The official blog of the Lung Institute.

COPD and Sleeping Problems: How to Sleep Better

12 May 2017
| Under COPD, In the Home, Lifestyle | Posted by | 8 Comments
COPD and Sleeping Problems: How to Sleep Better

COPD and sleeping problems are a common issue. Let’s change that.

This may sound obvious, but sleep is important. Not only does sleep help our bodies maintain homeostasis (when our bodies run the way they’re supposed to), but it also gives us our energy for the day ahead and allows us to rest. A lack of adequate sleep can have significant effects on our cognition, physical health and memory. Any disturbances to this sleep—or worse, lack thereof in the case of insomnia—can have an incredibly detrimental effect on our overall health.

Unfortunately, in the case of those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), frequent disturbances during sleep are routine. As those who have COPD and sleeping problems can attest, a struggle to breathe even during sleep is a common occurrence. It keeps an individual up at night and truly fighting to get a good night’s sleep in many cases.

We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, and for good reason: we need to. So, in the spirit of catching a good night’s sleep, and with your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to breakdown the complexities of COPD and Sleeping Problems: How to Sleep Better.

Set a Schedule and Stick to It

When it comes to promoting the best sleep for yourself, you’ve got to get yourself on a tight schedule. Staying on a sleep schedule helps your body form a sleep rhythm or circadian rhythm. This means choosing a time to go to sleep and sticking with it every night. So, if you want to be in bed by 9 PM, then stick to it and go to bed on time.

Conversely, going to sleep Monday at 9 PM, Tuesday at 11 PM and Wednesday at 8 PM will not allow your body to form a natural circadian rhythm. Instead, you’ll find it challenging to get tired at the time you’d prefer to go to sleep. It’s recommended to get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep for the average adult, so set a schedule in which you will achieve the necessary amount of sleep you need and stick to it.

Here’s an example of a solid sleep schedule: 9 p.m./10 p.m. to 5 a.m./ 6 a.m. Following a schedule like this will give you an adequate 8 hours of sleep without keeping you up too late or getting up too early.

Create a Comfortable Space

COPD and Sleeping Problems: How to Sleep Better

We mean it when we say to create a comfortable space, and that includes silence, too. When going to sleep, it’s easy to bring distractions into bed with you. These distractions typically take the form of cellphones, smartphones and tablets. It is even worse if you’ve got a TV in your room. In truth, these devices emit a very specific type of light that works to alert you, but it has the added downside of keeping you awake when all you want to do is go to sleep. So, take our advice and give yourself at least 30 minutes to simply sit in the dark before you get to sleep. Listen to some soft, instrumental music if that helps you relax. Just remember to turn off the music, so your room is very quiet once you feel tired. We promise that your eyes and brain will thank you as you drift off to dreamland.

Find a Good Position

Like a good groove in your favorite chair, having a good sleeping position is a necessity for those trying to sleep with COPD. To achieve the best breathing when attempting to get to sleep, try sleeping on your side. It may help relieve tension in the throat and can help open the airways. This ultimately has the effect of reducing trouble breathing at night. Even in resting the head, it’s important to know the difference between using too many pillows to support your neck (which can cause airway interference) and none at all (which can also cause airway interference).

A few other tactics to consider include:

  • Sleeping on your stomach and not your back
  • Limiting your naps
  • Put a pillow between your legs
  • Clear your throat of mucus before bed
  • Avoid any stimulants before bed (coffee, soda, dessert or cigarettes)
  • Don’t workout before bed
  • Avoid big meals before bed
  • Don’t drink alcohol before bed
  • Don’t drink too much liquid before bed or risk going to the bathroom in the night
  • Dim the lights in your room two to three hours before bed
  • Silence everything you can (even the fan if you won’t get overheated)
  • Keep your pets off your bed
  • Try to relax in those two to three hours before bed; consider meditation or reading
  • Invest in some bedroom plants
  • Medications like anticholinergics, corticosteroids and inhalers have shown to improve oxygen intake and sleep quality in COPD

So, be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed by your physician.

