I felt myself stop breathing and I'm scared to go to sleep

by Derrick "DC" Cowan
(St. Petersburg,FL, US)

I'm not real sure how to ask this question so I'm just gonna tell you what's going on. For the past week off and on I felt myself stop breathing.

You know when you are very tired and you lay in bed you feel your body sink and you know you are gonna go to sleep quickly and comfortably? Well the last 2 times it felt like my body passed that mark.

My entire body felt numb and I semi-struggled to move to keep the blood and oxygen flowing. I stayed laying there 2 hours ago just to see how hard breathing and moving would get and it got pretty hard.

I had my eyes open that whole time and my vision began to get darker and darker around the edges almost as if I was getting tunnel vision. I work 2 jobs starting at 9am and ending at 11:30pm. I ended up taking a 5hr energy drink the other day just to stay awake and ended finally going to sleep around 7am.

I really need sleep and rest from working so much but how can I do that if I'm scared to go to sleep. I'm worried that the next time I close my eyes it could be for good.

So I guess the question I need to ask is what can I do to fix this, go back to normal?


Your sleep problem is very similar to mine, because I pushed my body to perform over the limits. Working in day and night shifts, 12 hours a day/night, with time only to sleep and then going back to work... That was not a life!

My body was so exhausted, that I barely walked back home from work. And my hand-eye coordination was horrible. The problem is I couldn't sleep well during the day (after a night shift), because there was too much noise on the street and with my neighbors.

I also have mild sleep apnea, so imagine how terrible was my sleep quality. My biological clock was really messed up.

Bottom line... My work schedule didn't allow me to recover after 12 hours work, and I was afraid to make mistakes at work because of my drowsiness. Even a holiday couldn't help in a long run.

There is a saying: Without love is nothing. Well, without sleep, you cannot love:) That's what I learned when I started to create this website. So, what is a life without a good sleep?

In the end, I quit my job and started to feel excellent.

But enough about me. Let's speak about you. You have some keywords in your story that also explain why do you have problems: very tired, working 2 jobs, going to sleep around 7am, I really need sleep and rest from working.

Pushing the limits of your body, with sleep deprivation, can trigger some events, usually undesirable, that accompany sleep. These events are also called parasomnias, and there are many types, such as:

  • confusional arousals,

  • sleep terrors,

  • sleep walking,

  • sleep paralysis,

  • panic disorder.

In your case, it's possible that you have sleep paralysis, when you experience scary things while you are still in bed with your eyes open: body felt numb and I semi-struggled to move to keep the blood and oxygen flowing, my vision began to get darker, I felt myself stop breathing.

Please read a similar question and the answer about sleep paralysis to learn more.

Four studies have recently tested the assumption that parasomnias are most often reported to follow acute sleep deprivation (see Sleep and Quality of Life in Clinical Medicine). After periods of total sleep deprivation, ranging from 24 to 38 hours, the studies reported parasomnias in those patients.

Bottom line... All you need to know is that all these strange feelings that you have during sleep may be an indication of insufficient sleep and increased stress.

Although the most typical parasomnias require no treatment, the anxiety and concern they arouse can be calmed through education, reassurance, and good sleep.

It means that you have to improve your sleep quality. And a good place to start will be yoga relaxation, and a good sleep hygiene. And see if you can have only one job, because you need time for these recommendations.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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Aug 08, 2013
Sleep Paralysis
by: Charlie Bucket

How to break out of sleep paralysis: pump yourself up and pretend your ultimate warrior in the wwf and start shaking the ropes and throwing haymakers. I've done this over a dozen times.

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