A common problem patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have is getting a good nights rest. Insomnia interrupts the ability to get a full nights sleep which can lead to further complications with COPD. Insomnia is often out of patients control, however there are numerous things you can do throughout your daily and nightly routines that will help you successfully fall asleep and stay asleep all throughout the night. If a problem sleeping persists you should bring it up in your next doctor visit, as they can provide additional methods of counteracting insomnia.
Daytime Adjustments to Reduce Insomnia
The actions you take throughout your day can directly impact the quality and length of sleep, here are a few things you should avoid in order to reduce your COPD induced insomnia:
- Sugar: You should be conscious about your daily sugar intake, as this can lead to unhealthy weight gain and a diet loaded with sugar will surely disrupt your bodies ability to successfully fall and stay asleep.
- Caffeinated Beverages: Caffeine is the number one disruption of your sleeping ability, drinking excess caffeine will keep you wired for hours greatly reducing your quality of sleep. Try phasing caffeine out of your diet slowly by replacing it with water, if you do need some try indulging early on in your day so your sleep isn't affected.
- Napping: Throughout your day you may feel tired and want to take a nap, though that mid-afternoon nap may make you feel rejuvenated it will have negative effects as the night goes on. Avoid taking naps during the day so your bodies sleep schedule stays normal, and most importantly so you can get a full nights rest.
There are a few things you can do at night just before bedtime that will increase your chances of sleeping well all night long, which include:
- Meditation: Make time in your nightly routine to meditate just before bedtime, this is a great way of gathering yourself and silencing the stress from your day. Meditation is also a phenomenal way to improve both mental and physical health.
- Setting the Mood: Set your room up as a cool, dark, comfortable area which will help you stay asleep and most of all get the highest quality of sleep.
- Clear Airways: If you are unaware then speak with your doctor about techniques you can do to clear the mucus in your airways. Use these techniques before falling asleep to clear the blockage of mucus in your airways to help you breathe clearer.
- Sleep Upright: Prop yourself up with a few pillows to avoid sleeping flat on your back, sleeping flat will further increase the difficulty of breathing.
- Noise Machine: These are fantastic ways to ease your thoughts and send you into a deep sleep, use a noise machine that produces sounds of nature and find one that really relaxes you then play it while you are laying in bed trying to fall asleep.
Counteracting Daytime Fatigue
Yes you may know how to counteract insomnia with the above tips, but did you know there are things you can do to improve your fatigue from a lack of sleep the night before? Try these out the next time you are experiencing fatigue throughout your day:
- Social interaction
- Catch some rays and enjoy the fresh air
- Drink plenty of COPD friendly fluids
- Breathing exercises
Insomnia is an unfortunate symptom of COPD, though with the tips above you can greatly improve the quality of sleep you get each and every night. Though tiredness shouldn't make up your everyday life, if you notice you are feeling tired all the time then speak with your doctor as this could be a sign of other conditions.+Caleb Umstead