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COPD: How Can I Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

It’s common for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to have trouble sleeping. According to the American Thoracic Society, close to 50 percent of people with COPD report difficulty sleeping.

If you experience shortness of breath at night, tell your doctor. He or she may review your treatment to find out what’s keeping you awake.

It's very important to maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule and avoid caffeine and naps in the afternoon or evening. You can also try different sleeping positions. If you sleep on your side, keep your head raised with one or more pillows and place a pillow between your legs. To sleep on your back, use pillows under your head to keep it raised. Keep your knees bent and tuck a pillow under them. Ask your health care provider about using pillows made for this purpose.

If you wake up coughing or short of breath, tell your doctor.

Many types of medications used to treat COPD are stimulants, such as albuterol. They can make you feel revved up or full of energy, so taking them close to your bedtime may keep you awake. Talk with your health care provider about adjusting your medication schedule.

You can rest easy knowing that most sleep problems related to COPD can be treated.




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