After a busy day at work, your body craves nothing more than coming home and resting. Whether you’ve been running errands for your boss or sitting at your desk the entire day, your body can only mend itself if it’s given proper rest.
Therefore, you may find it rather easy to slide into slumber. But if you’ve ever been woken up gasping for air, you know a good night’s sleep is no longer possible.
So what exactly causes such abrupt breathlessness? After all, it’s highly unlikely that the oxygen levels in the room dropped in the few hours you’ve been sleeping. Turns out, the oxygen in the room might never have been enough. It’s just your body that reacts late.
More importantly, is this an issue you can fix without incurring some hefty medical bill? Depending on the severity of the situation, you’ll have to seek the most appropriate remedy. But more often than not, changes in your diet can help get rid of the symptoms.
Oxygen levels of 83% and 85% when sleep are bad as it causes hypoxemia and should be checked by a doctor. While 91% oxygen levels during sleep is outside the ideal range, it’s not going to cause hypoxemia. The best oxygen level while sleeping is 96% as it’s within the normal range.
In this article, we also look at the following topics:
- The best pulse oximeters
- Why your levels drop as you lie down
Before rushing toward a remedy, we need to get to the root of the problem.
Is an oxygen level of 83/85 to 91/96 bad when sleeping?
Is an oxygen level of 83/85 to 91/96 bad when sleeping? You’ll find out right here.
A good night’s sleep can work miracles for both the mind and the matter. While it’s obvious your body repairs itself during this time, your mind also gets a little time off. But what exactly does it mean when your nervous system isn’t fully active?
As you enter a slumber, there’s a noticeable slowing down of your heart rate and eye movement. Additionally, your body temperature also drops.
As a result of most active processes slowing down, your body doesn’t require a greater oxygen concentration. Therefore, the normal oxygen saturation during sleep is always lower.
Where the normal ranges between 95%-100%, it reduces to 88%-95% during sleep. Typically, anything lower than 88% is deemed risky. Unless you’re suffering from a chronic respiratory disease or happen to be a heavy smoker, your oxygen saturation shouldn’t fall below 88%.
If you see oxygen levels at 83-85%, you should generally be concerned. If your oxygen levels are usually at 96%, but you see 91%, you’re probably fine.
What is a normal oxygen saturation level?
When running a marathon or climbing up a hill, it’s natural to feel breathless. During intense activity, your body’s requirement for oxygen increases. However, that’s not the case when your body is resting completely.
Thankfully, we don’t have to conduct exhaustive research to determine the normal oxygen saturation level. Instead, we can rely on years of studies and well-acclaimed scientific papers.
As per these studies, a normal level falls anywhere between 95% to 100%. This number reflects the requirements of a healthy, young individual.
The number will decrease if you change the variables a tad bit. For instance, patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder have a normal level of about 88% to 92%. Similarly, you may find that women tend to have an oxygen saturation.
Best FDA-approved pulse oximeters
Shortness of breath and disorientation aren’t scientific metrics with which you can reach a diagnosis. They’re merely symptoms of oxygen shortage.
But you need to invest in a pulse oximeter to achieve a more conclusive understanding of the problem. The device helps you keep track of your blood oxygen saturation.
Here are a few models you’ll be glad you invested in:
Smart Guesser Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
Using a pulse oximeter is no rocket science, but a few models make it unnecessarily difficult. Smart Guesser believes in creating products that are highly user-friendly and accurate.
With the Smart Guesser oximeter, you’re guaranteed quick results. It accurately measures your Spo2, perfusion index, and pulse rate.
The oximeter can store data, so it’s easier to track your oxygen saturation. With about 12 groups of historical data, monitoring any irregularity in your breathing pattern becomes easier. To make the entire process more user-friendly, the oximeter allows reading the screen display in 4 directions.
Since the device is battery controlled and quite compact, you can pack it in your purse and carry it wherever you go. Smart Guesser understands the value of money. Therefore, it’s highly affordable.
And not just that, it also comes with a detachable lanyard to never misplace it. The oximeter doesn’t come with a bunch of detailed instructions. However, it requires you to remove any nail polish or moisture on your finger for an accurate reading.
|Color||Blue & Black|
|Claimed measurement inaccuracy||≤ 2%|
|Number of Batteries||2 AAA batteries are required. (included)|
- It’s one of the cheapest options out there.
- It has a nice design.
- It’s easy to use.
- The name is strange since it doesn’t inspire confidence in the accuracy of the product.
- We believe some of the more expensive products may be more reliable.
- It doesn’t come with an app.
- The materials feel a bit cheap.
- It doesn’t have thousands of reviews like some of the competitors.
HealthSmart Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
You rarely find a product appreciated for its reliability and price factor. Where most oximeters tend to overestimate their worth, the HealthSmart oximeter undersells itself. At such an affordable rate, it offers all the luxuries of a state-of-the-art oximeter. Whether the overall design or the mechanism is in place, it’s highly reliable and user-friendly.
At about a 2% deviation, your blood oxygen levels are measured with great accuracy. The device shines two types of red light through the skin tissue and onto the sensor on the other end.
