COPD / Adjusting Sleep Position to Breathe BetterFebruary 6th, 2019
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for group of progressive lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis –
but what does COPD actually mean?
Over 17 million people in North America have been diagnosed with COPD but many others are living with it every day undiagnosed. It is a serious illness that affects breathing, which drastically impacts the lifestyle of those suffering with this common condition.
The symptoms of COPD can vary from person to person. Typically, this disease develops over time and most people are around 40 years old when they start experiencing consistent symptoms, including:
- shortness of breath
- a chronic cough that may produce mucus
- swelling in ankles, feet or legs
- chest tightness.
There are ways to manage the symptoms of COPD but currently no way to cure it. Specialists recommend medication, supplemental oxygen and surgery as three viable clinical methods of treatment. Additionally, lifestyle changes can help prevent worsening of the symptoms including avoiding smoking or second-hand smoke, eating healthy & moderate exercise.
As previously mentioned, COPD can make it difficult to get quality, restful sleep. This is partly because of the medications that are prescribed to treat the symptoms of this illness, but also changes in breathing patterns that occur during normal sleep which may worsen and complicate COPD since they reduce blood oxygen. According to the Cleveland Clinic and other Medical institutions, sleeping in certain positions can help ease the symptoms of COPD, including shortness of breath and a build of mucus in your lungs. Positioning yourself with your head and knees slightly elevated is suggested. Adjustable beds with the ability to raise the head and knees sections with the touch of a button can help simplify the proper positioning for comfort with ease.