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Chronic Lung Disease: Managing Sleep Problems

If you have chronic lung disease, you may find yourself having sleep trouble. You may wake up often at night. Or you may not feel rested in the morning. There are many reasons you may not be getting a good night’s sleep. Lung disease can make it harder to breathe at night. Age, certain medications, and not getting enough activity can also affect sleep.

Tips for Sleeping Better

  • If you’re having trouble sleeping, these tips may help:

  • Do pursed-lip and diaphragmatic breathing in bed. This will relax you and help you fall asleep.

  • Don’t drink caffeine any later than lunch.

  • Try to go to sleep and wake up at around the same time every day. This helps your body establish a sleep cycle.

  • Avoid napping during the day. This can affect your sleep cycle and make it harder to sleep at night.

  • Wear comfortable, loose pajamas.

  • Keep pets out of the bed. They can wake you up during the night.

  • Pull your shades down. If the room isn’t dark enough, get blackout shades.

  • If you take medications at bedtime, talk to your doctor about changing this. The medications may be keeping you awake.


To help you sleep, your doctor may prescribe a device to help you. You may be given a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. Or you may be given a BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) device. The machine sends a gentle flow of air through a nasal mask while you sleep. This air goes through your nose and into your lungs, keeping your airways open. Below are tips for using these devices:

  • If your mask doesn’t fit or feel right, talk to your doctor or the vendor about adjusting it. Or you may try a new one. 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, get those treated.

  • If the device doesn’t feel good or work well at first, don’t stop using it. Ask your doctor or someone from your medical equipment company for help to make it work for you. 

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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