As the light passes between the tissues, it measures the oxygen saturation in your blood. In addition to the SpO2, the oximeter also tracks your pulse rate.
Suppose you are curious about your oxygen saturation during a run or hike. In that case, there is no device better than the HealthSmart oximeter to accompany you.
Despite how compact the device is, it’s ideal for all finger sizes. You can use the same oximeter for yourself, your children, or your parents.
The package includes a lanyard to ensure it’s never out of sight and 2 AAA batteries to keep the device going. With a half-off offer, the oximeter will only cost you around $13. The investment might not demand much, but it provides a grand return.
|Measuring Range||70%~99% ± 2 digits|
|Model Name||HealthSmart Pulse Ox|
|Number of Batteries||2 AAA batteries required. (included)|
- It has a better name than the previous product.
- It does what it’s supposed to.
- It’s a great price.
- It’s easy to use.
- The product feels flimsy.
- You don’t get access to upload your data to an app.
- It’s a low-cost product.
Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
To save you a trip to your doctor’s office every time you need your oxygen level assessed, the Zacurate oximeter brings the entire experience to you. Engineers design the device to be highly user-friendly.
You don’t have to be a doctor or a medical practitioner to read your oxygen saturation. Instead, all you need to do is look at the stunning LED display. It’s large enough for you to read even without your reading glasses on.
In addition to the SpO2 rate, it measures your pulse rate with near-perfect accuracy. Once you’ve inserted your finger into the chamber, press the power button and try to remain still.
The sensor measures the oxygen saturation in your blood and produces a result within moments. You don’t have to wait an hour or even 15 minutes to get the results. The device is quick, efficient, and reliable.
To make things even better, it comes at a highly affordable cost. You also get batteries, a lanyard, and a pouch free of charge.
|Battery Life||12 months|
|Number of Batteries||2 AAA batteries required. (included)|
- It’s maybe the most purchased oximeter on Amazon.
- We love the name.
- It’s easy to use.
- We love that it has a lanyard, so it doesn’t get lost.
- We’re surprised it doesn’t connect to an app.
- It’s still a cheap product.
- There are other products that get readings faster.
Why does my oxygen level drop when I lie down?
How long do you catch your breath after you’ve done cardio? Most people can fill the oxygen void within a few minutes. But others may require an hour or more. Similar to how your body demands more oxygen when doing extra work, it requires less oxygen when it isn’t as active.
When you lay down to sleep or rest, you intend to recover from the fatigue and exhaustion of the day. So it’s natural that all your senses lower.
Your nervous system isn’t as active or responsive, which is why you aren’t as alert. And as you get more comfortable, the senses become even less heightened.
Since the brain isn’t putting in much effort, it requires less oxygen. Therefore, your oxygen saturation when you rest is likely to be a few points lower than in normal circumstances.
What is the lowest level of oxygen you can survive with?
You’ve heard heroic tales of mountain climbers and adventurers exploring the ocean’s depths and hiking to the tallest peak. In all of these stories, there’s a common adversary.
It’s neither the man’s will to stay in his comfort zone nor is it the weather conditions. But it’s the oxygen deprivation that threatens us all.
No matter how great a hero you are, there’s no more you can do when your lungs give out. But that raises the question, how little is too little?
Since the normal saturation falls between 95% to 100%, anything lower than 80% is deemed a serious hazard.
If your blood oxygen level is near 80 or lower, your brain function will likely be affected. And as more time passes, the risk of permanent damage becomes more concrete.
At this level, the damage isn’t immediate. Instead, it’s something that becomes apparent with time. But suppose you’re ever in a situation where the oxygen is below 19.5%.
In that case, the air is officially too oxygen-deficient to function. At lower than 10%, you risk fainting and falling unconscious. And once you get below 8%, the damage may be fatal.
Can low oxygen levels lead to death?
If you’ve been out of practice, running a mile or two might feel like they’ll be the death of you. By the time you reach a stop, your lungs are working overtime to meet the oxygen demand.
Additionally, your muscles begin anaerobic respiration in hopes of keeping up. However, the oxygen shortage during that time is seldom the cause of anyone’s death.
But that doesn’t mean oxygen deprivation can’t prove fatal. If the oxygen in the atmosphere drops drastically, your brain function will most likely halt within 10 minutes. Oxygen deprivation can result in permanent nerve damage even if you’re saved before the time runs up.
When should you go to the hospital for low oxygen levels?
Just like any other ailment, prevention is better than cure. You can’t defer a trip to the hospital until the damage is irreversible.
You can afford a slight deviation from the normal oxygen saturation. Anywhere from 88% to 100% doesn’t ring a warning signal. But once it gets lower than 88%, the problem becomes persistent.
If the oximeter measures an abnormally low oxygen count, it’s recommended to consult a doctor immediately. Furthermore, staying alert for any changes in your breathing pattern that become persistent over time would be best.
For instance, you may feel like you’re choking while sleeping. Or waking up with shortness of breath has become more common.
You should visit the doctor if your breathing becomes irregular during a light workout or even when you’re at rest.