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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Talk about all aspects of sleep apnoea. Request help from others with the same problem, tell your story, exchange tips & techniques ..
Swindonian
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Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Swindonian » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:57 pm

Hello everyone, I am asking questions again because this is a really one of the most helpful forums I know and someone out there will suggest something sensible. I took early retirement from full time work because my Consultant recommended it after diagnosing diaphragm spasms whilst attempting to fall asleep and he thought that my work as an accountant was stressful enough to cause this - I awoke with a start gasping dozens of times every night. This I would add was in the 1980's and my doctor was a Chest Consultant, this was a long time before sleep apnea was even heard of in the U.K. When the very first sleep clinic opened in Leicester England I went for a private sleep study in a tiny broom cupboard room and wore a special vest with electric cables sewn in designed by the first sleep doctor, the clinic was within a university teaching hospital. Although he was able to show me the next morning how incidents I had experienced and for how long his only suggestion was to take anti-depressants to help me fall asleep quicker. Anyway, nothing helped despite many other sleep studies in various NHS hospitals until I went to Harley Street in London in 2006 and was diagnosed with O.S.A. and equipped accordingly, I took to cpap (apap actually) really well and most problems are managed well. Recently however the diaphragm spasms have returned on trying to get to sleep, not many but they are frightening because you literally wait awake for the next one. That's the story - I take Valium for muscle twitching and I know this is often recommended for diaphragm spasms but probably not with cpap. I say this because obviously Valium is a muscle relaxant and this could cause the apap machine to increase pressure to compensate - has anyone any experience of this please?
In the same vein I have always suffered from fairly bad insomnia and have talked to both my GP and sleep doctor about this and they said try sleeping tablets (Nitrazepam) and see if they do any good but I am not filled with confidence because it is patently obvious that after seven years of cpap I know a lot more than the sleep doctor does who refers me for everything to his nurse and my own GP didn't even know what O.S.A. was. Again, help please, has anyone tried sleeping tablets whilst using cpap and did it help? Thanks. Eric

Alsacienne
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Alsacienne » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:29 pm

Thank you for a very informative and thorough post Eric, but I really feel that I can't help you with this. You might like to contact a member called Manyzzzs as I think he might be better informed medically to advise on meds and OSA. I can only speak from personal experience but I found that when I was on antidepressant medication it made my OSA worse as I had excessive daytime sleepiness .... but as for sleeping tablets, I don't think that this would be the way to go. Are you getting sleepy on your own, either by doing sufficient 'exercise' during the day or relaxing well at night? These might be starting points. The sleeping tablets might well help you to get to sleep, but they may raise other problems, not least managing to sleep without them.

I hope that someone else will be able to help soon, and that things will get better for you soon.

Swindonian
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Swindonian » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:12 am

Thank you Alsacienne, your sensible response makes sense to me. Eric

Mr the runner

Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Mr the runner » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:47 pm

Hi swindonian I have been on cpap for a year and a half now and it's really helped I have a paralysed diaphragm but even when on CPAP when falling asleep I get spells where I wake up having stopped breathing its a horrible sensation and I have muscle twitching in my both my legs constantly how did the doctor diagnose diaphragm spasms

Mr the runner

Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Mr the runner » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:38 am

Hi swindonian,

Sorry you are having a rough time sleeping. I retired earlier this year after three years of struggling with sleep problems and a severe pulmonary embolism.

I was diagnosed three and a half years ago with a paralysed diaphragm on one side and have muscle twitching in both legs constantly and have had cpap now for just over one year and experience periods where I wake up with a sense of gasping even on cpap when falling asleep anything up to 30mins after falling asleep. No one has been ever to explain this gasping. It comes and goes.

Is it worth getting a second opinion re your diaphragm spasms being the cause of the gasping sensation and persistent insomnia? Just a thought

All the best

Mr the runner

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:28 pm

I think if anyone is waking up gasping with a choking sensation, they should get their pressure checked to see if they require a slight increase.
Last edited by Sleep2Snore on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Swindonian
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Swindonian » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:31 am

Thank you both, I will take on board your comments, as I said in my intro my Sleep Apnea pre-dates O.S.A. being recognized in the 1980's and my Consultant was a Chest Consultant being paid by BUPA, in fact after visiting Leicester I spent many years going to the holy grail of Sleep Apnea in Oxford where the Sleep Clinic (now a leader in the field) was within the Chest Clinic in the Churchill Hospital. I use at least two apap machines every night which I would expect to take up the pressure changes required. It might sound silly but because I am awake so much and wander around the house, I start the night with a Resprionics & heated humidifier and then change to a DeVilbiss without humidifier to cool me down and I also change masks two or three times because of the moisture. The Diaphragm Spasms usually happen whilst I am on my back. Thanks for your comments.

