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Waking up in night with breathlessness with normal heartbeat.

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My problem is that I wake up after about 1 hour during night sleep with a breathlessness. Once I take a deep breath the problem disappears and I sleep normally until I wake up in the morning. This problem becomes severe when I eat fatty food or when I drink a lot of tea or coffee. It becomes much better in the night that I don't have a dinner in.
I did a check up and my heart valves were ok, my heart beat was normal, the stress testt was OK but with a depression and my doctor told me not to worry about it. One thing which attract my attention is that my heart beat falls during the sleep to about 35 bpm.

I'm not sure what is the source of my problem but at early stage of it I thought if I forgot to breathe.

Look forward to seeing your reply.

Category: Pulmonologist

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Category: Allergy and Immunologist
 22 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
I understand your concern.
Can I know your age, height, weight, body mass index, neck circumference,whether you have any nasal allergies, asthma, shooting during sleep, daytime sleepiness, alcohol use?
Probably it's just a heart-burn reflux. But need to rule out obstructive sleep apnoea.
'One thing which attract my attention is that my heart beat falls during the sleep to about 35 bpm.' - can't understand how you noticed your heart rate when you were sleeping. How did you measure it exactly?
Can we arrange for a sleep study & polysomnogram?
That will give us a better clue.

Dr. Jacob George P

Patient replied :

Hi, Thank you for your reply. I am 43 years old, 174 cm tall and weighs 65 kg . I don't know about my exact neck circumference but I think it is normal and no doctor has told me anthing wrong about it. I don't have any nasal allergies, asthma or daytime sleepiness. Also I don't drink alcohol. snoring during sleep is enoumous when I sleep after being tired or exahusted. My heart beat was taken by a special device that was attached to my chest during the first check up. It showed that the minimum heart beat is around 35bpm. After one night, I went back to the doctor who told me about this fact. I understand your point about sleep apnoea but I'm concerned as it happens only once and then I got a comfortable sleep afterwards. So, I related it to blood-oxygen deficiency. Regarding arranging a sleep study, I live in Saudi Arabia and I could do it in a govermental hospital. Many thanks, Hadi

Dear patient,
Regards again.
I understand that you are not over weight/ obese. However your symptoms do very well fit into obstructive sleep apnoea. Though you were not symptomatic during the rest if days, that doesn't mean you were asymptomatic. It just meant you are unaware of the problems that might have occurred. A reduction in heart rate and oxygen is documented in sleep disorders. Hence I strongly suggest a sleep study.

You could also evaluate your thyroid profile, vitamin d levels also just not to miss anything else.
However I am inclined to believe you have OSA, and need further investigation and treatment.

Patient replied :

Thanks for your reply. I forget to tell that I have done a blood test which showed a high deficiency in D vitamin and the level was 8 while my doctor says it have to be around 60. Would that be a problematic and cause some of my symptoms. I used to have a pain in my thyroid glands but it now disappears and the size of the glands is normal. How I can be sure that they are functioning well. many thanks

That will not be problematic. However I do suggest that you take vit d supplementation. Is not that vit d causes all problems. It's just that vit d deficiency is associated with sleep apnoea, allergies and many other things. I strongly suggest you to get tested for obstructive sleep apnoea.

Dr. Jacob George Pulinilkunnathil
Category: Allergy and Immunologist
Residency, Post Graduation: MD, Respiratory Medicine, J L N Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan (2012).
Medical School, Internship: MBBS, Government Medical College, Kottayam, 2001-07 
Indian Diploma in Critical Care Medicine (IDCCM) - Medical Trust Hospital, 2013-2014.
Dr. Jacob George Pulinilkunnathil and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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