My son stops breathing in sleep. Please help!!!

by Natalia Blatter
(new york)

My son is five years old. I told the doctor years ago to check him for sleep apnea but he always told me that he was ok. Now that I changed the doctor, she told me that he does have apnea.

We have the appointment with the specialist in 1 week but I can't even sleep. I'm feeling going crazy, Joseph stop breathing very often and I have no idea how to find a monitor to check his breathing.

I am desperate, every second that he stops breathing I feel dying.

Please help me! I cant no more!!

Thank you so much


Dear Natalia,

Only a mother can really understand how you feel when your son experiences apnea episodes during sleep. I saw that you already commented the story about death from sleep apnea, and I believe you are really worried now.

That's why I wanted to answer as soon as possible to your question.

Natalia, first of all, I want to congratulate you for your initiative to apply for an appointment with a sleep specialist. This is the most important thing. The sleep study is very important to diagnose the severity of sleep apnea, and how can it be treated.

What can you do until the appointment? There are some things that can help your son:

  • he should try to sleep on his side. Many patients have more apnea episodes if they sleep in the supine position. But if they sleep on their side, the apnea episodes become less frequent and even disappear.

    Please read the page about positional therapy to learn more.

  • Many children have sleep apnea due to swollen tonsils. Does your son has this problem? If it's true, surgery is the cure.

  • you can monitor the oxygen blood levels of your son with a good portable pulse oximeter.

  • If you can't wait until the appointment with the sleep specialist, you can use a Nanny Baby Breathing and Movement Monitor. It triggers an audible and visual alarm if the babies breathing and movements stop for longer than 20 seconds or if the rate of breathing drops below 8 breaths per minute.

    The best apnea monitors (for adults) are very expensive. The baby monitor should work in your case.

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

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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