Lie On Your Left Side With A Pillow Between Your Legs
If youre a side sleeper with asthma, lying on your left side may help particularly if you have gastroesophageal reflux, also known as heartburn, which can trigger asthma especially at night. Sleeping on your left side uses gravity, the shape of the stomach, and the angle of the connection between it and the esophagus,which can reduce reflux. Lying on your left side with your head elevated may be enough to keep you comfortable through the night, but if its not, experiment by adding a pillow between your legs.
Adding the pillow may keep your spine stable throughout the night and may improve your sleep posture, which can help you breathe easily.
How To Stop Your Asthma Waking You Long
You may have been getting used to your usual night-time asthma symptoms but you dont have to. Here are some simple tips you can follow:
- Using your inhaler every day and as prescribed by your doctor. This can help to build up protection in your airways and to keep your symptoms under control reducing your chances of waking up at night.
- As mentioned before, if you notice your asthma symptoms get worse at night or when you wake up, consider getting an appointment to see your GP or Nurse to discuss it.
What Is Nocturnal Asthma
Asthma is a long-term, chronic respiratory disease, caused by the inflammation of the airways. When this condition worsens overnight, we call it nocturnal asthma or nighttime asthma. Regardless of the type of asthma you have, including allergic, non-allergic, occupational, and exercise-induced asthma, nocturnal asthma can occur more than once a month.
Over the past decade, the prevalence of asthma in adults and children has increased in the United States. The California Health Interview Survey states that 15.9% of asthma cases were reported in Orange County in 2015-2017. Although there is no cure for asthma, the symptoms can be managed through long-term medications and short-term quick-relief inhalers. A few home remedies and other tips can also help patients with nocturnal asthma sleep better.
Read Also: Nocturnal Asthma
Find The Escape With Copd
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night struggling for breath? Does it ever feel like the agonizing pain will never go away?
Having a good nights sleep is vital to maintaining good health. Without sufficient sleep, the body cannot begin to heal itself, which weakens the immune system. It also can lead to mood swings and affect your capability to maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, these issues are often shared among people with lung disease. When people with lung disease do not get an effective amount of sleep, it can cause their condition to worsen over time.
Sleeping On Your Stomach Is A Bit Better
Sleeping on your stomach may seem like a good alternative to solve the gravity issue because the downward force pulls your tongue and palate forward. While this is true to an extent, your mouth and nose end up being either blocked or impaired by your pillow, or your neck has to be twisted to the side to maintain breathing, all of which are counter-productive in clearing your airways to avoid snoring and sleep apnea.
Don’t Miss: Does Ibuprofen Make Asthma Worse
Other Ways To Prevent Asthma Attacks At Night
If a persons asthma is under control, then it would be rare for them to have a nocturnal asthma attack, said Carrillo. However, everybody has their own asthma triggers, so it is important to be mindful of your triggers, even when sleeping.She recommends four steps you can take to create an asthma-friendly sleep:
- Avoid sleeping near strong odors like perfumes or bed linen sprays
- Use pillow covers to prevent dust mites
- Wash your bed linens in hot water on a regular basis
- Keep pets out of the bedroom, especially if you are sensitive to their dander
- Get your flu shot and stay ahead of any respiratory illnesses
Keep Up With Your Medications
Worsening night time asthma can mean youre not using your asthma control medications as often as you should. Daytime inhalers are important to fight inflammation and keep your body in a healthy state, but they may not be the sole solution.
Talk to your doctor about which medication to take before bedtime to best relieve inflammation and relax your bronchial muscles. A long-acting bronchodilator may be your best bet for sounder sleep.
You May Like: Joining The Airforce With Asthma
Does Steam Or Vaporizer Reduce Chances Of An Asthma Attack At Night
Generally, steam or vaporizer can liquefy mucus when breathing problems are caused by an allergy or cold. This can help a person feel better. On the other hand, asthma is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Steam or vaporizer can cause irritations and worsen breathing problems.
When To Seek Help About Your Asthma Symptoms
Asthma attacks can happen any time and in any place. If you are experiencing asthma symptoms multiple times per week, then see your health care provider to discuss adjustments to your asthma care plan.
