British Lung Foundation
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Needing window open

My husband who has severe copd seems to be staying in bed most of the day. Just getting up occasionally then saying he is tired and wants to go back to bed. Does the same at night, getting up for short periods then back to bed. He insists on having the window open even though the temp outside is freezing. He says it's because he needs the oxygen. He also of course wants the central heating turned up and I say its defeating the purpose having the heating up so high and the window open.

Do any of you with COPD need to have a window open when you are sleeping?

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31 Replies

I open the window during the day for a few minuets only to get fresh air in the house. Always have my cool mist vaporizer on at night to help me breath. Maureen usa

hi maureen.what is this cool mist vaporizer.what dose it do it any good 4 my copd.stay worm.

hi fourcandles sorry to get back to you so late caught a cold and have been taking it easy. The cold winter air can dry out your throat and nose making it hard to breath, putting moisture back into the air helps with breathing . for more info just google up vaporizing and copd. maureen usa

I had to do this yesterday evening. I need the heating turned up this weather but suddenly felt the need for some fresh air so had the window open for about half an hour.

hi gocat, ive had copd for about 9yrs and of course it gets worse. please keep the windows shut and try to keep a temp at night above 5 deg c. the cold air i9s shrinking his lungs and the heat makes it feel awfull , regards Badger 48. hope this helps

We've always slept with a window open and still do. In this weather with the heating on I often feel relieved by the inflow of cooler air when someone comes in or goes out.

How about a little hand held fan. A respiratory nurse recommended one and just feeling the breeze is a help. The battery operated type are probably found somewhere like wilkinson s or on the Internet for under £5.

Give him a hug to keep him warm!

Best wishes


Hi gocat, I am more concerned that your hubby is staying in bed so much. It's the worse thing people with lung conditions can do. My respiratory nurse always says " If you don't use it, you lose it"!

It is so easy when you feel poorly to give in and stay in bed, I totally understand where he is coming from. But if he could just persevere being a little more active he might just find his symptoms improve.

I have had hospital admissions and always feel that I will never get back on track due to being bedridden for a couple of weeks but honestly you really have to keep moving.

I find the central heating in my bedroom takes my breath away and usually have it very low. If it is extra cold I use an extra quilt.


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Hello Gocat, I need the window open a little at night, but what has really helped is getting an electric blanket, therefore, dont need the heatling on in the bedroom, as the bed is nice and warm

Always have a window open, whatever the weather, feel really clogged up if not x

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Always have a window open, whatever the weather, feel really clogged up if not x

Thanks for the replies. Yes wouldnt mind if the window was just opened a little bit but he opens it wide. I would have thought with the freezing weather lately, that would not be a good thing for his breathing. Will suggest the use of a small fan to get some airflow going in the room.

There was a study done which reported that yes, us copd'ers and asthmatics do benefit from cold air directly onto the open mouth.

My bedroom window is open every night even if it is below freezing outside. In warmer weather I cannot sleep without the window open and a fan blowing directly into my face.

I'm afraid my husband just has to put up with it and put another duvet on his side of the bed, or sleep elsewhere!

Alway I just cant breath without it open mine is wide open but I have to turn the heating of to in my room

I've always slept with my window open,I feel suffocated if I cant feel a breeze coming in.It's not often I put my heating on either.(have too many hot sweats).

I always have a small window open in the bedroom and the radiator is never on. Otherwise I feel I am suffocating. In the summer, the big windows are open too. This has been all my life, not just since I had COPD.

I also have to sleep with the curtains open ever since I was a child, I am a bit claustrophobic.

Lynne xx

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My hubby used to insist that he needed the window wide open even though it was freezing out there, now we have compromised have the small top window open and have bought him a humidifier which we have on in the bedroom and I put either eucalyptus oil in it or lavender depending on how he is.

I always have the window open, whatever the weather, but sometimes shut it in the night if the cold is too much! Go to the tags and look at Pulmonary Rehab, stayng in bed so much is not doing your husband any favours. A PR course would get him moving again, and working on his core strength will help him feel heaps better. Inactivity is the enemy of COPD.

hi gocat, sorry have to side with your husband im the same i need the air otherwise feels like i cant breathe i know it sounds stupid but my kids moan at me all the time about it and my mum was the same, i think esp when you have to have heating on the air gets stuffy in the room and having window open gives that nice bit of fresh air sorry xx

Pete can get a bit cold at night so would never have the window open. The cold air makes him choke so he has to take care outside. He likes the house warm but I think it is too hot sometimes so will turn down a radiator especially in the bedroom. I hate the bedroom to be too hot and stuffy. Try and achieve a balance of some sort, have the window open for a little while and then close it. Keep the room at an even, not to hot, temperature and perhaps your husband will feel better for that. Good luck to you. xx

i am intrigued as to why in a question about having the window open you write a lot about your husband going back to bed.

