Many people have heard of chronic bronchitis, or of emphysema, but the overarching term for such illnesses is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
One of the main symptoms of COPD is breathlessness caused by damage to the lungs mainly by smoking, but air pollution can have a negative impact. An inherited genetic deficiency can also cause COPD.
Signs of COPD
An indicator of COPD is often an irritable cough or shortness of breath when moving; this is usually caused by the development of mucus in the airways making them narrower.
People who show signs of COPD will often have difficulty sleeping due to restless sleep or snoring; this leads to sleeping during the day and general tiredness.
There is no cure for COPD, but the symptoms can be treated to ease discomfort and help to increase oxygen levels in the body.
Breathing to tackle breathlessness
Difficulty sleeping is a major problem for those with COPD, but looking at the way you breathe and even carrying out some simple procedures before going to bed might help reduce snoring and let you sleep properly.
Being in control of your breathing can help you focus your effort and calm you down so taking relaxed, slow, deep breaths gently through your nose and out through your nose and mouth will help you get a steady breath.
Before going to bed try to relax your breathing by taking controlled and deep breaths to help your mind and body slow down.
Losing weight and stopping smoking
Being overweight can make breathing difficult, especially if you have excess fat around the neck and throat as this narrows the airways and makes snoring more likely.
Losing weight but also trying neck and shoulder exercises can strengthen the area around the throat, keeping the softer tissue in place and reducing the risk of snoring.
Singing in the shower can help. The hot water enables you to breathe better, and the singing strengthens and tightens tissues in the throat and soft palate.
COPD is often related to cigarette smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking creates more mucus and inflammation, making it more difficult to breathe and making snoring more likely. Stopping smoking can make a difference in your search for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Changing your sleeping position
Sleeping on your side can reduce the risk of snoring as your throat muscles will not soften and restrict your breathing, so a body length pillow will give you something to anchor to and hopefully stop you rolling over.
Also raising your head and sleeping slightly elevated can ease symptoms.
Using an anti-snoring mouthpiece
One of the leading causes of snoring is that the base of your tongue falls backward as your sleep, causing the passage of air to narrow and vibrate that produces the tell-tale snoring sound.
A MAD is a mouthpiece that is specifically designed to push your jaw forward, creating more space for air to flow freely, reducing the likelihood of snoring.
A helping hand from nature
Using essential oils as part of your routine is a safe way to help you relax. Try a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus on your pillow.
You can also drink chamomile or another herbal tea, which is caffeine-free and has a calming effect.
Try placing some plants in your bedroom since according to NASA they can purify the air while you sleep.
CPAP may be the solution
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines gently blow pressurized air through your airway to keep the throat from collapsing so the wearer can breathe easier, and is traditionally used by those who have sleep apnea.
In a study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers found that using a CPAP machine resulted in a lower risk of mortality for people who suffered from COPD and sleep apnea.
Since COPD makes breathing difficult, especially when lying on your back, you may benefit from CPAP even if you don’t have sleep apnea.
A CPAP machine may be worth exploring if it improves your level of oxygen and allows you an uninterrupted night of sleep.
Getting adequate sleep is essential to your well-being an maintaining your overall health but can be challenging for those who have COPD, especially if they also snore. Try some of these tips to help you get the sleep you need:
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!