Chronic Lung Disease: Managing Sleep
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) includes the chronic lung diseases chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Other
lung diseases include pulmonary fibrosis or sarcoidosis. If you have one of these
conditions, you may have trouble sleeping. You may wake up often at night. Or you
feel rested in the morning. There are many reasons you may not get a good night’s
Lung disease can make it harder to breathe at night. Other things can affect sleep.
include age, certain medicines, and not getting enough activity during the day.
you’re having trouble sleeping, try the following:
Use a breathing method. Taking slow, deep breaths can help you relax and fall
Don’t have caffeine in the afternoon or
- Exercise during the day. This can help you fall asleep better at
night. Talk with your provider about exercises that are safe for you.
Try to go to sleep and wake up at about the same
time every day. This helps your body get into a pattern.
Don't take long naps during the day. This can
make it harder to sleep at night. A very short nap less than 30 minutes should be
Make your bed and bedroom comfortable. Keep your
bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
Don't watch TV or use your computer or phone in
bed. Only use your bed for sleep and sex.
- Stop using electronics (including phone, TV, and computer) at
least 30 minutes before sleeping.
Talk with your provider about any medicines you
take at bedtime. They may be keeping you awake. You may be able to take the
medicine at a different time.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about trying cognitive
behavioral therapy. It works by changing behavior.
- In some cases, prescription or over-the-counter medicines may
help you sleep better for a short time. Talk with your healthcare provider before
help you breathe at night, your provider may prescribe CPAP or BiPAP. You may be given
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. Or you may be given a BiPAP (bilevel
positive airway pressure) device. These devices send a gentle flow of air through
mask or nasal mask while you sleep. This air goes through your nose and into your
Your airways stay open. Below are tips for using these devices:
It may take some time to get used to the device. Ask your provider how to make it
If your mask doesn’t fit or feel right, talk with your provider about adjusting
it. Or you may try a different mask. Custom-made masks are also available.
These devices work best if your nose is clear. If you have allergies or other
problems that block your nose, talk with your provider.