According to Pulmonary Hypertension Association, everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep, but it’s essential for those with PH. To help you get the rest you deserve, here are 11 tips to help you sleep better with pulmonary hypertension (source: Pulmonary Hypertension Association):
1. Be regular: To avoid an irregular sleeping schedule, try to be as regular during the day as you possibly can. If you manage to stick to a routine (i.e., when you go to bed and when you wake up), your body will get used to it and you’ll get a better sleep.
2. Don’t sleep in: Even if you had a rough night, resist the urge to sleep in. It might be tempting at the time but it will disturb your sleeping routine.
3. Don’t nap: Or at least try not to. If you’re really sleepy and you can’t avoid napping, try to do it early in the afternoon. Take only one nap and take it before 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.
4. Create a bedtime routine: It’s extremely important to create a routine, so your body knows it’s time for bed. This is something you’ll have to work on and you won’t see the effects overnight. Try to set up a time to go to bed, even if you’re not planning to sleep right away; start by doing something that might slow your body down, like reading or listening to soft music.
5. Avoid any type of nicotine: Nicotine can work as a stimulant and can speed up your heart rate. If you do smoke or chew any nicotine products, make an effort to stop.
6. Drop the caffeine: Stop consuming caffeinated drinks six hours before bed. In time, try to reduce — and maybe even cut — caffeine out of your diet. It’s a stimulant and will likely increase your heart rate.
7. Eat light: Avoid eating a large meal before going to bed. If you’re too full, your digestion will more than likely disturb your sleep. Whenever possible, make your last meal before bed a light one. If you can’t go to bed with an empty stomach, have a small snack just to comfort your stomach.
8. Forget the alcohol: Don’t drink alcohol within six hours of going to bed. Actually, in a perfect world, you would not have alcohol at all. Some pulmonary hypertension patients are advised not to have alcoholic drinks as it may affect the liver (such as pulmonary arterial hypertension patients). Also, some medications efficiency can be affected by alcohol.
9. Go easy on the drinks: Limit any intake of fluids at least two hours before going to bed, so that you don’t have to use the washroom throughout the night.
10. Get comfortable with your oxygen supply: If you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea, work with your sleep team to get a comfortable fitting mask, a quiet device and, most importantly, be compliant. If you use oxygen, move the concentrator into another room so it will be quieter in your bedroom.
11. Make your bedroom a room for sleep: Avoid having any kind of distractions in your room. A computer, television, or even a tablet can distract you when you’re trying to go to sleep. Keep electronic devices out of your room so you can make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible.
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