Asleep: Inside and out

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


How can you tell when another person has crossed over from being awake to being asleep? Lying quietly with closed eyes is useful evidence, but it is the breathing pattern that usually gives it away. A change to very regular, shallow breaths typically accompanies sleep onset. (That is, unless the person's upper airway has relaxed so much that tissues vibrate as air rushes by. The resulting snores confirm the sleeping.) One patient that I saw in our sleep clinic came in for evaluation because he was too sleepy during the daytime. He told me that his blind daughter always could tell when he was becoming drowsy while driving by the change in his breathing. I think that is a pretty scary scenario.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-18
Number of pages2
JournalPrimary Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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