Looking Towards What’s Next

COPD and sleeping problems can be incredibly difficult. As sleep is one of the most important aspects of life, to struggle to get it every night along with the general symptoms of COPD, fatigue can turn to stress, anxiety and depression very quickly.

However, change may be possible through treatment.

With a few behavioral changes, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within those with COPD, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. And that includes the quality of your sleep. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life.

For more information on stem cell therapy and what it could mean for your life moving forward, contact us today or call us at (800) 729-3065. Our patient coordinators will walk you through our available treatment options and talk through your current health and medical history.

Interested in our article on COPD and Sleeping Problems: How to Sleep Better? Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. Lung Institute

    5 days ago


    We are sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis and wish you the best. It is unfortunate that insurance does not cover it right now. Because treatment cost varies depending on treatment type, it’s best to speak one-on-one with one of our well-qualified patient coordinators. They have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost.

    Chronic lung diseases affect everyone differently, so we can best help you by speaking with you over the phone. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Sherry Duvall

    1 month ago

    I wish Stem Cell was more reasonable so I could have it. I am 65, Just found out I also Have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, along with COPD. Just can’t afford Stem Cell.

  3. Bridgette Bugni

    1 month ago

    For those of u who pay a lot for meds..check out the Manufacturers web site. They have coupons for those of u who have insurance and coupons. For those of u who have no insurance.
    They save me tons of money. And I have insurance.

  4. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi Robert,

    We understand how challenging it is to live with COPD. Many people feel frustrated by the condition at times, especially because there currently isn’t a cure. Even though COPD is a progressive condition without a cure, there are treatment options available to help people manage their symptoms. These treatments may include medications, inhalers, pulmonary rehabilitation, lifestyle changes, stem cell therapy, oxygen therapy and more. It’s important to work with your doctor to develop the best treatment plan for you. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy for COPD. The Lung Institute has clinics nationwide in Dallas, TX; Scottsdale, AZ; Tampa, FL; Nashville, TN and Pittsburgh, PA. We have a team of dedicated medical staff who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and more. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Robert

    3 months ago

    I live in Canada our healthcare system is a joke too put it mildly. It is sad that only the wealthy survive and those WHO are disabled are treated with such discrimination that you no longer look at the flag as you once did.they call this the home of the Free ,I am horrified at the treatment I have received here.my question is,how do I move to the u.s.a. and never look back at a country I once trusted and loved until I got sick with c.o.p.d. and realized that our country does not treat it’s people as equals especially if you get sick,on the contrary I told my wife upon release from the hospital “they sent me home to die!.i can’t believe that they treated me so poorly, but they sent me home to die ”!!!!my younger brother lives in Denver Colorado and love’s it there,I pray the lung institute can help me as I would Rather put my Faith in a country as big and beautiful as the united States of America than my own country that has treated me with DISRESPECT which is all I asked for dignity and respect, something our country has lost touch with. Thankyou for hearing me out and I truly look forward to hearing from your institute . yours truly Robert.age 54

  6. Linea Edwards

    3 months ago

    I agree with rosemarie!! my inhalers cost over $100, each after INSURANCE for one month !!! wish the cost was less–they work so well.

  7. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi Rosemarie,

    There are a variety of treatment options for people with chronic lung diseases. These treatments include inhalers, medications, oxygen therapy, stem cell therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and more. It’s important to talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns you have, especially regarding the cost of medications and your overall symptoms. Your doctor knows you and your health situation well, so he or she will be able to best guide you and answer your questions.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Rosemarie

    3 months ago

    Its so sad that only rich people can get all of those treatments

Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

* 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.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

Under current FDA guidelines and regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15, the Lung Institute complies with all necessary requirements for operation. Any individual who accesses Lung Institute's website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.