Wednesday, March 20, 2024

How To Sleep With Shortness Of Breath

Sitting Forward Supported By A Table

How to sleep better with COPD and shortness of breath

If you have both a chair and table to use, you may find this to be a slightly more comfortable sitting position in which to catch your breath.

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, facing a table.
  • Lean your chest slightly forward and rest your arms on the table.
  • Rest your head on your forearms or on a pillow.
  • This position is another form of tripod breathing, which creates more space for the lungs in the chest.

    Heart Failure And Related Conditions

    You may experience shortness of breath because your heart cant pump blood at a sustainable level. This is known as heart failure. You may develop this condition for many reasons. Risk factors include poor diet, diabetes, certain medications, smoking, and obesity.

    One condition that can lead to a heart attack is coronary artery disease. You may experience shortness of breath from a heart attack as well as chest pain and tightness, sweating, nausea, and fatigue. You should seek medical care right away if you suspect youre having a heart attack.

    Other conditions associated with heart failure include high blood pressure or if your heart experiences trauma, inflammation, or irregular heart rate.

    Can An Air Purifier Help With Shortness Of Breath At Night

    If your shortness of breath at night is related to levels of allergens in the air, using an air purifier while sleeping may help. This is true for adults as well as children who suffer from asthma. Research has shown that using an air purifier placed right by the bed in the sleep breathing zone can be beneficial.

    Most air purifiers trap allergens on filters, but a newer technology is able to destroy them from the air. This technology, called , can break down pollutants to clean the air. This can be important when you want clean air in the bedroom, as recirculation of dust or mold from a saturated filter would not be beneficial.

    After discussing with your doctor, taking these environmental measures may help with shortness of breath at night and help improve indoor air quality. Uninterrupted sleep can help you wake up feeling more refreshed and at ease, and in general reduce anxiety about any difficulties with breathing.

    *The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.

    Post Tags

    Don’t Miss: Consumer Reports Sleep Number Mattress

    How To Make An Assessment

    The process of measuring dyspnea is similar to tests used to measure pain perception in chronic pain patients. The mMRC scale does not define dyspnea in terms of vital capacity, but rather assesses the feeling of dyspnea in terms of human perception.

    The severity of dyspnea is rated on a scale of 0 to 4, and the value will guide diagnosis and treatment planning.

    I get short of breath when hurried on level ground or walking up a hill.
    2 On level ground, I would walk slower than my peers due to breathing difficulties, or had to stop and catch my breath when walking at my own pace.
    3 I walked about 100 yards or stopped for a few minutes on the flat to catch my breath.
    4 I was out of breath and couldnt go out, or I was out of breath when getting dressed.

    I: Trigger Pointsthe Effects Of Muscle Knots On Breathing

    Difficulty Breathing and What to Do About It

    Trigger points better known as muscle knots can cause shortness of breath. They are small patches of sensitive muscle tissue, maybe caused by a micro cramp, or possibly neurological hypersensitivity. Trigger points are a big, tricky topic.

    Trigger points may form in the muscles we use to breathe, making it difficult or even painful to move the ribs and expand the chest. Even the diaphragm itself might develop trigger points that make it feel weak and tired, and limit its range of contraction.8

    Quick muscle knot orientation: So-called muscle knots AKA trigger points are small unexplained sore spots in muscle tissue associated with stiffness and soreness. No one doubts that they are there, but they are unexplained and controversial. They can be surprisingly intense, cause pain in confusing patterns, and they grow like weeds around other painful problems and injuries, but most healthcare professionals know little about them, so misdiagnosis is epidemic. For more information about how trigger points might be involved in your own medical history, see PainScience.coms popular e-book: The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain: An extremely detailed guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and treatment option.