For people that do not have health insurance, Carrillo recommends looking for medication assistance programs in your area. It is important for people with asthma to have access to the proper medication, said Carrillo. In south Texas, we have the Medication Assistance Program through Healthy South Texas. These types of programs do exist, and they are ready to help.
Mary Leigh Meyer
Recommended Reading: Asmanex And Weight Gain
Why Is My Child’s Asthma Worse At Night
There are no proven reasons why asthma may be worse at night. Possibilities may include:
Allergen exposure. If youâre around items that trigger or cause you to have symptoms, thatâs allergen exposure. Common triggers include:
- Dust mites
- Allergens and mold that can build up in bedding, pillows and mattresses
Sleeping position. If youâre leaning back or lying down, this can cause drainage or postnasal drip, less lung capacity and more resistance in your airways.
Gastroesophageal disease . GERD involves the stomach and esophagus or the part of the body that connects the throat and stomach. GERD symptoms can make asthma worse.
After lying down to sleep, stomach contents or acid can come back up into the esophagus. If your child wakes up from the discomfort, your child can aspirate or fluid can get in their lungs. This can cause coughing and difficulty breathing.
Air conditioning. AC cools down the air in a building. If your body’s airways are cooled by AC while you sleep, this can trigger asthma. Many homes in Seattle don’t have AC. Remember when you travel, your hotel may have AC.
What Muscles Are Used For Breathing
To better understand shortness of breath, its important to know about the muscles used for breathing. Breathing can be a voluntary or involuntary act. For example, you can voluntarily hold your breath or take a slow, deep breath. Involuntary breathing occurs when you breathe without thinking about breathing at all, such as when you sleep.
Because the lungs themselves dont contain any muscles, they need help from muscles within the body. The intercostal muscles are small and numerous muscles situated between each rib and on each side of each rib. The intercostal muscles help enlarge the chest cavity and contract to pull the ribcage both upward and outward as you inhale.
The diaphragm is the most important muscle to breathing. In fact, the diaphragm has its own nerve supply and can work involuntarily and voluntarily. The diaphragm works like a vacuum. When the diaphragm contracts during inhalation, it goes down toward the stomach, expands the lungs and pulls new air into them. During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and moves back to its original position. As the diaphragm relaxes, it and the intercostal muscles in the ribcage push old air back out of the lungs. The intercostal muscles also relax and reduce the space in the chest cavity.
Read Also: What Can Cause Asthma Exacerbation
Secretion Is Accumulated In The Lungs
Normal practice is often to have patients with respiratory difficulties lie down with the head end of the bed elevated at approximately 30-degrees. When the client is halfway lying and halfway sitting in this position, gravity will push the secretion from the lungs down to the bottom of the lung tissue allowing the client to breathe more easily because he/she is only using the top half of the lungs.
However, sitting or partially lying down in this position also harms the patients lungs ability to function. This is particularly true for the lower half of the lungs as secretion accumulates and fills the alveolar sacs. In time, this can limit the expansion of the lungs making it harder for the patient to breathe.
You might also like:Why is positioning important?
Does Honey Treatment Help In Improving Sleep With Asthma
Coughing is one of the symptoms of nocturnal asthma, which can be reduced by taking two teaspoons of honey with warm water or cinnamon before you go to bed. Honey can increase saliva production, which can ease your cough by lubricating your airways and reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes that causes breathing difficulty.
Also Check: Free Asthma Inhaler
What Sleeping Positions Mean For Your Health
As you drift off to sleep, how does your nightly position affect your health? Whether you prefer stomach, back, side or curled into a fetal position, the way you snuggle into the pillow may affect your breathing patterns, neck and back pain, and circulation. A less-serious effect, but one most people would like to avoid, is an increase in facial wrinkles.
Here are some of the pros and cons of four go-to nightly postures, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Are Hot Showers Good For Asthma
Some people with asthma find hot showers very soothing since warm air is said to help clear the mucus in your airways, making it easier to breathe.
However, some others find heat makes asthma get worse so it is important to know that what works for some may not work for others.
So, if you try it and your symptoms get worse then try looking for another way to get some relief from the symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse
What Is The Best Position To Sleep With Asthma
Alleviating some of your nocturnal asthma symptoms can be as simple as changing your sleeping position. One study found that the supine sleep position improved night-time asthma symptoms and constricts your lungs less than lying on your stomach or side.
