How COPD Medicines Affect Sleep

by | Jul 2, 2018 | Blog, COPD, Tips

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an incurable condition that has many effects on the lives of the people dealing with the disease. One issue that is commonly associated with COPD is the loss of the ability to get a good night’s sleep. While the disease itself may be partly responsible for its patients’ issues with sleep, the side effects of some commonly used COPD medicines may also negatively affect sleep.

How COPD May Affect Sleep

There is substantial medical evidence that COPD patients experience issues with sleep as a result of the disease. These sleep issues can occur, in part, because COPD causes increased difficulties breathing, which results in lower oxygen levels in the blood. Low oxygen in the blood can cause a lack of ability to sleep deeply, which can lead to your sleep being interrupted more frequently. The COPD symptoms of inability to catch your breath and wheezing may also make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place. Insomnia has also been reported in a large number of COPD patients.
In fact, more than half of COPD patients may experience increased difficulty falling asleep, more frequent interruptions of sleep or insomnia and about 33% of COPD patients may develop restless leg syndrome that may affect their ability to sleep. With statistics such as above, it’s apparent that COPD patients may find that the disease alone causes significant sleep issues.

COPD Medicines May Also Contribute to Negative Effects on Sleep

While the effects of the disease itself has been known to cause sleep issues, such issues may, unfortunately, be made worse by the side effects of common COPD medicines. Medications that are commonly prescribed for COPD include short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators, corticosteroids and theophylline.
All of these medications also have potential side effects that may be detrimental to the sleep of COPD patients using them. Some of the side effects associated with COPD medicines that may affect sleep are:

  • Insomnia
  • Frequent urination
  • Coughing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat

Each of these side effects may have negative consequences for the sleep of COPD patients. For instance, side effects like headache, runny nose, scratchy throat and frequent urination may make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place, while all of these plus coughing, muscle tremors, upset stomach and vomiting may increase the number of times your sleep is interrupted. It is evident that the side effects of COPD medicines may negatively affect sleep, adding to the sleep difficulties presented by the disease itself.

The Lung Health Institute May Be Able to Help You Sleep Better with COPD

The Lung Health Institute offers cellular therapy that may decrease COPD patients’ need for medicines that may negatively affect sleep. These natural therapies may help reduce inflammation and promote healing which may also make it easier for COPD patients to sleep well. Contact a patient coordinator at the Lung Health Institute now for more information.

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