Nighttime asthma can be a serious problem, causing many to wake in the night coughing and wheezing. And, along with disrupting sleep, it can also cause serious health concerns.
Many factors can contribute to the worsening of asthma symptoms at night. Your body undergoes small changes during sleep, including a drop in hormones, which can narrow airways and leave you vulnerable to surrounding triggers. To help eliminate these triggers and allow you to get a better night’s sleep, we’ve rounded up the top tips on how to prevent nighttime asthma.
1. Reconsider Your Mattress and Bedding
Dust mites are a common trigger for asthma attacks, and they often live in mattresses and bedding. To prevent dust mites from breeding in your bed and triggering your asthma at night, invest in hypoallergenic products.
A waterproof mattress, such as one from BedGuard, can be incredibly beneficial. Thanks to their protective properties, our mattresses are dust mite-resistant, meaning the microscopic bugs are unable to penetrate the surface and live inside. In turn, this allows you to get a better night’s sleep and eliminates the need to replace your mattress every few years. Additionally, pillow and doona protectors are also available to complete your protection.
2. Regularly Wash Your Sheets
Another great way to reduce the number of dust mites in your bed is to wash your sheets frequently. Try doing so once a week in hot water to eliminate any of the hidden bugs. If you prefer to clean your sheets in cold water, you should consider placing them in the dryer afterwards for a dose of dust mite-killing heat.
3. Ban Pets from the Bedroom
While it can be fun to cuddle your pets in bed, it can also be dangerous for your health, particularly if you’re an asthmatic. So, if you’re experiencing nighttime asthma, consider banning your pets from both your bed and bedroom.
As pet dander can trigger asthma, eliminating it from the space and creating a safe zone for sleep can be very beneficial. But, if you love your pets too much to kick them out entirely, try keeping them out of the room at night while you sleep. And, remember to wash your sheets and vacuum your carpet often.
4. Routinely Clean Your Bedroom
Routinely clean your bedroom to banish dust mites, dander and other triggers that may be in the room. This should include vacuuming regularly, preferably using a model with a good filter, as well as cleaning dust off surfaces, such as bedside tables, bed frames and dressers.
5. Time Your Medication
If you’re waking up in the night coughing and wheezing, the issue may be to do with the timing of your medication. For instance, if you’re taking your asthma preventer too long before bed, its effectiveness may wear off before you wake. If you believe this to be the case, consider chatting to your doctor about creating a more effective medication schedule.
6. Try a Humidifier
Cold, dry air can be problematic for asthma suffers, particularly in winter. So, if you’re experiencing symptoms at night, consider investing in a humidifier. By adding moisture to the air, a humidifier can help ease asthma symptoms. Additionally, as dust mites thrive in low humidity environments, you’ll also be helping to keep them under control.
7. Raise Your Head
If you have a cold or sinus infection, it may cause postnasal drip, which can trigger an asthma attack. To avoid this, sleep with your head slightly elevated.
Also, if your asthma is severe, consider sleeping with both your head and chest raised. Doing so will help reduce the pressure placed on your chest and lungs, allowing you to breathe more easily.
8. Be Aware of Sleep Apnea
People with asthma also often experience sleep apnea, which in turn can worsen asthma symptoms. If you think you may have sleep apnea, which causes short stops in breathing during sleep, be sure to speak to a doctor and get tested.
As good sleep is essential for good health, it’s important to take steps to ease any nighttime asthma you experience. By following these tips, you can create a safer sleeping environment at home. But, be sure to also speak to your doctor to ensure you’re taking the best course of action.
Dust mites can live in your mattress and trigger asthma at night. To help your health, consider investing in a dust mite-resistant BedGuard waterproof mattress. Explore our range to find out more.