How to Prevent Night-time Asthma


Joy Richards - May 24, 2019 Hi, I’m Joy - Happy Beds' Sleep Specialist. Aside from Italian food and my three lovely boys, nothing makes me happier than helping our customers find what works for them, and how they can make the most of their forty winks.

How to Prevent Night-time Asthma

You’ve finally met with your cosy bed after a long day’s work, resting your head on the pillow ready to drift off to sleep and… “Achoo”! There is nothing quite as infuriating as nocturnal asthma. It prevents you from sleeping, causes discomfort and is simply an all-around inconvenience in your life!

Not only that, but night-time asthma is a fairly serious health condition and must be treated correctly to ensure your breathing quality remains stable.

There is no one-hour cure for asthma, although there are steps you can take to minimise the symptoms at night time to ensure you sleep better. I’m here to give you some pointers on what triggers night-time asthma and what you can include in your night-time routine to make things a little easier on the airwaves.

Before making any changes to your lifestyle, however, do check in with your doctor or medical professional.

Refresh Your Mattress

So, why does night-time asthma magically appear as you’re settling down for a good night’s sleep? It is important to understand that this isn’t an act of chance; there are triggers around you and your bed which can cause night-time asthma and breathing implications. Spotting these causes can make it easier to work around the problem, which is a lot better than simply living with it.

There could be a number of factors which contribute to your night-time asthma, starting with your bed. An old mattress which needs updating can sometimes cause dust mites to gather which may trigger night-time asthma. Purchasing a hypoallergenic mattress can help – and this is particularly important for children.

A 2016 study by the American Academy of Paediatrics conceded that “although the role of allergen-proof mattress and pillow encasements has been debated, their efficacy may be greater for children than for adults, and they have been an integral part of successful, individually tailored, multifaceted home environmental interventions”.

Check Your Humidity Levels

Both dry, cold air and hot, humid air can cause asthma. Any changes in humidity is likely to cause an exasperation of asthma symptoms, but do not be tempted to buy a humidifier or dehumidifier. Both are listed as triggers on the Asthma UK website, plus thunderstorm and weather-induced asthma is receiving more and more scientific literature behind it with humidity playing a major part in asthma causation.

Humidity levels, then, may be a factor in your poor sleep, so check in with a doctor or medical professional to ask about humidity-induced asthma and see if they can suggest any changes to your environment to help.

Air purifiers, though, can help, but only when combined with other factors. These can filter the air so it is free of pollen, dust, spores and other allergens that can trigger an asthma attack. Asthma UK recommends that you do the following after purchasing an air purifier:

1 - Check what type of allergens it captures.

2-  Check that the air purifier is ozone-free. Some purifiers give out low levels of ozone which can make asthma symptoms worse.

3 - Clean and replace all filters when necessary.

Again, do check in with your doctor to see if there are any safe methods to help with your humidity-related asthma symptoms.

It’s All About Positioning

Did you know that your reclining position triggers asthma? As we lay down, our blood volume increases and airway resistance can occur, which may cause some discomfort in breathing. This may explain why as soon as your head hits the pillow, coughing and asthmatic symptoms surface.

A 2018 study by BMC pulmonary medicine confirmed the impact of body position on pulmonary function, concluding that “when treating patients with heart, lung, SCI, neuromuscular disease, or obesity, one should take into consideration that pulmonary physiology and function are influenced by body position”.

I understand that this may be difficult to get around, with comfort being a priority and I’m not suggesting you sit up-right for a long night.

Consider your position when settling down for a sleep and try to include more pillows to up-lift your positioning a little more in hope to relieve nocturnal asthma.

Of course, these are just tips on how to relieve asthma symptoms whilst sleeping with some suggestions of changes if you face discomfort in breathing when you sleep. If the problem persists, it is important to take care of your health and visit your doctor for medical advice.

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Do you have any ground-breaking tips on how you battle pesky night-time asthma? Let us know! We’re social on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Happy Sleeping!

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