The official blog of the Lung Institute.

COPD and Sleep

16 Jan 2017
| Under COPD, Tips | Posted by | 6 Comments
COPD and Sleep

At the Lung Institute, we recognize that sleep is important to overall well-being and vital for people with lung disease. Sleep makes up a third of our lives, if we’re getting enough of it. But for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this natural cycle, known as the circadian rhythm, is often disturbed, to the detriment of the body’s essential functions. Trouble sleeping was linked with COPD as early as 1976, and sleep disturbances often play a significant role in the decline of quality of life for people with the disease. Sleep deprivation can be frustrating, but there are things to consider that might help. So, let’s discuss COPD and Sleep.

Designate a Time and Place for Sleep

It is often suggested that one’s bed should be used as a place to sleep, and for very little else. Perhaps the bed, despite its warmth and comfort, isn’t the best place to enjoy books or watch TV. When a person is drowsy, it’s time for bed. Establishing a routine of only sleeping in bed may train the brain feel sleepy when the head hits the pillow after a long day. People who lie in bed for 30 minutes or longer without falling asleep might try a visit to the kitchen for something to drink. Reading until drowsy can help. For best results, establish a routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and rise at the same time every morning.

COPD and Sleep

Change Sleeping Position

When it comes to COPD and sleep, adjusting  sleeping position can help with easier breathing. Sitting in an upright position, though extremely effective in making breathing easier, doesn’t always make for a comfortable night’s sleep. Sleeping on one’s side is a more comfortable alternative that avoids troublesome tension in the throat. Sleeping on the side opens the airways and can decrease the risk of having trouble breathing during the night.

Head position can also make a positive difference in the quality of sleep. When one’s head is lying flat, the airways are restricted. Support the head, but be mindful of the amount of head support. Too many pillows can cause as much airway interference as none.

Monitor Medications

Sleep disturbance and insomnia can be a side effect of certain prescription medicines, so discussing the issue with a doctor is a wise course of action if sleep is disturbed to the point that it becomes a chronic problem.

COPD and Sleep: Be Aware of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects up to 15 percent of people with COPD. The percentage is the same for the general population. However, sleep apnea in COPD sufferers complicates life with the disease. Sleep apnea decreases oxygen levels and causes the airway to collapse, so lung function is further impaired in patients with both disorders.

Sleep apnea can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes. For those who snore, wake up gasping for air, have morning headaches or fall asleep at inappropriate times, sleep apnea could be the culprit. A sleep test to check for sleep apnea can answer the question of whether a person is suffering from the condition. Sleep apnea is treatable, and getting it under control can add years to one’s life. If you have stage IV COPD, you may be able to try this therapy. You can also ask your doctor about continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a device also used to treat sleep apnea.

COPD and Sleep

Stem Cell Therapy: A Promising Option

Issues with COPD and sleep often go hand in hand. COPD dramatically alters the lives of those affected by it, often in how they sleep. Recharging our bodies during sleep is critical to physical and mental health, and any prolonged disruption of sleep will have detrimental effects on the body and mind over time.

Although COPD has no cure, new discoveries are made in the field of stem cell research. As the scientific community continues to delve into the mysteries of the human body, the Lung Institute brings these advancements to the public in the form of real treatments that have helped many people with chronic lung disease improve their lives.

If it’s time to make a change in your life or the life of someone you love who has a progressive lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 today to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy. Meanwhile, we wish you sweet dreams and a good night’s sleep.


  1. Matt Reinstetle

    1 year ago

    Hello Cynthia, Thank you for your message. For more information, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. That way one of our patient coordinators can go over any questions you may have. Thanks again and have a great day.

  2. PB

    1 year ago

    Dear Tom,

    Thanks for your comment. We haven’t written about the pros and cons of sleeping with a C-PAP machine or O2 generator. Thank you for your suggestion and idea for an article. Keep checking-in with our blog to read articles on a variety of topics to help people breathe easier. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  3. tom

    1 year ago

    have you ever done an article on the pros or cons of sleeping with a c-pap machine and O2 generator ? If so, please send it to me.and post for others to read

  4. Cynthia Gordon

    1 year ago

    Thank you for the info. I’m interested in stem cell treatment also to see if I qualify

  5. Matt Reinstetle

    1 year ago

    You’re welcome, Nadine.

    Feel free to check out our other blogs to learn more. If you are interested in learning more about stem cell therapy or the Lung Institute, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. Have a great day!

  6. Nadine Lawrence

    1 year ago

    I find this very interesting. I have not heard of the tx. before. Thank you for your artical on line. Will appreciate any information you have available.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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