Get a good night’s sleep – despite severe asthma!

July 8, 2020

photo of a bed with blankets and pillowsDid you know?
Scientists have found a link between breathing-related sleep disturbances and cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure an insulin sensitivity. If you have asthma, getting plenty of rest can protect your heart!
If you’re constantly coughing or gasping, a good night’s sleep may seem like an unattainable dream. That’s the case for one-quarter of people with asthma, a lung condition that causes difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms. Try following these strategies for feeling better rested.

Discuss your medications with your healthcare provider. Bronchodilators like albuterol and salmeterol, which open the airway in the lungs, can cause restlessness and nervousness. Some healthcare providers may recommend using anticholinergics – which relax and enlarge the airways without making you jittery.

Find out if you’re suffering from anxiety or depression. Almost 30% of people with asthma have one of these conditions or another psychiatric disorder. Both can interfere with shut-eye.

Keep dust mites out. Wash pillow cases, sheets, blankets, quilts, and comforters regularly in hot water or have them dry cleaned.

Practice airway clearance techniques. Do the exercises throughout the day and before bedtime to remove secretions and make breathing easier.

Find a comfortable position. Prop yourself up on pillows or raise the bed of your bed with blocks.

Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Turn down your thermostat, install blackout curtains, and use a white noise machine. This will help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer.

Skip daytime napping. It can make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.

Learn more from the Sleep Foundation.

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