I have sleep apnea and I'm scared to fall asleep!

by Kristen

My ENT said I may have obstructive sleep apnea because I'm overweight, have large tonsils, & blocked sinuses.

My sleep study is scheduled for 5 days from now. In the meantime I'm afraid to sleep!

My blood pressure is excellent and I have no heart problems. I'm so scared I may die in my sleep.


Kristen, I would not be worried if I were you. Look on the bright side: sleep apnea is treatable!

I would be very afraid to sleep I my doctor will discover I have cancer. This is untreatable, horrible and deadly!

But patients with sleep apnea who have an effective therapy, are normal people, who can live a quality life like everyone else. They just have to sleep at night with a mask on their face, with a dental device, or a special positional pillow for sleep apnea.

Hang in there, because things will get better. You did something that many poor people cannot do: scheduled a sleep study. This is an awesome step, the first step to improving your life.

About the cancer...many people discover the disease too late. However, your blood pressure is excellent and your heart has no problems. This means your sleep apnea didn't affect you too much.

And I believe you already know the side effects of sleep apnea...

So, Kristen... You should think positively from here on out. Once you get on your CPAP therapy you will be surprised at how quickly you will return to normal sleep patterns.

Keep in mind though, your sleep may not be perfect but it will be significantly better than what you are going through now. And it's a little unusual trying to sleep with a CPAP mask on your face all night, but the rewards are awesome.

One more thing... You might be interested to know what to ask about your sleep study results, so please read the article and use the information in your advantage.

Keep us posted on how things are going for you.

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

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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Jul 04, 2011
in the meantime
by: Anonymous

Hi Kristen..

In the meantime.. try sleeping sitting up in a recliner..instead of lying flat in a bed.. use pillows to prop you UP..and pillows to keep you sleeping on one side or the other ..NOT on your back.

Perhaps there is someone with you that can keep an eye on you ( or an ear) while you are sleeping at night UNTIL you get to have your sleep study done.

The few days will go by quickly..just take these extra precautions when you try to sleep at night while you are waiting.

I understand your fear and I Hope you will be careful until you get your sleep study done and your machine and mask to help you breath AND sleep at night from now on.

Please take care..bribe a friend to come and stay with you..do everything you need to stay safe in the meantime.

Jul 06, 2011
by: Kristen

I couldn't sleep during my study because I was so anxious. Now I don't know if I can get another one. I'm so scared to sleep.

Aug 18, 2011
by: Anonymous

I know this has been a while since your post but I hope you got things figured out. I have to wait another 28 days till my sleep study! I think that it is pretty unlikely that you or I would die from sleep apnea before we can get treatment but I am scared too!

From what I have read the danger with sleep apnea is caused by the toll it takes on your body after years and years and YEARS of sleep and oxygen deprivation.

That said, I believe that I have been suffering from this for about 10 years now at least. No one took my snoring seriously while I was so young and not overweight at all!

Turns out I have been suffering from sleep apnea and obstructive snoring since I was a child. :( I am very afraid to know what irreversible affects this has had on my body.

Good luck! I am sure you will be just fine!

Sep 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

I am afraid to go sleep, because couple of times
in the months I suddenly woke up after couple
hours sleep.
I dont know this is just anxeity/panic or
sleep apnea?
Advise me!

Aug 30, 2012
For GAD - re: panic attacks?
by: Jellyfishattack

Do you simply wake up after a few hours of sleep or do you wake up gasping for air?

I finally had my severe obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed this year. Before I got my wonderful little CPAP machine, I would wake up about every month or so feeling as if I needed air, and I was in such a state of utter panic from the very instant I woke up that it would take me about 40 minutes to calm down again before I could even try to get back to sleep. It was as though I could not catch my breath, despite that fact that I was lying still. It was an almost indescribably horrifying feeling.

The sleep lab doctor told me that I wasn't having nightmares, or imagining things, or having bizarre panic attacks; waking up in the middle of the night, feeling as though I was dying and couldn't get enough air into me, and feeling an unbelievable sense of panic were due to my severe sleep apnea. My oxygen saturation level actually went down to 62% once in the sleep lab the night I was diagnosed!!!!

Since I got my CPAP (a ResMed S9 Elite with humidifier) I have NEVER again woken up in a panic, thinking I could not get enough air into my lungs. The time I spend asleep went form 12-13 hours a night to about 7, and I went from feeling worse when I got up than when I went to bed, to feeling refreshed and awake in the morning and ready to get dressed and get out of the house every day.

Apr 04, 2017
My son have it and I can't sleep
by: marycarrillo7450@yahoo.com

My son have sleep apnea and I can't sleep listening to him gasping for air. He's test is in five days and I don't know if I could make it. I'm 76 years old and this situation is killing me.

I spend all night crying and praying time pas fast. He's 46 and a very good son and father of two teenage children. I'm really despres for him to be able to sleep. He fall at sleep driving and everywhere his at.

Jan 05, 2018
Mild Apnea
by: Deborah Fell

Hi all,
I have just been diagnosed with Mild sleep Apnea and am petrified!
Can anyone help me, going out of my mind

Thank you!

May 02, 2018
Mild Sleep Apnea
by: Ben

I have mild sleep apnea too.

Unfortunately the CPAP machine doesn't work for me. People call this a cure, but it is an aid, it doesn't fix sleep apnea, it works as an aid to help you breath at night, otherwise you would not need to keep using it.

For me, the first 2 weeks I used it, it seemed great and then I started noticing pain, pain in my face, cheekbones, pain in my teeth, gums and pain in my abdomen, chest etc. The mask putting pressure on my face caused abscesses, I had to have 4 teeth extracted on 4 different occasions, so I stopped using it.

People say it is because of the mask, but I think it is more than that, because the pressure of air being blown down your throat gradually increases, and to me, it feels as if I am suddenly drowning in air, it is blowing so much into me it is causing pain in my chest.

Anyway stopped using the CPAP machine and I have gotten to the stage where I am afraid to sleep, I stay up late until I am really really exhausted and then go to sleep, this way I sleep for 2-3 hours before I wake up struggling to breathe.

Apparently, one of two things happen in those 2-3 hours, either I lose consciousness and fall asleep again or I jerk awake gasping for breath my throat closes up, not pleasant.

I average about 2-3 hours of sleep per night. With the CPAP machine I can get as much as 5 hours at a time, but by the end of it I have too much air coming down my throat it is like drowning in air.

From what I gather therefore it is not a case of dying in your sleep, the worst is you suffocate if your throat closes up and either you jerk awake or you lose consciousness and fall asleep.

I suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, but I also have liver cirrhosis which makes me tired, exhausted, lethargic already, so the two both affect my energy levels...honestly to try and explain to somebody why you are tired, the disbelieving looks, even from a GP, very duh!

Aug 17, 2018
I just had surgery and stopped breathing so they're sending me for testing
by: Maureen

I just had surgery and apparently had a very tough time waking up from the anesthesia and morphine that I would stop breathing for 30 seconds.

They're constantly be telling me to take a breath. I've never had problems before in my life. So now they're sending me for testing. They kept me overnight for observation. So I'm terrified to go to sleep. I don't want to die!

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