The best sleeping position for asthma patients is to prop yourself up with extra pillows. This will help to keep the airways open and reduce your risk of a night-time cough.
Never Eat Before Sleep
Eating a meal or drinking a protein-rich drink such as milk or hot chocolate two or even three hours before going to bed will result in increased breathing. Then you will have both an increase in breathing due to lying in a horizontal position, and an increase in breathing due to eating or drinking. Then overbreathing is guaranteed, resulting in a poor nights sleep. Eating a meal late at night can also result in having no appetite for breakfast.
Eating late at night on a regular basis is inherently unhealthy for anyone asthmatic or not. It contributes to increased weight gain and lethargy, and it can disrupt the appetite the following day. My grandfather was a man of much wisdom and he had a saying that you should always wake up with an appetite. Im sure he was right.
Recommended Reading: Asthma Attack With No Inhaler
Why Is This Blog About How To Sleep With Asthma Positions Important
As we have discussed, it seems that the position you sleep on can help you reduce asthma symptoms along with the use of asthma medication.
Moreover, we talked about several tips, such as changing your bedding at least once a week, that you can follow to prevent having an asthma attack during the night that can affect your quality of sleep.
Also, we talked about how there is no definite treatment so make sure you go to your GP and get the appropriate treatment for your case, also if you feel symptoms get worse set up an appointment to keep the situation controlled.
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
When Should I Call My Doctor
If your child suffers from NA regularly, call your child’s doctor to talk about making changes to their treatment plan.
Sometimes medications used to take care of asthma can cause sleep problems. Talk to your child’s doctor if your child can’t sleep because of their asthma medication.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.
Don’t Miss: Can Smoking Weed Help Asthma
How To Sleep Better With Severe Asthma
1. Clean your bedroom regularly. Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter to trap mites and their waste and get them out of your bedroom. If your vacuum doesnt have a HEPA filter, you can buy one from an allergy supply company, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American .
2. Wash your bedding in hot water weekly. Make sure the water is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit so it will kill dust mites. Finish the job in a hot dryer.
3. Invest in dust-proof mattress and pillow protectors. These zippered covers are woven tightly to keep dust mites out of bedding. You can find them at bedding and housewares stores, the AAFA says.
4. Invest in a humidifier. Cold air is drier and more troublesome for people with severe asthma. Depending on where you live, you might benefit from a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your bedroom in the winter, Bose says. Whats more: Dust mites thrive in low humidity, so boosting humidity by using a humidifier in your bedroom can help keep dust mites at bay.
5. Dont sleep with pets. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom so their dander doesnt collect or stick to the carpeting and bedding, Bose says. You may also need to keep the door to your bedroom shut to keep your pet and its dander out.
The Circadian System Contributes To Asthma During Sleep
Researchers found that the circadian system contributes to the common nighttime worsening of asthma, according to data published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
For centuries, it has been recognized that asthma severity shows a daily rhythm, with the worst symptoms at night, Frank A.J.L. Scheer, MSc, PhD, of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues wrote. However, it is unclear to what degree this is driven by everyday behaviors, such as sleep, physical activity and body posture changes, versus intrinsic rhythms generated by the internal body clock.
Scheer and colleagues wrote that the bodys circadian system may influence the pulmonary and inflammatory system via the automatic nervous system, humoral factors and local molecular clocks.
To determine the independent effect of the endogenous circadian system on asthma, the researchers enrolled patients with asthma without steroid use and a group of control participants in two complementary in-laboratory protocols.
Read Also: What Happens If You Smoke Weed With Asthma
The Right Pillow May Help
A contoured pillow or one with memory-foam which holds its shape, can help to guide your body and hold your head in the right position to keep you sleeping on your side. For more tips on best sleeping practices, check out our article on Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene or browse the pillows in the shop.
Lie In Your Again Together With Your Shoulders And Neck Elevated
Elevating your neck and shoulders with two, three, or extra pillows can open up your airways as you sleep. In case your sinuses drain extra through the night time, sleeping with pillows beneath your shoulders provides the drainage a gravity enhance with the intention to maintain respiration straightforward whilst you sleep.
Recommended Reading: Does Chihuahuas Help Asthma