    Trigger points in the muscles of the throat, neck, chest, and back may also interfere with the nervous systems control of respiration.9

    Also Check: Sleep Number Store Amarillo Tx

    Where Exactly To Massage

    The main muscles of respiration are:

    And heres one more minor respiratory muscle in the low back that could be clinically significant:

    • The quadratus lumborum is a sheet of muscle spanning from the pelvis to the lower rib. A crampy quadratus lumborum can pull down on the lower rib like an action hero clinging to the landing skid of a helicopter. It may painfully resist elevation of the rib cage during inhalation and/or hurt when contracting to pull it down during exhalation. Read more about quadratus lumborum massage.

    It is also well worthwhile to massage other muscles throughout the neck, shoulders, and chest. Even the upper back! Soothing them may indirectly help the actual respiration muscles. And even if they dont control breathing themselves, they often produce sensations that feel related to breathing in a way that is hard to describe. Feeling stiff in the upper back often has a lot of sensory overlap with shortness of breath they are similar and probably related sensations.

    For instance, its startling how much trigger points between the shoulder blades can feel related to breathing . After professional massage of this area, patients often say something like, I feel like I can breathe again! Even if they didnt feel short of breath to begin with!

    How To Handle Shortness Of Breath From Anxiety

    When trying to get yourself out of an anxious spiral, McKee recommends using relaxation techniques like deep diaphragmatic breathing and engaging in distractions thatll occupy your mind such as crossword puzzles, mental exercises like counting backward from 100, or even a video game or exercise. Here are some great tips for making a panic attack more bearable, which can help with non-panic anxiety too.

    McKee also urges people with health anxiety to stop reading or watching news related to the new coronavirus, or, at the very least, to significantly limit news consumption. And make sure youre only looking at news from accurate sources.

    If youre wondering how Im personally keeping it together, its thanks to online therapy, the power of distraction, and forcing myself to do a few self-care acts every day. Physically moving, whether its doing an at-home barre workout or going for a quick skateboard ride up and down the street, has been really beneficial for me. My logic is, If I can do this exercise without collapsing, my lungs are probably fine.

    Connecting with people in the same shoes as me, like Denise and Millie, has been extremely comforting throughout this journey. It helps to know there are people out there having the exact thoughts that I am. If theres anything Ive learned from this anxiety-filled pandemic experience, its that Im not alone. And if youre feeling this way too, neither are you.


    Recommended Reading: Sleep Number Bed Base Dimensions

    Positions To Reduce Shortness Of Breath

    In conjunction with pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, use these breathing positions to help you reduce shortness of breath.

    These positions are helpful when you have shortness of breath during activity, emotional excitement, exposure to adverse weather conditions or when you feel tense and need to relax.

    When Shall We See A Doctor

    Trouble sleeping? This bedtime breath practice will bring calm zzz’s with ease. With Nicole Rager

    You must have an appointment with a doctor whether you experience any sign of shortness of breath. This is indeed unexpected from one particular activity and the present state of your health or fitness. Breathing trouble that arrives all of a sudden tends to exist over a prolonged period along with your activities every day. This should be assessed by a medical expert.

    Bear in mind that shortness of breath wont get relieved with that treatment or often gets accompanied by some other obvious signs, like chest pain for instance. Before using our home remedies for shortness of breath, discover when you should see a doctor. Here are some symptoms that warn you to see a doctor at once:

    • High temperature 38º C, having chills , sore throat .
    • It happens when you cough up bloody content.
    • The shortness of breath, pain in the chest, lip swelling, throat swelling, or any discomfort must be assessed at once.
    • Seek the professional advice If your heart beats fast, or suffer some palpitations.
    • Notice any brand new rash on the skin.
    • Spot any weird swelling in both feet and legs.
    • This is often seen when youre out of shape or gain weight of more than 5 pounds within one week.
    • Any specific symptom that can get worse and wont be improved.

    Please remember that youre highly recommended to consult with a healthcare expert about the current medical condition and other home remedies for shortness of breath.

