According to the Better Sleep Council, May is Better Sleep Month. The health observance is designed to raise awareness in order to help Americans improve their sleep habits, and get enough sleep. At the Lung Institute, we recognize that sleep is important to overall well being, and maintaining health is vital for people with lung disease.
What Does Better Sleep Mean for COPD Patients?
When your health is compromised and you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, or interstitial lung disease, which includes pulmonary fibrosis, a good night’s sleep matters even more. Insufficient sleep causes adverse effects such as poor concentration, mood swings and irritability. Too little sleep can also compromise your immune system, which is a big deal when living with lung disease or you are a COP patient.
Consistently getting enough sleep helps you to have better energy levels, intellectual function, alertness and mood. More sleep even helps the body at a molecular level. There are many ways to improve your sleep when living with lung disease. People with COPD, an umbrella term for a group of progressive lung diseases, are more likely to develop insomnia, nightmares and daytime sleepiness when compared to the general population.
Tips for Sleeping Better with Lung Disease
The following are some tips to sleep better when you suffer from any one of the various lung diseases.
Watch Your Medications
Sleep disturbance and insomnia can be a side effect of certain prescription medicines, so talk to you doctor about this issue.
Be Aware of the Risk for Overlap Syndrome
This means having both COPD and obstructive sleep apnea. Overlap syndrome affects 10 to15 percent of people with COPD.
Try Nighttime Oxygen Therapy
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).
Getting to exercise with lung disease can be difficult. Nevertheless, try walking or other low-impact exercise as it will help you to sleep better.
Practice Airway Clearance
Airway clearance techniques can be done before bed to help you breathe easier before falling asleep.