Trouble breathing at night

For the past 2-3weeks noticed that even though I have been sleeping with 2pillows under my head, I have been waking up with shortness of breath after sleeping for 3-4 hours. No wheezing, just trouble breathing so I try to calm down and concentrate on purse breathing and breathing through diaphragm. I now usually use the pro air respiclick before going to sleep but am still feeling breathless.

Anyone have these symptoms and what do you do?

Take care, Sil

26 Replies

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  • Sorry to hear about your night time breathing problems, somtimes when using two pillows, it tips the head forward that could restrict your airway.

    Now here's a little trick that has worked for me. Incline the bed on two blocks one for each headboard leg, divan type beds you may have to put a small piece of ply across the corners to take the blocks, the blocks MUST be 6 inches high or for the modernist 15 centre meters, this is known as inclined bed therapy, ( you can google it) this is very good for people suffering from copd, an added bonus it will stop you or a partner from snoring, this therapy dates right back to Egyptian times, when they discovered mummy's when excavating they noticed they was always on sloping beds, it is now practiced by many health professionals around the world. If you try this please let me know how you get on.

    Wishing you well

    Peter

  • Forgot about the blocks under the bed!! Doh, used to use bricks under my sons bed when he suffered with Asthma as a child!

  • i have been using them for years works like a dream

  • Hi sil, I use at least four pillows, and sometimes add some cushions as well. But I build them up so they are on a slope......I don't try and sleep with four straight pillows otherwise I would get a crick in my neck!

    You can buy foam wedges too, but that would be an expensive outlay if it didn't work

    Blocks under the bed head is a good idea.....mind your back though putting them in.

    I often find I wake with a dry mouth because I mouth breathe when asleep, and breathe deeper too, it's difficult to breathe through the nose when you are asleep obviously, because you are not aware of doing so.

    But i would go back to your GP or nurse for advice as well, your medication may need adjusting, or you may have just a cold brewing.

    Take care.

  • I am sorry you are having this trouble. I would definitely tell your Doctor. I imagine he will find the cause and then a treatment will follow. It sounds annoyingly frightening to me. I do think raising the head of the bed is a good idea too. I am not an expert or anything but have you thought it could be reflux ? Do you use oxygen at night? I know sleep apnea will cause some trouble like this and they have cpap machines to help. Let us know what the Doctor says if you see him or her. Take care of yourself. :-)

  • I don't need oxygen yet. Will mention to my doctor after I get results of cat scan done last week.

    Take care,

    Sil

  • Hi.......I use bed blocks for my acid reflux , they work well for that. Bought an expensive foam wedge which was a waste of money . Ended up with all sorts of aches and pains.

    Jo.

  • Hi ! I had similar issues and whilst in Hospital with pneumonia the Physio suggested I buy a handheld fan, available for about £3,and use it to boost my air intake. I use it after my night time puffs of Ventoli for 5 minutes. Works very effectively. A better fan is available from Amazon at £7 +. Good luck

  • I have a pedestal fan blowing across the bed towards my face constantly... it does help me as it keeps the air circulating, also have the window open a small amount for ventilation. Good luck, and keep a bottle of water by your bed for that dry mouth syndrome.

  • I used to get this problem. Some nights worse than others depending on my chest health at the time. I solved mine by buying an adjustable bed so I can raise my head easily to what I need it to be. Pillows before never really did the job and many times ended up on the floor in anycase.

    Some nights I don't need to raise the head hardly at all. Then there are times when I raise quite a bit. I only need to sleep with one pillow now also. I have had an adjustable bed for a few years and was one of the best buys I made for my chest.

  • I got five pillows and try and sleep on my back and when i wake up i take two puffs of the blue pump ventolin

  • Hi, I can't breathe properly on just two pillows so I use three! One propped right under my chin so I don't fall off! Try it, I hope it works, or ask your respiratory team for a back rest, I use that when I'm bad X good luck, hope it helps xx