    You May Like: What Bed Is Comparable To Sleep Number

    Shortness Of Breath Causes

    Both health and environmental issues can be associated with breathing difficulties and shortness of breath. Common environmental factors include dust and allergens, stress, high altitudes, and stuffy noses or blocked air passages.

    Aside from these common environmental factors, there are also conditions of the lung and the heart that can cause shortness of breath. These conditions require treatment in order to return your breathing patterns to normal. The treatment of shortness of breath will depend on the underlying cause.

    Why Is It Hard To Breathe When I Lay On My Left Side

    Potential causes include congestive heart failure, obesity, and respiratory issues. Sometimes, people find it hard to breathe when they are lying down flat. The medical term for this is orthopnea. People who experience this will often need to prop themselves up on pillows so that they can sleep.

    Sleeping on your left side is thought to have the most benefits to your overall health. In this position, your organs are freer to get rid of toxins while you sleep. Still, either side can offer benefits in terms of sleep apnea and chronic lower back pain relief. You don’t have to stick with one side the entire night.

    Potential causes include congestive heart failure, obesity, and respiratory issues. Sometimes, people find it hard to breathe when they are lying down flat. The medical term for this is orthopnea. People who experience this will often need to prop themselves up on pillows so that they can sleep.

    You may also like:

    Also Check: How To Sleep With Pneumonia Cough

    Quick Tips For Sudden Shortness Of Breath With Copd:

    Sometimes, sudden episodes of intense shortness of breath occur in people with COPD. Sudden breathlessness often causes intense anxiety. Staying calm can be challenging, but its important to try. When sudden or acute breathlessness happens, here are some tips you can try for quick relief:

    • Pursed Lips BreathingFor sudden breathlessness, many doctors recommend special breathing techniques. One common example is pursed lips breathing.

    To try it, sit in a comfortable position, and inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Next, purse your lips like you would to whistle. Exhale slowly and gently . Dont force the air out. Instead, just repeat the process and remain calm.

    • Belly BreathingAnother simple breathing technique is belly breathing. Again, sit in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Next, inhale slowly and gently through your nose. Pay close attention to feeling your belly rise. Then, exhale slowly and repeat the steps.
    • Think of Something GoodAnxiety-inducing breathlessness makes it hard to think about anything else. Telling yourself not to think about whats frightening makes it harder to think about something different. However, positive thoughts and affirmations go a long way. The mind can only process one thought at a time, so give yourself a calming thought during intense breathlessness. For example, you can repeat I am safe or My entire body is relaxed or I inhale calm and exhale tension.

    Standing With Supported Back

    Person Lying Down Png

    Standing can also help relax your body and airways.

  • Stand near a wall, facing away, and rest your hips on the wall.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and rest your hands on your thighs.
  • With your shoulders relaxed, lean slightly forward, and dangle your arms in front of you.
  • As with other forms of tripod breathing mentioned above, this position makes more space in the chest for your lungs.

    You May Like: Sleep Number Bed Reviews Yelp

    Why Am I Waking Up Gasping For Air

    Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that you were gasping for air during sleep can be scary and something you shouldnât ignore. It can be a sign of a serious health problem. And if you do find yourself waking feeling short of breath, donât assume right away that itâs sleep apnea. âGasping at night can be caused by a lot of things,â says otolaryngologist Omar G. Ahmed, MD, who specializes in treating sleep disorders at Houston Methodist Hospital.

    The key to finding out whatâs causing your nighttime gasping is to see a sleep specialist, who will perform a physical exam and ask a lot of questions. How long have you been gasping at night? How often does it happen? Have you gained weight lately? Do you have any major health problems?

    A sleep specialist may suspect sleep apnea as the cause of your gasping, but you might be surprised by the variety of other potential causes.

    What Is Shortness Of Breath

    Shortness of breath is a common and often frightening symptom of chronic lung diseases. Many people describe breathlessness as air hunger. Shortness of breath makes people feel like they cannot fill their lungs with oxygen. Sometimes, shortness of breath happens suddenly and without a known cause. It often occurs with chest tightness and anxiety.

