British Lung Foundation
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Hi everyone

I came across this article on the BBC news site last night -

There was also an item about the "myth of 8 hours sleep".

So I wondered if everyone would like to share their experiences of "a good nights sleep" when you have a lung condition. Do you all experience difficulty in sleeping? What affects your sleep? What do you do to try and make sure you get a good nights sleep?



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14 Replies

Is pits i have to cut naps during day out or wont sleep .. When my breathimg is bad have to wait to my bodys atomatic breathing paterns kick in ... And if a verylucky a will wake up too

But by time a fo nod of like a care ... Just hope a don't go having a bad dream

Great post ... All the best

I cannot remember how a good nights sleep feels now such a long time from when breathing did not take conscious thought or effort. Strange thought that once breathing happened with no consideration of should I be breathing in or out never getting a full breath only enough that carries until the next attempt.

Two glasses of water stand on the bedside cabinet as breathing hard leaves the mouth and throat dry as dust between attempts at sleep the frequent trips into the bathroom, the water must go somewhere and the breathing is disturbed back to gasping once more.

Sleep comes most often when head and chest are raised (almost sitting up) on a small hill of pillows relaxed not forcing sleep, when sleep will not come reading is a calming distraction until the body tires for one more slice of sleep (more than two hours is a joy) bringing another day ready or not reach for the inhalers what passes for a nights sleep is over again.

I experience pretty much the same as above. I am not exactly physically uncomfortable, yet not quite comfortable either. I average 4 hours a night, and usually the odd night with absolutely no sleep - awful! I NEVER 'nap' in the day as that would guarantee a totally sleepless night.

Once in a blue moon I have a surprise 'sleepathon'. I wake up amazed to find that I have slept a solid 8,9 or even 10 hours. Why this happens I do not know, but it is a dual edged sword in that while I feel mentally refreshed and positive, physically I feel as though I have been kicked in the ribs - my whole rib cage area, front and back, feels like one huge bruise.

As mentioned by mogli above, I sometimes have a problem with my breathing cycle. It usually happens when I am very relaxed. I just stop breathing for a few 'cycles' and I feel fine with it - so fine that I don't want to be bothered with trying to breathe again. I have a mental argument with myself and tell myself that if I don't soon take a breath I will die. Then I realise that not only does it require more effort than I want to make, but I cant remember how to do it. Still I feel relaxed and can't even tell which part of the breathing cycle I should be in - am I due an in breath? or an out breath? My solution was to ingrain the simple phrase 'when in doubt, just breathe out' into my memory. I consciously repeated this to myself throughout the day when I first started experiencing this problem. Now it kicks in automatically, and I follow my mental order by forcing an out breath. This is then followed by an automatic in breath and so the whole cycle has kicked in again. The first few breaths really do feel like monumental work though, requiring a lot of concentration! The odd thing is that no point in the whole process is there any sense of panic, fear or discomfort.

Sorry to have gone on about this in such detail, but I was so surprised to see others experiencing the same thing as I have never seen any mention of it anywhere before, even though I have described it on numerous COPD sites over the years , not once has anyone said 'i get that too'. Likewise when I have told medics about it they act as if I imagine it or something - as if it simply doesn't exist. Usually in fact, their first reaction is 'you are probably having an anxiety attack' ... umm .. no! The whole point is that I am so happy and relaxed I don't even want to bother to breathe again - ever - hence the self discipline and the little 'breathe out ditty'.

Hope you don't all think I am crazy ;) sweet dreams all. P

1 like

I probably have one really good night in every three. I don't think its anything to do with my emphysema when I don't sleep so well though. I think its a 'getting older' thing and as I usually need to get up once in the night, I often start playing things over in my mind and that is what stops me getting off again for ages.

I generally get about 7 hours sleep though.

Lynne xx

Ever since I was in my teens I have been a light sleeper. Night duty was difficult, having to sleep during the day. Now, I wake up 2-3 times night which would be good for some, but, boy, do I dream! I need the loo, and suffer from from heartburn at the moment. Also neurotic about noises like ticking clocks and dripping taps. I have a night drug.

I always know when a chest infection is on the way - rattling in my throat and coughing. That wakes me up. Must stop rambling!!

Top tip never try sleeping next to someone that snores like a pig :-)

I sleep 7/8 hours, I wake early and go to bed early plus a nap after lunch. I often wonder if it's good sleep I'm getting because I have very vivid dreams, nightmares, night tremors and sleep walk, never remembering anything next morning. My husband has to walk me back to bed, he says I sit up screaming so loud that if we had neighbours they'd probably call the police, I also kick and attack my husband, he shakes me to wake me but i go straight back to sleep, he is amazed at my strength which I havn't got normally.

Lib x

Sound like scary stuff ... You husband sounds like a star ... A could ware that afraid a would kick you right out of the bed ... Tea comes to mind as your awake

All the best :)

I do try to go to sleep for an hour or two in the afternoon.Then I am not too overtired at night to go to sleep.I do wake up to go to the toilet but I soon drop off again.

I try to go to bed with a smile on my face,say my prayers and then I am at peace with myself.

dazisnotsogood I often wonder why he puts up with me, he is a star.

And I'm going to try and go to sleep with a smile on my face like KOTC, maybe happy, quiet dreams then.

Sounds like a plan :)

I sleep until about 3am and then doze on and off.I get up about 7am so that I can have an hours peace and quiet before my husband gets up and puts the radio on. I sleep on my stomach as that is the only way I am comfortable, and try not to nap in the day as then I won't sleep at night. Keep smiling.


PS I deleted my own blog as I didn't read it through before I posted!

I can't remember ever sleeping well, I've had problems since I first started with very bad asthma in 1956, age 4. In all our old family photos I am very pale with dark shadows under my eyes! It's been a real problem throughout my life and, like parvati, I have terrible nights when I don't sleep at all, they really sap the spirit. It's miserable. I've tried everything but even sleeping meds don't always work.

ff x

I have never slept too well. Apparently I snore bad (actually sometimes I can hear myself and it wakes me up on a snort) I usually need the loo 2 or 3 times in the night sometimes more. My husband also snores terribly - well I know all snoring terrible but his is irregular sounds, volume and length of each snore followed by silence for a bit , never sure if he is holding his breath, so that keeps me awake. I always look at the clock when I wake it is a compulsion of mine really. I probably lay awake for 2 hours before I first drop off, then sleep for 2 then awake for half hour sleep for 1 and half hours then wake for the loo then sleep and hour wake for the loo then sleep another hour or two if I am lucky, I suppose I get 5and half hour sleep at night and usually and hour in the afternoon.

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