It all sounds like reflux Rusty. What is called "Silent Reflux" as you often don't get oesophageal symptoms is very common with people with copd. What happens with this is that the refluxate (acid, pepsin and bile) breaches the upper oesophageal sphincter and gets into the windpipe. This will give sore throat, earache and can also cause asthma like symptoms if it reaches the lungs which it can do.
There are various things which can help - sleeping on a wedge pillow so gravity keeps the refluxate in your stomach (some people raise the head of their bed). And sleeping on the left hand side only is helpful as the entrance to the stomach is on the right, a little down from the top which means it can leak more easily if you are on your right hand side.
Always eat small meals, and leave 3 hours from last meal until bedtime.
I hope this helps. I do all of the above and it makes a big difference.