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Hi, It's Dr. C. Board certified physician. I can help you today.
I'm sorry to hear about these episodes. They sound scary. I wonder if his cardiologist brought up the possibility of sleep apnea. It's possible that he's not breathing consistently during that part of his sleep cycle and then waking up suddenly with a panic when his body senses he's not getting enough air. The next step is for him to have sleep studies done. This will detect disturbances in his sleep cycle and breathing. There are doctors who specialist in sleep disturbances who would be able to make a diagnosis and advise on proper treatment. He should ask for a referral from his primary care.
I hope this information has been helpful and I hope he's back to getting a restful night's sleep soon.
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