6 Tips for COPD Sleep Success
What to know
Anywhere from one-third to one-half of all people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have sleep disorders. The consequences of not getting enough sleep include a weakened immune system and daytime sleepiness.
Causes of sleep problems
Coughing, chest pain, and medication side effects are sometimes to blame for lost sleep. Other possible causes include restless legs syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and obstructive sleep apnea—a condition characterized by repeated episodes of interrupted breathing while sleeping. Following are several sleep strategies to consider.
1. Practice good sleep hygiene
You’ll sleep more soundly if you’re truly tired at bedtime. Exercise may help. But avoid it close to bedtime and don't drink caffeinated beverages late in the day.
2. Be consistent
Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, and try to skip naps during the day.
4. Stay away from sleeping pills
Sleep aids—either prescription or over-the counter—can be dangerous because they slow breathing and reduce your response to stimuli while sleeping.
5. Ask about oxygen
If your doctor determines that low blood oxygen levels contribute to your sleep problem, supplemental oxygen may help.
6. Deal with sleep apnea
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices deliver a steady stream of air through a nsaal mask that you wear overnight. If you avoided using a CPAP device in the past because it was unwieldy, you may want to reconsider. CPAP designs have improved significantly in recent years.