Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) sometimes means that it's hard to get a good night's sleep. The reasons can vary from sleep-related breathing problems to depression and anxiety, according to the Everyday Health website. While getting enough rest may be an issue, it's not one you can't overcome.
What's the Root of the Problem?
In the Everyday Health post, Jane Whalen-Price, director of rehabilitation services at National Jewish Health in Denver, advises that the first step is identifying why you're not sleeping. There may be multiple reasons or only one. According to Everyday Health, some of the more common problems include:
- Medications that may keep you awake or cause you to take frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
- A breathing rate that naturally slows at night. For others, this is rarely a problem, but if you have COPD, your sleep may be disturbed.
- Depression or anxiety, which can interfere with sleep.
- Acid reflux. COPD can make you more susceptible to acid reflux, according to another Everyday Health article.
- Sleep apnea, which may affect people with COPD more often than others, according to a Jan. 1, 2003, article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
What Can You Do?
First, talk to your doctor. Everyday Health says that changes your doctor might recommend include:
- Adjusting your medicine
- Night time oxygen therapy
- Airway clearance techniques
- Treating an underlying infection
- Making changes in your routine, such as eliminating afternoon naps and coffee before bedtime
Living with COPD doesn’t have to mean living without sleep. Be patient, and work with your doctor until you find solutions that work for you. For additional life-enhancing solutions, visit the Do More With Oxygen website.