Asthma/COPD and Insomnia
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are chronic respiratory conditions that can make it difficult to breathe, which can lead to a number of complications, including insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep.
Studies have shown that people with asthma and COPD are more likely to suffer from insomnia than the general population. This is likely due to a number of factors, including the difficulty breathing that is associated with these conditions. The shortness of breath and chest tightness that can occur during an asthma attack or COPD exacerbation can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to insomnia.
Moreover, the use of medications to manage asthma and COPD symptoms can also contribute to insomnia. Many asthma and COPD medications, such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids, can have stimulating effects on the body, making it difficult to fall asleep. Additionally, the use of oxygen therapy at night can cause discomfort and make it difficult to sleep.
Another factor that can contribute to insomnia in people with asthma and COPD is the fear of not being able to breathe during the night. This fear can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep, leading to insomnia.
There are a number of things that people with asthma and COPD can do to help alleviate insomnia:
- Talk to a sleep therapist. Those that follow a CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) therapy framework are the most clinically effective. Insomnia therapy is usually covered by insurance.
- Follow a regular sleep schedule: It is important to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to help regulate your body’s internal clock.
- Establish a bedtime routine: This can include activities such as reading or listening to music to help you relax and get in the mood for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol: These substances can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep by instigating anxiety.
- Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime: This can include activities such as watching TV or working on the computer, as they can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep: This can include making sure that the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Use relaxation techniques: This can include deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga to help you relax and fall asleep.
- Consider using a CPAP machine if you have COPD and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
It’s important to note that insomnia can be a symptom of other underlying conditions, such as depression or anxiety, so it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.
People with asthma and COPD are more likely to suffer from insomnia than the general population due to the difficulty breathing that is associated with these conditions. Medications used to manage asthma and COPD symptoms, fear of not being able to breathe during the night, and other factors can contribute to insomnia. However, by following a regular sleep schedule, establishing a bedtime routine, avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime, and using relaxation techniques, people with asthma and COPD can help alleviate insomnia. If you suspect you have insomnia, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Once you’re safe… Keep in mind:
Respiratory Therapy: A Long-Term Solution
Respiratory Therapy is a proven method for managing and reducing the symptoms of Asthma and COPD. Studies show that Respiratory Therapy works as well as or better than other approaches and has effects that last even after the therapy is done.
Fill out Nightingale Health’s questionnaire to get started with Respiratory Therapy right from your phone or computer — no in-person visits are necessary. Quality of life is possible when you embark on a therapeutic journey.
Failure to Treat COPD v2
NDH Sleep Whitepaper v2