I just turned 21(f), I am 5’6 and 110 pounds with normal/lowish BP readings. I had a sleep study done last year after my doctor told me it was very unlikely that I have sleep apnea and that it is probably in my head. After the sleep study, my doctor said: “You stopped breathing a few times, but this is mild sleep apnea so there is no need for a CPAP machine.” I went on with my life as normal after the sleep study, but I have felt uneasy since.

Since 2018 I have occasionally woken up gasping for air or while I am trying to fall asleep I will stop breathing for a few seconds. I snore and have other sleep related issues such as sleep paralysis, bad nightmares, waking up in a panic/sweating, sleep talking (people say I have full blown conversations with them in the middle of the night, I have no memories of these), and rarely I will sleepwalk. Also, almost all day I am very congested and have to breathe out of my mouth or one nostril will be
blocked.

Any time I bring this up my doctor thinks my symptoms are related to my anxiety, but I don’t know. Would snoring and waking up gasping for air really be related to anxiety? I mentioned my diagnosis of sleep apnea to my cardiologist and electrophysiologist (I have POTS and PVCs) and they both looked really confused and didn’t believe me. My cardiologist scoffed and shook her head and my EP said, “No, that can’t be right it has to be something else”. He didn’t say what else it could be though.

Could my sleep symptoms be related to my sinus issues instead and maybe not be actual sleep apnea? I’m afraid that over time this issue will get worse and I’ll be unaware of it since most people don’t wake up every time they stop breathing. I’m scared of developing high blood pressure or worse problems from leaving whatever I’m experiencing untreated, but none of my doctors have offered much help. What do I even do now? Get a CPAP machine on my own? See if my doctor will give me another sleep study? Look into the possibility of other conditions?

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