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Why does my breathing stop for a while when I am asleep?

Q: Every morning when I wake up, I feel like I had not slept at all. Why do I feel like this? I have asthma and I am maintaining it with medicine. According to my wife, I snore very loudly when I sleep and sometimes don't even breathe for a little while. What should I do to overcome these problems?

A:From your description it is possible that you might be suffering from sleep apnoea, which could result in the symptoms that you mentioned. Sleep apnoea is a condition where you stop breathing or air flow is decreased while sleeping. As a result there is a drop in the blood oxygenation levels during sleep, which potentially could lead to various adverse consequences on cardio/cerebrovascular system (such as heart diseases and stroke). In addition sleep apnoea leads to increased daytime tiredness and sleepiness possibly as a result of poor quality of sleep during night. Moreover, sleep apnoea may worsen underlying pulmonary conditions (asthma, emphysema), heart conditions (congestive heart failure, arrhythmias), and metabolic disorders (diabetes). Please have a comprehensive evaluation by a physician who is specialised in sleep disorders along with an overnight sleep study.

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