Asthma is a chronic lung condition that today affects millions of Americans, of all age range.
Symptoms of asthma occur when the airway becomes inflamed and make breathing difficult.
It’s still unknown what causes asthma, but some indicators are showing that asthma is a result of harmful environmental factors such as indoor allergens or increased exposure to pollution.
Asthma increase is also linked to a higher obesity rate among young adults, and even children.
Some researches are focusing on genetic factors for asthma – basically, if a family member had asthma you are more likely to have asthma as well.
Whatever causes asthma is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Overall, asthma is a serious health condition that can negatively affect other areas of your life.
It should be carefully managed, so a person with asthma could have a normal life.
Asthma can affect many aspects of a person’s life including sleep.
Asthma And Sleep
It’s quite common for people with asthma to have difficulties sleeping. In many, asthma can create disturbing effects that keep waking them up during the night.
If you have difficulties breathing, or if you are coughing or have a tight chest at night, you are experiencing stronger asthma signs.
These symptoms mean that your asthma isn’t well-controlled and you are at real risk of having an asthma attack.
If you are experiencing worse asthma symptoms early in the morning it also means that your asthma is getting worse.
Early morning asthma symptoms usually mean that your asthma has been difficult through the night, even if you are not aware of it.
What To Do When Asthma Stops You Sleeping
If you have asthma you know how tricky it can be to breathe easily.
You might even use an inhaler daily making life even more challenging. However, do not despair because there is a solution for everything.
Try some of the following tips to breath better at night:
- Sit up and take your reliever inhaler as prescribed
- Always have your inhaler on hand, besides your bed
- Place your pillow in a different position to see if it can help
- Have a glass of water on your nightstand, sometimes your throat just might be dry
Using your inhaler as prescribed on a daily level should keep your asthma in control.
Inhalers are carefully designed to build up protection in your airways and keep your asthma symptoms under control.
This way you are less likely to wake up at night.
If you notice your symptoms going from bad to worse you should talk to your doctor.
Symptoms that keep you awake at night are usually the sign that you might be at risk of an asthma attack.
Having an asthma action plan can help you manage your asthma better.
This way you might understand better how to manage your symptoms and what to do if they get worse.
Never skip your asthma reviews with your asthma nurse or GP.
They are the only ones who can tell you honestly what is your condition and if you are using your inhaler right.
Don’t forget that prevention is the cure.
Asthma And Waking At Night
Keeping asthma under control is manageable when you have the right inhaler, right motivation, and consistency.
When your asthma isn’t under control, you may experience worsening symptoms at night, or early in the morning.
There are a few reasons why this might happen:
- Your body never sleep, but it may slow down in some areas. For example, at night your body produces less natural steroid hormones, which can easily affect your symptoms.
- Do you sleep on your back? If so, you should know that gravity places additional pressure on your chest and lungs, making it harder to breathe. In most cases, this position can also trigger a cough.
- How frequently do you change your bedsheets? Do you vacuum your mattress regularly? How well you manage your bedroom hygiene is also important because there might be many triggers that can make your asthma worse, such as dust mites in your blankets, pillows, etc.
- Pet hair might be a strong trigger as well if you are really sensitive. If so, you might want to find better ways to co-sleep with your pet.
- Check your home for any sign of mold, becuase it’s a common asthma trigger. Always let the fresh air into your area, especially the bathroom. Avoid drying cloth inside your house, especially a bedroom or living room.
- Lots of people suffer from different allergies. Pollen may trigger asthma symptoms when pollen is high.
- Some people are triggered by the wrong bedroom temperature, especially in cold. If this is you, keep windows closed.
If you have to use steroid pills for your asthma, you probably know that you should drink them in the morning after food.
In most cases, Gp will recommend this practice.
The reason for this lies in the fact that if you take them at night it can lead to difficulty sleeping.
So, with any steroid pills and other pills. In fact, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions.
Don’t be tempted to take pills as you like.
You need to keep asthma in control, otherwise, your symptoms might come back and keep you awake at night.
Tips From Other People With Asthma
Sometimes the best tips can come from people with asthma.
Some people have asthma for decades and during that time they learned how to manage their condition to have a better and healthier life.
Here is what you can learn from there. Check these tips to see if they might serve you as well:
- Drinka lot of water. You can ease your throat with a glass of water. Make sure the water isn’t too cold. Hydration is important for overall health and better sleep.
- Try a nasal saline rinse to unlcock a stuffy nose.
- Exercise regularly or have long walks daily. Avoid heavy exercise before bedtime.
- Relax in the evening, have a sleeping routine that will help you drift off easily.
- Avoid caffeine early in the morning and evening.
Living With Asthma
Most people with asthma are capable of having a normal life. Moreover, they can even participate in a wide range of different physical activities, and some even complicated sports.
To do this, people with asthma must care about their lifestyle. They should take their medications as prescribed, be able to recognize various triggers, and avoid them, to keep an attack away.
You can live easier with asthma if you implement some of the following tips into your everyday life:
Make sure that you follow what your doctor tells you.
Don’t set your own prescription measures and time, but take the medication at the prescribed time — when your doctor told you to do so.
By doing this you are actually managing asthma symptoms.
Patient-doctor connection is what leads to success. Work with your doctor by taking the necessary steps.
This is the only way to develop and maintain a proper medication regime that works the best for you.
Use A Peak Flow Meter If Needed
Do you know what a peak flow meter is? It’s common for asthma patients to monitor their symptoms at all times.
A peak flow meter serves to monitor any changes in lung function and even warms patients of an impending asthma attack before they experience symptoms.
Try To Avoid Asthma Triggers
Ok, this can be easier said than done, but it’s a must. Avoiding triggers is important if you want to live better with any condition.
Knowing what are your stress triggers is already a lot of work.
This way you can stay away from situations that make you uncomfortable, put you in stressful surroundings, or just make your feel sick.
Also, no two asthma patients are identical and something that triggers an attack in one person may not in another.
So, try to avoid what triggers your attacks.
You cannot handle too much dust? Change sheets and pillowcases more often. Vacuum every other day, or every day if you share your bed with pets.
For people with asthma, especially children, it is very important to get adequate sleep.
Sleep hygiene is what moves your entire body, and keeps your body in balance. One of the most common nighttime symptoms is dust mites.
To reduce exposure to dust mites, make sure that the bedroom is clean and free of dust.
Always check your bedroom for bedbugs, because you never know for sure what’s hiding in your bed.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to trust your doctor when it comes to treating asthma.
Some studies claim that people with asthma are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea, which is why any breathing difficulty should be taken lightly.
To understand your body better, do your asthma research, follow doctors’ instructions and do whatever is needed to live a healthier life.
In some cases, the doctor may ask you to visits a sleeping center, which will help them understand your condition better.
If possible have your sleep diary on with you.