    If you experience shortness of breath, follow your doctors instructions and use prescribed inhalers as directed by your doctor. While frightening, remember to stay calm and consider trying the following positions to reduce shortness of breath.

    Read Also: Can You Sleep With Monthly Contacts

    Positions For Obstructive Lung Conditions

    In obstructive lung disease, such as COPD, asthma or bronchiectasis it takes longer to empty your lungs. The airflow is slower because the disease makes the airways narrower or the lungs less elastic.

    Because breathing out is slower, the person may need to breathe in again before they have emptied their lungs. This is called hyperinflation or gas-trapping and makes breathing uncomfortable.

    Trigger A Relaxation Response By Breathing Through Your Nose

    Stop shortness of breath, stress, anxiety with this breathing technique

    Resisting the urge to take in large amounts of air through your mouth can help you restore a calm breathing pattern. Breathing through your nose will activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Changing your breathing pattern sends strong messages to your brain. When you work on breathing calmly, your brain will call off the alarm.

    Many people find breathing exercises helpful for controlling their anxiety symptoms. Here are a few simple breathing exercises that may help keep your sympathetic nervous system, the alarm system, from running the show.

    Read Also: Does Anxiety Cause Irregular Heartbeat

    You May Like: Sleep Number Mattress Return Policy

    Common Characteristics Of Shortness Of Breath When Lying Down

    In describing their experiences, people with orthopnea have said, “When I lie down, I feel…”:

    • Like I am hungry for air.
    • Uncomfortable when I breathe.
    • Like my chest is tightening.
    • Like I can’t take a deep enough breath.
    • I am out of breath.
    • I have to work hard to breathe.
    • I am being smothered.

    Most orthopnea is caused by an underlying heart or lung condition. However, there are other conditions that could be leaving you gasping for air.

    What is causing your shortness of breath when lying down?

    Start a chat with Buoy AI assistant to find out whatâs causing your shortness of breath when lying down.

    Free, private and secure to get you the best way to well. Learn about our technology.

    What Other Symptoms Might I Have

    If your breathing problems are caused by a cold or chest infection, you might also have a cough, fever, sore throat, sneezing, blocked or runny nose and general congestion.

    If the problem is to do with your heart, you might also have chest pain, feel light-headed and nauseous. If you have been diagnosed with angina, take your medication as directed. Wait 5 minutes and take another dose.

    If the problem is asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , you might also have a lot of mucous, a wheezing sound when you breathe, and your symptoms might get worse with exercise or during the night.

    If the problem is a panic attack, you might also have a fast heartbeat, sweating and shaking, nausea, dizziness and a sense of impending doom or danger.

    Read Also: Sleep Leggings For Weight Loss

    Left Untreated Your Health Can Suffer

    Imagine if you had trouble breathing 30 times an hour while you were awake, causing you to lose your breath, choke and cough. Youd likely rush to your closest emergency room in a panic. For as many as one in 15 people, this is exactly what happens to them while they sleep. The condition is called sleep apnea, and it can lead to a range of serious health issues if left untreated.

    Unfortunately, many cases do go untreated, simply because the person suffering from sleep apnea has no idea theyre dealing with such a serious medical condition.

    “Many of our patients come in because a bed partner or roommate notices snoring and disrupted sleep,” explained Dr. Sreelatha Naik, Geisinger sleep physician. “However, many patients are referred to us by cardiologists and other specialists that recognize some of the effects of sleep apnea, such as heart disease and stroke. Recognizing the symptoms early can help you get treatment before the related health issues go from bad to worse.”

    The common signs of sleep apnea

    Although you may not know you have sleep apnea since youre sleeping or nearly sleeping when it happens there are some clues that you should watch for:

    There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

    What happens if you have sleep apnea?

    Resulting health problems include:

    • Arrhythmia, such as AFib or heart flutters
    • Heart attack

    Popular Articles
    Related news