  • HI SKLEINER , I HAVE HAD COPD FOR YEARS STARTING AT 3 YRS WITH SWYER JAMES AND PROGRESSING WITH AGE , ( SORRY ABOUT CAPITALS BUT I HAVE CATERACTS ) . I USED TO WAKE UP AT NIGHT VERY SHORT OF BREATH , I USED TO DREAM THAT I WAS BEING STRANGLED OR CONFINED AND UNABLE TO BREATH , NOT EVERY NIGHT BUT MAYBE 2 OR 3 NIGHTS A WEEK . WHILST IN HOSPITAL FOR AN UNRELATED PROBLEM I MENTIONED IT TO THE LUNG FUNCTION NURSE WHO THEN MONITORED MY SATS OVERNIGHT . APPARENTLY THE BODY'S SLEEP MODE MEANS YOUR BREATHING SHALLOWS AND IF YOU STRUGGLE , AS I DO AND AM ON OXYGEN 24 HRS , YOUR SATS DROP TOO LOW . THEY GAVE ME A C PAP WHICH IMPROVED THINGS AND NOW I AM ON A BIPAP WITH NO FURTHER PROBLEMS WHEN SLEEPING . IT WOULD BE AN IDEA TO GET AN OVERNIGHT MONITOR DONE , MY SATS WENT DOWN TO 60 TO 70 AT NIGHT WHICH WAS CAUSING THE DREAMS AND BREATHING PROBS . I HOPE YOU FIND A SOLUTION SOON XXXXXXX IT IS NOT A NICE FEELING XXXXXXX

  • Will see my pulmonologist this week and go over cat scan. I also have abpa, asthma and copd. Am taking Breo and pro- air respiclick as needed. Sometimes I feel like nothing helps. I try to breathe slowly and not to panic.

    Thanks for advice

    Take care,

    Sil

  • YOU ARE RIGHT TO RELAX AND BREATHE SLOWLY , KEEP VERY STILL AND DO THE MITCHELL REGIME , LEANING FORWARD ONTO A TABLE WITH YOUR ARMS TO OPEN CHEST , THIS HAS GOT ME OUT OF LOADS OF EPISODES . IF YOU FIND IT HARD TO COPE TELL YOUR DOC . I ALSO HAVE AN OXYMETER TO TEST O2 LEVELS AND HEART RATE XXXXXXXX GOOD LUCK XXXXXXX

  • Hi and sorry for butting into a conversation. I am ashmatic and have copd. I have been having a lot of weird and wonderfull dreams during the night (just about every night) for the past year or so. I noticed you mentioned dreams and the cause being copd? I have been wondering why I have been having them and maybe it could be conected to the copd. I also wake up with breathing problems once or twice a week. I am not on oxygen but am on symbicort, ventolin and another inhaler which I am sorry but have totally forgot the name. Any info about the dreams etc would be gratefully received if you dont mind

    Many thanks

    Rob

  • NO PROBLEM WITH YOU REPLYING ROB , THAT IS WHAT THE SITE IS FOR , YO HELP EACH OTHER XXXX. I CAN'T ADD MUCH MORE TO THE DREAM PROBLEM THOUGH , I USED TO DREAM THAT I WAS BEING RESTRICTED IN SOME WAY , EITHER STRANGLED , HANGING , IN A BOX OR CUPBOARD WITH NO AIR AND WAKE UP STILL IN THE DREAM SHORT OF BREATH . I GUESS MY BODY TELLING ME TO WAKE UP TO INCREASE OXYGEN LEVELS . OVER NIGHT MONITOR WOULD DEFINE IF IT IS LOW OXYGEN CAUSING YOUR DREAMS , I SUSPECT IT IS THOUGH XXXXXXXX GOOD LUCK XXXXXX

  • Thankyou

  • I use have this got acupuncher he said that between 3 and 5 in morning your body has a lot of electricity making your lungs constrict never had it since 6 treatmeanths of acupuncher

  • I had same problem but treated myself to an electric bed from HSL (the chair people) got it on offer for about £650 and is fabulous can put myself press of button any angle I want sitting lying and feet in air or down or whatever no more fighting pillows slipping and no effort - used to get exhausted just trying to get bed right - just a thought works for me and worth every penny take care xxx

  • forgot to say HSL very good firm no hard sell went through all types with me give 5 year guarantee (had mine a year now no problem) and very good quality so would recommend.

  • Hi

    Do you have any damp or mould in your house/flat? If you do this could be a large part of the problem.

    Let me know when you can.

  • No damp problems or mould in the house. I understand where you are coming from, Ive heard that the spores from mould can do a lot of harm?

  • Try to eat red hot chili. it Will hela you to open up. best regards tarja

  • Breathlessness in sleep can indicate heart problems....

    I use one pillow and sleep on (usually ) my right side..............The left side is thought to be better because sleeping on the right side means the heart is pressing down into the lung chamber, but the right side works for me.

  • Will ask my doctor about this, thank you for letting me know.

    I have an appointment in 2days to go over cat scan of lungs.

    Take care,

    Sil

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