Holding my breath while waking up.

Patient

Q: My problem is with sleeping. Sometimes at night I find myself holding my breath while wakening. Its usually only once or twice a night and most of the time it is when I am laying on my stomach. It does not happen every night either. I am just wondering if it is a cause for concern?

Symptoms:  Holding breath while wakening.
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for choosing "Ask The Doctor" for posting your query.
The symptoms that you have stated do not appear to be worrisome at this stage. Many people have experienced such a phenomenon where in we feel that we were not breathing when we wake up. But mostly the requirement of oxygen reduces while we are asleep and the respiratory rate also reduces. This may sometimes mimic as if we are chocking. But still if you want to be sure that everything is alright, you may get a polysomnography done. This is a 12 hour sleep study to identify any respiratory distress while you are asleep and will rule out any such possibility.
Do meet your doctor and discuss about the mentioned test.
Hope I am able to answer your concerns.

Wish you good health!

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