiration (breathing), so the symptoms you describe are not unusual. The rolling eyes can be indicative of a stage of sleep-rem (rapid eye movement). ...Read more

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After ipl developed health issues: light headed, shallow breathing, no energy or sleep.?

Honestly,: I've not ever heard about those symptoms being side effects on an intense pulsed light treatment. Sounds more like anxiety.... Perhaps start by seeing your family doctor for an evaluation. ...Read more

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If a teen is on phenabarital for sleep could it be hard to wake him after only 2 hours of taking eyes were in back of head shallow breathing?

Yes, but...: At that point the drug will be at peak levels, but I would make sure they didn't take too much. They should still be arousable with stimulation or you may want to seek the help of a health professional.

Phenobarbital can depress breathing which can be serious so if they won't react to you, pick up the phone and seek help. ...Read more

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Can you please explain how phenabarbital puts you to sleep when it was used for sleep. Caused me shallow breathing and eyes rollin unable to wake?

Can you please explain how phenabarbital puts you to sleep when it was used for sleep. Caused me shallow breathing and eyes rollin unable to wake?

Phenobarbital: Is a strong sedative and is not the best med for sleep. You either took too much or had a paradoxical action from it. Do not use this for sleep. ...Read more

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I've went to the hospital from waking up and not breathing correctly and having shallow breathing. My hearts fine from the scans. Do I have sleep Apne?

I've went to the hospital from waking up and not breathing correctly and having shallow breathing. My hearts fine from the scans. Do I have sleep Apne?

ToSleepPerchanceTo..: There are certain indications for the need of an overnight sleep study to figure this out. Some of the general indications to justify this study are: Excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or repeated awakening with gasping or choking; persistent loud snoring, Observed apnea or choking episodes, or significantly overweight. Check with your doctor about this. Every Health Plan is different. ...Read more

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Had 2 seizures in my sleep at age16 just had shallow breathing and eyes in back of head only my parents seen could this have been deep sleep 30 now?

Had 2 seizures in my sleep at age16 just had shallow breathing and eyes in back of head only my parents seen could this have been deep sleep 30 now?

Yes, it could have: There is really no way to know if those old symptoms your parents saw were indeed seizures. Even as experts, it is sometimes difficult for doctors to determine if some types of neurologic activity are seizures - that's what eeg's are for. If question as to whether you still have anything, a sleep study or sleep deprived eeg may provide you with answers. ...Read more

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Is it true that we sometimes stop breathing while sleeping?

Yes: There is a condition called sleep apnea which can be due to the anatomy of the upper airway or can be caused by abnormalities in the brain. The latter is referred to as central sleep apnea. Either way people with sleep apnea have numerous episodes each night in which they briefly stop breathing. ...Read more

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Can you tell me how could I avoid breathing through mouth while sleeping?

Can you tell me how could I avoid breathing through mouth while sleeping?

See below: A deviated septum, allergic rhinitis, sleep apnea, among other conditions may cause you to prefer to mouth breathe. It is recommended that you consult an ENT and/or a sleep medicine specialist, so they can properly evaluate you. Based on what the underlying cause is, a treatment plan can be made. Hope that helps! ...Read more

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Can you tell me how I could avoid breathing through mouth while sleeping?

Can you tell me how I could avoid breathing through mouth while sleeping?

Check nose: Mouth breathing during sleep can sometimes be caused by a blockage or congestion in the nose. Nasal saline solutions to irrigate the nose may help. Nasal sprays may also help. Discuss this with your doctor and or an ENT (ear nose and throat) specialist. PS-If you also snore and feel tired during the day, you might want to consider a sleep study. ...Read more

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What to do if my hubby's breathing pace (speed/rhythm) constantly changing while sleeping.?

What to do if my hubby's breathing pace (speed/rhythm) constantly changing while sleeping.?

Often normal: I've actually been told I'm like that. Cheyne-Stokesing is the norm for some guys. I'm going to trust that he doesn't have obstructive or central sleep apnea. Best wishes. ...Read more

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While sleeping, I am awaken because I feel like suffocated and I cough and my breathing becomes okay. What is this?

Need more info: It may be from the position you are sleeping in. Try sleeping without a pillow or a thin pillow. If you are overweight, it may be due to obstructive sleep apnea and losing weight will help. ...Read more

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Hello Sir, Since I have shifted from India to Saudi Arabia, I am constantly having difficulty in breathing and dry mouthn while sleeping. Please advis?

Hello Sir, Since I have shifted from India to Saudi Arabia, I am constantly having difficulty in breathing and dry mouthn while sleeping. Please advis?

Probably not related: While Saudi Arabian climate can be daunting to any recent arrival to cause physical discomfort before acclimatizing, for on going problems in falling asleep, pl get yourself checked for any sleep disturbance which can cause long term adverse effects on your health. ...Read more

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What can I do to quiet my husband's heavy breathing while sleeping?

Heavy breathing: Unfortunately heavy breathing can be more than just annoying but a sign of underlying sleep problem such as sleep apnea. Is this worse on his back? Does he ever stop breathing. Ask him to see a doctor that specialized in sleep. You and he will sleep better when you do. ...Read more

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While sleeping I wake to chocking, gasping for air from breathing in saliva. Happens often! What should I do?

Sleep Clinic: You urgently need to see a sleep specialist and be observed sleeping in a sleep clinic. Please contact your local hospital to get in to be seen urgently. ...Read more

Breathing (Definition)

Breathing is the way we take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide (co2) through out lungs. When our lungs expand we take fresh air in that contains oxygen and then when our lungs ...Read more


Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,051 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