Posted by: Karien | 2005/07/27

difficulty breathing while sleeping

My mother, 68, has recently started experiencing difficulty breathing while sleeping. She often (currently about twice a week) wakes up at night, unable to move, and feeling as if there is a heavy weight pressing on her chest. She then tells herself mentally that she must start breathing again, but is unable to move any part of her body. She is able to lie flat on her back without any difficulty. She is not overweight, very healthy and fit.
Please help?

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Our expert says:
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Karien, she might be suffering from sleep apnoea, but I can’t say for sure without being able to examine her. The best would be to have sleep studies done and make sure. Good luck.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Snoozy | 2005/07/27

This could also be a sleeping disorder called "sleep paralysis". I suffer from the same thing - but only if I roll onto my back during the night. It is a very terrifying thing, as your mother says you are quite unable to move anything although your brain seems to be quite alert ( in panic mode actually!), and then all of a sudden you just sort of snap out of it and you can breathe and move again.

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