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Lung diseases

What is the normal o2 level while sleeping?

03/03/2009

Question:

When I am awake, My O2 level on the pulse oximeter is 96%-98%. Ofcourse I know that is the normal O2 level for a normal person, but when Im asleep it drops to 88%-92%. Is this dangerous in any way for a person who has a Lung autoimmune disease? What is the normal O2 level while sleeping for a person with respiratory autoimmune disease?

Answer:

That is a very good question. It is normal for oxygen saturations to fall somewhat during sleep, even in people without lung disease. We consider safe levels to be above 87% during sleep but even transient drops to or below that level are safe. We tend to be more concerned when patients spend a prolonged time below 87% during sleep.

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Response by:

Jeff E Weiland, MD Jeff E Weiland, MD
Associate Professor - Clinical
OSU Asthma Center
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University