Is the real problem that you feel alone while he spends all his time in bed? If so, having been through this with Puff, I fully sympathise.I would be left alone for hours watching tv by myself while Puff stayed in bed all day apart from a couple of hours, etc I found it depressing quite honestly.And I coudn't get on with anything like housework for fear of waking him up and making a noise.

If I have the wrong end of the stick then I apologise.

I to have very severe copd. And keep my window firmly closed at all times in winter. Cold air really is bad for our chest. I also keep the heating on 24/7 although comfortable, not too high. The first thought that comes to mind is. Does your husband use oxygen? If not what are his blood oxygen saturation levels? Is low levels of blood saturation causing your husband to be tired all the time, or is he a CO2 retainer. Whatever the cause, staying in bed most of the time is not good. And I am sorry to be honest but only hasten his end. Is he depressed? There is a reason to be in bed all the time and you really do need to contact your husbands health care professionals to ask questions. Meanwhile it would be a good idea to call the BLF helpline and talk through the issue with them.

As derrylynne says there is something not right. My problem was my previous doctor was doing virtually b**ger all to help with my COPD. After I changed my doctor and he sorted stuff for me I only have an afternoon kip for a couple of hours now.

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I have had COPD for ten years and obviously it's getting worse. I need the window open a little at night purely for the "fresh air" feeling. I also have a ceiling fan on most of the time as I find this the biggest comfort. I suppose we are different but I don't feel the cold and I can't stand feeling hot, it seems to make me panicky and breathless. Hope you work things out.

We always used to keep the bedroom window open all the time but can't do that any more - I don't know what the bloke next door burns on his fire but it really stinks and apart from making it harder to breathe, it tends to make me feel nauseous. It's a real shame because I hate being in a stuffy room.


I like my bed warm but my room not so much. Twice in very cold weather I have breathed in and then felt unable to breath out and really panicked.

I now have a fan in my room so i'm okay sleeping and the fan goes on for a couple of minutes and I do my breathing exercisers. It rotates so cools my room too.

Best wishes Gina x

I must admit I put my fan away for the winter but miss it. I, like everybody else need fresh air, but with caution. Some kind person recommended a fleece snood for which thanks. I find it useful. Bye Annie x

i have C.O.P.D. and the window open, i feel i need fresh air for breathing better even when there is a severe frost, but i make sure my dogs who sleep on my bed are well covere and cosy

My other half has severe heart failure and mod/severe COPD .

For a couple of years I have found the electric fan is used as much in winter as in summer. The air ciculation seems to add oxygen to the air, makes it easier for him to breathe,

Even now -1, the bedroom window is cracked open, it never closes, been like that so long, now won't close.

I can see from replies there are quite a few of us who regularly need windows open.


A great variety of answers there. Thank you. Hubby seems to realise he only needs the window open a little bit now and not have the heating so high. I have put the fan in his bedroom but he hasnt used it yet. I have to sleep in a different room as cant stand any heating on at all.

Yes am very worried about him staying in bed all the time but Ive encouraged him to go out or at least stay up for longer but not very successful there. I picked his prescriptions up the other day and there is a note for him to have a blood test and see the dr for copd check up. That's seeming to be mission impossible so far. Was hoping he would go this morning as the temperature not so cold as last week. Also needs his flu jab which I've been trying to get him to have since October.

He doesnt use oxygen and each time Ive had to call the ambulance out (not so far this winter *touch wood*) the ambulance staff have said he should be on oxygen. But when I mention it to the hospital doctors, they say he doesnt need it. One ambulance man did mention about C02 retention, so I guess thats why the hospital doctors dont think he needs the oxygen.

Hardly eats either, even though he talks about food a lot and likes watching the cookery programmes, saying he is going to try that and try this, so he must be feeling hungry but when the food it put in front of him he just shoves it around his plate. Very frustrating :(

i dont have the heating on in my bedroom but i have a window open in th e small bedroom oppsite mine so the air flows in a bit through that , but down satairs more often than not my window is open , and my heating is normally on low, i cant stand the heat my poar hubby freezes especailly this weather , and i also according to the drs am getting anxiety attacks since i was hospitalised few weeks back and had to have a cpap mask on me , they just come on and i get boiling hot and cant breathe so all windows and fans are on it lasts for hours , very scarey x

I have always kept it open for the same reason,was informed yesterday by nurse that keep it shut because the pollen aggravates airways at night,so last night i did so and had 3 hrs sleep as i was too hot to get comfy and breathe right,not entirely sure which way is best

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