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COPD & SLEEP

December 20, 2016

It is hard enough to get a good night’s sleep.  Those of us with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, may have an even tougher time getting enough rest.

 

COPD patients are familiar with the extra effort involved in breathing.  The lungs gradually lose their elasticity, their ability to transport air and to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.

 

Those of us who use supplemental oxygen will normally wear it at night to insure that the oxygen saturation stays up.  Most people do not breathe deeply when they are asleep, which can result in decreased oxygen saturation.  Low oxygen levels in the blood can result in cell damage throughout the body.

 

COPD patients generally suffer from poor quality of sleep.  They tend to arouse more frequently, to bounce between stages of sleep, light slumber to deeper sleep and back, more frequently.  Their total sleep time suffers. 

 

Try to keep your bedroom dark and cool.  If you have to shut Fido or Fluffy out of the room to keep them from waking you in the middle of the night, consider doing so.  Try an air cleaner or other device to supply “white” noise.  It helps to shut out other sounds.  If necessary, talk to your physician about some manner of sleep aid, but be careful about developing a dependency.

 

Remember, naps are our friends.  Your Mom was right!

 

Uncle Jim & Aunt Mary

 

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