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Sleep2Snore » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:27 am

The apap machine should cope with any pressure requirements provided it is not restricted. The choking sensation may be a result of the machines delay in responding. Sometimes increasing the low pressure will stop this happening.
Worth a try as you throat will start to close as soon as you sleep.
Yes that sleep clinic along with Edinburgh was the leaders in the UK.
I have met the man from there and if I remember he had an unusual name.
He came up to Edinburgh to a conferance many years ago.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Swindonian
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Swindonian » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:15 pm

Thank you S2S, that is a simple suggestion that I hadn't thought about - to increase the starting pressure and I will certainly give it a go. With regard to the chap who has run the Oxford Sleep Clinic for years he is Professor Stradling, I hope that rings a bell or perhaps it was Doctor Hanning from Leicester,they were both trail blazers. Ultimately I was diagnosed in Harley Street by a Doctor who appears on television Doctor Ebrahim, obviously it was very expensive but life changing and you can't put a price on that. Eric

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Sleep2Snore » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:39 pm

I honestly can't remember.
But he did says that at the time everyone in England had to buy their own machines (it was a long time ago. In Scotland we did get machines off the NHS, but it was a tight budget.
A sleep tech suggested that the nearer you can be to your required pressure with your starting pressure the better.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Butterfly
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Butterfly » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:09 pm

Swindonian .. I too know Dr. Ebrahim. He is a marvel. Expensive yes, but he only needed to see me every year. He's not too bad for where he is in Harley St.

Unfortunately I have a few issues so will see him a bit earlier, hopefully in a week or two.

I had terrible insomnia as well as OSA, but did not have daytime sleepiness... he had me and adrenalin burn sussed out in minutes. A very astute man.

Swindonian
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Swindonian » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:19 pm

Hi Butterfly, if you know Dr Ebrahim then perhaps you also had your sleep tests done in The Princess Grace Hospital in the road next to Harley Street. I had three in all but the results were pretty conclusive. I agree he is a great Doctor but I think his roots are in psychiatry which explains the many and varied sleep related problems he tackled on television. Let's call it as it is, I keep saying it was expensive - well, 3 sleep tests, consultations and equipment cost me £4,000 plus but fortunately I could afford it without insurance. I am fully aware that many people cannot afford this and that is daunting because the NHS is patchy to say the least and even where they are good they are restrained by budgets. It would be great to have an even playing field for all. Eric

Butterfly
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Butterfly » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:16 pm

He offered me a sleep test at, I think, The Fitzwilliam, but may be wrong. It was over a grand and as I wasn't paying (a friend was) I opted for home study at £350. I think I might have done the wrong thing as I think an in depth study would have been better for me.

I have started waking every few hours, then kicking and fighting for the latter part of the night. I may have to bite the bullet and go for another test.



What he did suggest when I went to him first was a top notch long weekend in Edinburgh, including luxury hotel, and one night hospital sleep study which would cost the same as one night in the London Hospital, including travel!!

Swindonian
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Swindonian » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:08 am

Hi Butterfly, I read your last paragraph which read "What he did suggest when I went to him first was a top notch long weekend in Edinburgh, including luxury hotel, and one night hospital sleep study which would cost the same as one night in the London Hospital, including travel!!" I will leave others on this forum to interpret in view of Dr Ebrahim's known preference in using The Princess Grace Hospital just 300/400 yards from his Harley Street Clinic - Why go all the way to Scotland?

Butterfly
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Re: Diaphragm Spasms and Insomnia

Post by Butterfly » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:50 am

I didn't put it very well did I. Not a surprise with my butterfly brain!! :shock:

He told me I could go to the London Hospital, but it was over £1000. I think he also had a clinic in Edinburgh, or at least connections with one. We were discussing the price differences between London and Scotland and having a jokey conversation of how for the price of London my Partner and I could have a luxury long weekend in Edinburgh plus a night in the Clinic for the same price as one night in London.

I wish I had done one of the options instead of a home study as I had many sleep problems.

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