Posted on: 10 May 2023
Being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can bring about some mixed feelings. You may be dismayed to know that you have this chronic condition that you'll have to monitor for years to come. However, it can also be good to have an explanation for the symptoms you've been experiencing. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that COPD may be affecting you in more ways than you realize. For example, a lot of people with COPD struggle with sleep, and they don't always realize their COPD and sleep problems are connected. Here are some signs that COPD may be affecting your sleep and some tips to help you manage it.
Signs COPD Is Affecting Your Sleep
People with COPD don't often struggle to fall asleep. However, they do often wake up feeling like they didn't get enough sleep, or sometimes like they did not sleep at all. You may have a headache in the morning; this is due to a lack of oxygen while you were sleeping. You may also feel like you're working extra hard to catch your breath in the morning.
Some people with COPD find that they need to take naps throughout the day just to keep going — even if they were in bed for 8 hours or more the previous night. Another sign of sleep problems is a loss of fitness. Maybe you can't climb the stairs anymore or feel tired after just walking across a room.
Dealing With COPD-Related Sleep Problems
If you think COPD is affecting your sleep, talk to your doctor. They may need to increase the dose of any medications you are taking for your COPD.
You should also consider getting a CPAP machine. Such a machine keeps your airways open while you sleep at night. CPAP machines are often used for people with sleep apnea, but they can be helpful for COPD patients, too.
Finally, experiment with different sleeping positions. Many people with COPD find that they sleep better with an extra pillow so their head is a little elevated. This helps them get more air into their lungs with every breath. Avoid sleeping on your stomach; this position makes it even harder to breathe.
If you've been diagnosed with COPD, consider whether this condition is affecting your sleep. If you are not feeling rested, talk to your doctor. They may send you for a sleep study, adjust your medications, or offer some other treatments that can help you. For more information on sleep problems, contact a professional near you.Share