Controlling breathlessness at night

Some people with COPD may suffer from breathing difficulties at night. This can be very frightening and the anxiety can then make your breathlessness worse. Sleeping upright using 4 – 5 pillows can make you feel more comfortable and less breathless. Being prepared for breathlessness at night can also reassure you and help you cope.

  • If you wake breathless, sit up and lean forward e.g. sit at the edge of bed and lean on bed table.
  • Use pursed – lip breathing technique
  • Relax shoulders and neck muscles
  • Keep your reliever inhalers beside your bed and use if required.
  • Keep a fan beside you and turn on if breathless.

Clearing Mucus (phlegm) from your lungs

Some people with COPD produce a lot of mucus in their lungs and may find it hard to get it up which can cause an extra distress and breathlessness.
Changes in colour may indicate infection and you should contact your doctor

Tips on Clearing Mucus:

  • Drinks lots of fluids to keep mucus loose.
  • Use reliever inhaler before trying to clear phlegm
  • Do diaphragmatic breathing