General Question

spendy's avatar

When I wake up in the morning, why do I feel like I smoked 10 packs of cigarettes?

Asked by spendy (1446points) April 19th, 2008

Over the past few months, I’ve had this feeling several times in the morning. Until recently, it was only after a late night. However, just a few mornings ago (after an early-to-bed night’s rest) I woke up with the same heavy, awful, feeling in my chest – like I’d been out partying and smoking all night. Anyone else ever had this feeling or know why?

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36 Answers

wildflower's avatar

Could be an infection, asthma, dust allergies, humidity….....or recent change in cigarette brand?
and probably a few other things too…

spendy's avatar

I don’t smoke…quit over 5 years ago. I do have allergies though, but they’ve never affected my breathing other than sinus trouble – never lung related, though one surely affects the other…

LunaFemme's avatar

time for the doctor. You want to make sure you don’t have walking pneumonia. Any coughing??

spendy's avatar

No coughing at all…just a crappy feeling in the lungs. It reminds me of when I used to stay out drinking and chain-smoking all night…it’s the same feeling I’d have the next morning. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does (with the exception of this last time), it’s usually after I’ve been up really late the night before.

LunaFemme's avatar

I get asthmatic bronchitis from allergies but I’m typically coughing my lungs up along with a tight heavy feeling in my chest. And wheezing.

I’ve never been & smoker nor a heavy drinker, so other than those two I have no clue. Sorry…feel better soon!!!

gailcalled's avatar

Do symptoms disappear after you have brushed teeth, moved around a little, had breakfast?

Do you have carpets, drapes, lots of cloth stuff in bdrm? Common places for microscopic dust mites to hide.

spendy's avatar

Yeah, it only really lasts for a short while…totally gone after an hour or two. We do have carpets (been in this house for a little over a year now). No big drapes or lots of cloth stuff beyond blankets, etc. but also sleep with a down comforter. ?Maybe dust mites?

gailcalled's avatar

Try a huge spring cleaning. Launder all bed clothes in hot water and maybe buy a non-allergenic comforter and cover.

Can you or do you want to pull up carpets, have nice hardwood floors w. a few throw or oriental rugs that can be aired?

gailcalled's avatar

Oh, forgot to mention that if you live in an area w. four clearly defined seasons and near woods, there is mold floating around outside in spring and summer. That’s another common allergen.

spendy's avatar

No facial pressure, watery eyes, or other symptoms listed on the site though. Just the tight yicky feeling in the lungs. I change the sheets like a maniac, almost every other day and the comforter is allergenic (it’s not an actual down comforter). I saw a show on Oprah a few years ago about dust mites and freaked out…I’ve been a bed-sheet-changing-constantly-vacuuming-freak ever since. :) And yep, live in MO – four very pronounced seasons…and we’re surrounded by woodland areas (hills, etc.).

Planning to pull up carpet and lay hardwood ASAP – we decided that when we bought the house. Maybe now it will be sooner than later…

spendy's avatar

The idea of mold in the air wouldn’t jive, only because my daughter is VERY allergic to mold…so I guess I think she’d have symptoms long before me if it were that, no? There likely IS mold around here in the air, as you suggest, but I’m not sure it’s enough yet to be a real problem.

gailcalled's avatar

Well, since I have never stayed up all night AND smoked 10 packs of cigarettes, I have no more ideas. If symptoms persist, maybe a chest X-ray is in order.??

My allergy symptoms are post-nasal drip (I annoy people when I clear my throat a lot), and occasional sneezing fits. I had allergy shots for three years. A total waste of time and money.

spendy's avatar

:) Never actually smoked 10 packs…just imagine it might feel the same. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll have to keep an eye on it…lately my eyes have been itching like crazy. I’m guessing it’s just pesky allergies, but if it keeps up I’ll go to the doc.

gailcalled's avatar

A cheap suggestion is to try (for several days) an OTC saline nasal spray called Ocean or Ayre and similar eye drops.

glial's avatar

Get to the doctor, I had the same “heavy” chest feeling weeks before I had a heart attack. Any pains in your shoulder or arms?

spendy's avatar

@gail – good idea. I’ll see if that works.

@glial – None at all…wow, that’s scary. Did the feeling go away after a few hours of being awake?

sndfreQ's avatar

If you snore and sleep on your back, those symptoms may be an indication of sleep apnea; IAC a visit to the doctor is best, as he/she may refer you out for a sleep study (or a pulmonologist)...either way don’t delay.

gailcalled's avatar

@glial; heart attack; you look about 25 in your photo, if that is you. Are you OK now?

spendy's avatar

@sndfreQ – as a matter of fact, I do snore (says my husband), and recently quit sleeping on my stomach (per my chiropractor). I’m now a back- or side-sleeper. Hmmm…I think I better get it checked out for sure, sounds like it could be a multitude of different things.

sndfreQ's avatar

FYI, I suffer from mild sleep apnea, and my pulmonologist recommended the Sona Pillow.

