British Lung Foundation
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Bedtime issues

lol that sounds dodgy eh!

I'm sure this is just my ignorance showing, but every morning I wake up sounding like death. Until I have been up for a few hours my chest, lungs and throat remain clogged. If anyone hears me talk in that time they assume I'm very unwell with infections etc. This morning I woke barely able to breathe with a very dry mouth and blocked to the gills with mucus and phlegm. It is considerably painful to cough it up and the Symbicort has only a minor effect.

Apart from Bronchiectasis I suffer from asthma, which has been poorly controlled over the years, and severe allergies that affect my lungs.

I'd love to be able to go and buy a whole range of items to help with this but I'm not rich enough, so any suggestions on helping to ease this would be great. I have pillows but always end up laying flat on the sheet. Is this a bad thing?

The heat has just started to go on too now and I know that makes things worse.

Any ideas?


9 Replies

Keep a small bowl of water by the radiator to help with the drying out because of the central heating. Make or buy a V pillow to try to keep you higher up. Lying flat will and can make the chest less likely to move mucus away when asleep.

My lung function drops an extra 12% when flat. Try the huffing technique before bed and as soon as you wake.

Be Well


Gargle with salty, half - one level teaspoon per cup hot water before bed & when you get up - help shifts throat muck. Do the WHOLE cup.

Take a Ranitidine with water before bed to counter possible acid reflux causing more mucous.

Take a couple of ventolin pulls wait half hour for pipes to open up and then try to huff up the lung muck.

Good luck.


that could well be me posting that, All i can say is, take all meds prescribed, ask for a nebuliser , with both salbutamol and saline, the saline one you can do as many times as you want, it can and does help,

do you take carbocisteine, this also helps break up mucus etc. gargling with salt water also helps, as many times as needed, try get that comes up, i,e making you sleep sitting, i have a "v " shaped pillow and banked up with other pillows, def, better sleeping sitting, you get used to it.

have you explained this to your g,p ? he or she will be able to help with this.

its the most horrible feeling, was like that myself from 4 am until about 9, 1o approx,,,spent hours on my nebuliser firstly the salbutamol, then continued the saline nebs for about 2 hours,

i do hope you can get this resolved, for me its part of the illness, but not a very good part. the phlegm or mucus is better up, as this being left causes infections.

i do hope this is resolved

good luck i hope you get many tips here which might thelp



I am on carbocisteine. Been taking that since January three times a day. I will mention it to my GP when I see her at the end of the week.

I'm not sure what ranitidine is? I have a v pillow but always slide off!

I don't have a nebuliser. Not convinced the GP would give me one either, but I will try for one. I don't know any of the techniques to force the phlegm up. I was only diagnosed recently but no mention of anything beyond adding yet another pill to my ever growing pile. Started Montelukast four days ago and suffered unpleasant stomach cramps since. I'm also on omeprazole for acid reflux.

I'll try the gargling the salt water tonight. Thanks for your suggestions guys.


1 like

H i ladytelita, im the same as you take carbocisteine 4 times a day, yet although helps a bit, im very like yourself, that's why i feel fo for you my dear.

i don't take ranitidine, that's for acidity, [zantac] some folks suffer this as well -acid reflux, im sure thats why it would have been mentioned. Again like you i used to slip down the bed even with the pillows, but now i make sure i am well banked up, and put a rolled up thick blanket under the end of the bed, with my feet on it , helping me stop slipping down, but i find i cant even attempt to lie flat, but finding a way to keep sat up will def help , i have a raiser thing [push the button and the top half of the bed raises, this was given to me by the occupational therapist, but its for a single bed so i don't use it,, just the banked up pillows on the double bed, i find i have more room in the double bed,i have a catheter bag hanging out one side , oxygen tube on the other , so wee bitty like an egyptian mummy lying there,:) but the thing is, it works for me.

It seems to me you haven't really had much help !! There are very good respiratory nurses out there, that could help you a lot, breathing techniques etc.various breathing techniques etc. trial different inhalers etc.many other things, p.r, classes, and help very much in the main. possibly even get you a nebuliser [their not too expensive really, mine is an nhs one ], i would say, when you intend to visit the doc, ask him or her to refer you to a breathing lung consultant, and demand you get the proper care and that you are suffering badly, i don't know if you smoke, but if so far better stopping. that in itself can cause this. [i'm not saying you do smoke,] it doesn't matter if you do or don't, its yourself you want better. try the old salt water gargling , there's absolutely, no harm in that whats ever,that often helps too.

i can understand your plight completely, and feel for you completely, but i honestly feel you need more help advice at this time, this is where a good consultant can come in handy, they can lead you to manythings , physio, occupational therapy etc.

there's also breatheasy clubs all over the country these are good, and can be of great help. but in the meantime get into that gp and tell him her how bad you are suffering, and that you badly need help.

i hope you get somewhere fast, maybe let us know how things go, you need never be afraid to post on here, i do hope this problem can be resolved. kindest regards jimmy :)


Thanks Jimmy, I will ask for help with my respiratory issues. No, I don't smoke and never will! It's nice to know others who actually go through this with real experience.

I'll attempt the propping up tonight and see if I can stay in the pillows this time. I did think about getting a mattress raiser for my double bed but they are expensive.

Not heard about the breath easy club so I'll look it up.


1 like

all the very best lady telita, i honestly do hope you can get things resolved, to get at least some relief, as it is horrible like that.

im sure you will get much help, many tips, meet many friends in the same boat, so to speak etc. on this site, good luck :) jimmy xxx :)



I have long term Bronchi.

I would certainly say prop yourself on pillows. Huffing is good. I was given a Flutter by physio. Really found it helpful to shift the mucus. Particularly in the throat.


What on earth is a flutter? Lol, you can tell I'm a newbie to this condition. Actually been suffering the symptoms for years but never knew what it was.



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