June 15, 2021 at 9:27 pm #28881
I remember when I was first diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in April 2016, and my doctor told me that eventually getting a restful nights sleep would become difficult. As someone who loves her sleep, this was devastating to me and it was one of the side effects of this disease that I was dreading the most. To my surprise (other than the occasional night here and there), I’ve continued to sleep well for the most part. Recently, my sleep seems poorer than usual and I wake the next morning feeling even more exhausted than before.
One night while lying wide-awake in bed, I finally gave up and started browsing through my phone. I know it is important to avoid looking at screens when you are trying to get back to sleep as the light stimulates both your eyes and your mind and alerts them to wake up, however, I was tired of laying in the dark. I began researching some strategies to help not only reduce my insomnia, but increase the quality of my sleep as well. I found some great tips, which I wanted to share here:
- Melatonin: a natural “medication” to help improve the quality of sleep. In particular, my friend who is a nurse suggested an extended release sublingual melatonin.
- Taking other medications including: magnesium, zinc, tylonal PM or gravol.
- A weighted blanket!
- Quiet meditation music/app or breathing techniques. As an IPF patient, I’d need to ensure I can do the breathing techniques that are suggested. One of the apps a friend suggested is called: Relax Melodies. The Calm app is another really good one!
- A white noise machine to ease your mind into a consistent sound, eliminating the constant thinking. Since it’s been really hot here, I’ve been using my fan as a mock white noise machine.
- Essential oils that are focused on rest and relaxation to help ease my body into restful sleep.
- Reading to make the eyes tired, and then immediately turning off the light and trying to sleep (not getting up after reading to brush your teeth etc., but instead laying right down to sleep)
- Turning off all electronics approximately 1 hour before bed to let your mind’s stimulation slow down.
Does anyone else have anything they could add to this list?
Please feel free to share your tips and tricks to help with sleep if it has become a problem for you since your PF/IPF diagnosis!
June 17, 2021 at 3:54 am #28894Malcolm MannParticipant
I wont try a long answer, for fear of rejection.
Pursed lip breathing works for me, inhale through nose, pause 7 count, exhale through pursed lips, repeat.
June 17, 2021 at 8:34 pm #28919
As always, so great to hear from you – thanks for writing and taking a chance on getting the content to post successfully 😉
Hope you’re still enjoying tazzie and thanks for sharing that pursed lip breathing helps with sleep. I need to try that before bedtime!
June 17, 2021 at 7:50 am #28898Lee BridgesParticipant
Does anyone use a recliner for sleeping? I am looking at this as I sometimes have trouble sleeping lying down. My wife says I sometimes sound like I am drowning. I sleep with a cannula on 2L o2. Thank you.
June 17, 2021 at 2:56 pm #28908ChristieParticipant
@sunbrnd Lee, good question. After her transplant my mom’s doctors advised sleeping on an angled bed, but said not to try to create the elevation with a heap of pillows or a medical bed. The angle can be achieved with risers or with a device called MediWedge. I think they can be covered by insurance. It is basically a hard foam wedge that puts the whole mattress on an angle. This way, you body isn’t scrunched up at the waist and you can still sleep on your side and move around, but your torso is elevated. Hope that’s helpful.
June 17, 2021 at 3:48 pm #28911Ben RobinsonParticipant
I take Gabapentin. It works quite well. Two tablets will give you a good sleep, one will be mild sleep and not effect your wake time.
June 17, 2021 at 8:35 pm #28920
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