You should know that it doesn’t work for everyone, and is costly as far as pillows go (~$129, and non-returnable due to health reg’s), but it works for me as I too have to sleep on my side and stomach now; it took about three weeks to get over the ergonomics and the initial neck muscle pain, but all that eventually goes away with time…read the reviews from others before considering (for some reason I can’t get to the Brookstone website, otherwise I’d link in for you)...

gailcalled's avatar

Ouch to stomach sleeping. Snd; no back aches?

judochop's avatar

Go buy a ionic washable filter air purifier and watch your symptoms lessen in one night. I used to get the same thing. Part of it could be
pressure drops in the air in combo with smoking, age and allergins. A doctor is probably not a bad idea but just remember, western doctors don’t treat they mask.

judochop's avatar

also, loosen up up on dairy products if you induldge at all.

spendy's avatar

@judo – were your symptoms the same; tight, heavy lungs in AM for a few hours? I have a decent allergy problem and have had it all my life, in conjunction with sinus issues (all part in parcel). No smoking now though, quite about 5 yrs ago. And yes, I’m a dairy fan. :)

RAMesesII's avatar

it might be sleep apnea. The lack of oxygen while you were sleeping may have those effects. But I don’t know, see the doc.

glial's avatar

Had my 1st heart attack at 32 (on my birthday) and second about 15 months ago.

I am 35 now.

It would go away after I got moving for the day, for a few weeks. I thought I had everything from the flu to arthritis in my shoulder. So, be safe rather than sorry. Both of them in the morning between 10–11 am.

I have two stents. Feel fine now; my blood pressure was never high, cholesterol was pretty low, but you can’t escape your genes.

judochop's avatar

@ spendy: yes my symptoms were the same. I am still a smoker, sadly. I went to a heart doc and had stress tests done and a MRI and bloodwork and wore a halter for a week. Be careful though.

scamp's avatar

This could also be a symptom caused by stress. I had something similar, and my doctor sent me for a stress test to rule out a heart problem. when it came out normal, she prescribe some xanax for the stress and told me to take some pepcid complete, because sometimes when you are under stress, you get acid reflux. It doesn’t always present as heartburn, it can cause chest pressure and pain.

I really think you should see your doctor as soon as you can. I don’t want to scare you, but chest pain and tightness can be so many different things. if it is a warning sign of something serious, you should heed it and get medical attention. We can only guess. Get the right answer from you doctor, and please let us know how you’re doing.

spendy's avatar

I am SOOOOO totally going to the doctor on this one. There’s heart disease in my family – my dad never had a heart attack, but discovered 90% blockage and had a stent put in. He’s fine now, no one knew how he never had an attack…but I’m guessing it’s time to schedule MY appointment before I make family history. YIKES I had no idea this feeling in my lungs could be so many things. I just assumed it was the aftermath of smoking for 10 or so years (though I thought it was strange that it would manifest 5yrs after quitting). I’ll keep everyone posted. Thanks so much, all of you, for the info.

scamp's avatar

I’m glad to hear you are going in. Tell them you want to schedule a physical, so they will allot time for a chest xray and an ekg during your appointment. It will save you having to go back for the tests later.

spendy's avatar

Thanks scamp. It took me a second to realize it was you, you ditched the “SCAMP” avatar!

scamp's avatar

yep, the last letter didn’t show, so it looked like it said SCAM!! ha ha..

90s_kid's avatar

Maybe you did in your sleep….
I have no idea whatsoever, sorry.

threadcountqueen's avatar

You mentioned a down comforter… and this is my expertise.. so here goes…
skip to bottom if you want just the readers digest

Yes it COULD be the down comforter… if it was a relatively inexpensive one… I say that because its possible that it was filled with chinese down. Chinese down isnt that bad.. but the quality of it is so flaky to say the least.

First there are hundred maybe thousands of “down factories in China”... mostly actually brokers. Who only care about one thing.. reaching a price point. So what they do is… lets say Mr. Big Box Retailer wants. x amount price/value.

Well… what Chinese down companies are known to do is… sweep up dust and dander .. the bottom rings of the down that falls from the machine.. it has weight.. they will claim say a 20ounce down product.. but its mostly feathers, and all that other particles that are essentially worthless…..

which to make a long story short… you have the wonderful opportunity to breath in.. and think that you are allergic to down… when its actually:
Dust and dander.

Essentially… if you dont want to read my wall of text:

Get rid of the cheap down comforter.

katie1535's avatar

Did you ever go to the doctor? I am having the same symptoms

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