Log in
Asthma UK community forum
11,320 members β€’ 17,586 posts

Nighttime awakenings

Hi everyone. Does anyone find sleeping impossible when in a flare? I am literally up every hour. I fall asleep then wake up gasping as if someone is suffocating me. It takes me s while to catch my breath only to go back to sleep exhausted and then repeat the pattern. It is terrifying and not only am I exhausted but now my anxiety is awful. I asked dr and she said definitely means asthmabis out of control and will get better when I can get control which feels like never. The only thing that has helped nighttime awakenings is a few days of prednisone. I am now trying symbicort and hope it eventually helps. Does this happen to anyone? And how on earth do you keep sane and calm it seems impossible? Any suggestions are appreciated. You guys keep me going. Thank you!

7 Replies
oldest β€’ newest

Yes especially coughing but when I have to go on prednisone I can't sleep with them so it's a viscous circle 😞 Hope you feel better soon xx


Try not drinking after 6 avoid carbonated drinks and choc and fatty food try that i reckon itll work


Yes - it is rotten. I remember it so well. I had to talk myself into a reasonable state of mind in order to go back to sleep as I was young and I panicked. Do you sleep on lots of pillows? Try having 3 or 4 behind you and then tucking one either side so you make a kind of armchair with the pillows. It might be worth a try. If you have not been given breathing exercises to do, ask the practice nurse for them. When you wake gasping, grabbing the blue inhaler, sit up and make a real effort to slow your breathing down. Count how long the breaths in take and how long for out and see if you can make them longer breaths. You will get over this, honestly you will. If you live with someone, they might be able to help you, talk to you to help you get over the episodes and comfort you so you can go back to sleep. Everything is worse at night, so put the lights on when you need to.

Very best wishes.

1 like

Thank you so much! Your advice really helps. At this point I feel like it is never going to end. Then you feel even worse from lack of sleep. Can I ask what meds finally got you controlled and how long it took to do so? Thanks again. I will use your suggestions. I think just having hope from someone who has been there helps a lot. Take care!!


I don't think my medical history will help much, as we are all so different. However, it took a good deal of trying different medications, and perhaps it was just growing up and taking control of my own life: relying on myself was better than anything. I still had attacks from time to time, but I finally understood my triggers, both physical, like dogs, and psychological, like stress, so I managed things better. And I still do! All will be well in the end, you'll see.


Hi. I just had a serious asthma flare up that became uncontrolled asthma. This was the first time in my life that I ever had asthma this serious! It was an eye opener! Thank heavens for this website. It helped me to know that many others were going through the same thing. I think night time wakening with shortness of breath and gasping for air is frightening. Sometimes I was scared to fall asleep! At first I was on Qvar preventer and Ventolin, but I kept getting worse. My GP gave me a nebulizer, which helped, but still I had so much inflammation and twitchy lungs. The night time attacks continued. Finally, my allergist put me on Symbicort. It took a couple of weeks to get working properly, but now I can breathe and sleep most nights. It's wonderful! I hope the Symbicort works for you, too!


I did the up all night thing only in my youth. Breathing long slow breaths through pursed lips helps me. Hot tea as well. If you are up at night they should increase preventer if Symbicort is not working try Fostair. It may take some days to kick in depending what ICS you are already on.


You may also like...