Oftentimes, people who suffer from asthma state that their asthma symptoms get worse at night when they are trying to sleep. There could be many explanations as to why asthma symptoms might be worse at night. One logical reason for your asthma symptoms to be worse when you go to bed is because you are supine. Your body is horizontal, and gravity is not assisting your breathing as much. The weight of your body is pressing down onto your airways. When you sleep the airways to your lungs tend to constrict, which can cause breathing difficulties at night.
Some people have more of a problem with acid reflux at night, which could be a trigger for your asthma. With acid reflux, people often have to clear their throat. If you are frequently trying to clear your throat, this could possibly make your asthma symptoms worse. It is very possible that you could aspirate the contents of acid reflux into your bronchial tubes, which would start you to coughing and wheezing, which is your body’s way of trying to clear your airways. As you cough and wheeze your bronchioles may go into bronchospasms.
Sleep disorders are sometimes the culprits of asthma symptoms being worse at night. Many people wake up coughing. The nasopharnyx, the area between your nose and throat, may get congested at night, which triggers your asthma symptoms. Post nasal drip is a common culprit, and can cause respiratory inflammation and infection. During sleep, bronchoconstriction combined with a sleep disorder can cause you to breathe through your mouth. Mouth breathing tends to dry out your airways, and can create or worsen asthma symptoms. Bronchoconstriction makes it more difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. If you have mucus forming on the inside of your bronchial tubes, it can be even more difficult for you to breathe at night, when you are lying down.
If your asthma symptoms are related to a sleep disorder, your doctor will need to diagnose your problem and then treat you accordingly. Your doctor may have you during your sleep, which is called a sleep study. You go to a sleep lab where you will be monitored during your sleep. Your doctor may order a special apparatus for you to wear at night to assist you with your breathing at night.
Another possibility to include in reasons that asthma symptoms are worse at night is that one or more of your triggers may be in your bedroom. For instance, you may have dust mites in your bedroom. Dust mites and their byproducts ride upon the dust particles in the air. You could be inhaling dust mites at night, which could be one of your triggers. Another possibility is pet dander, if your pet sleeps with you at night. If you have a dog or cat that sleeps with you, their dander is thrown up into the air as they scratch themselves. If you are sensitive to cat or dog dander, you could be having asthma symptoms due to that.
You can improve the air quality in your bedroom and in the rest of your home by using a good air purifier system with a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter is one that is capable of catching particles out of the air that are as small as 0.3 microns in size. Another thing you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to vacuum often. It is important that you use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter on it. You should put a clean bag into your vacuum cleaner quite often, if you don’t have a vacuum with a filter. You can buy filters that will fit onto your vacuum cleaner. You might want to check on the Internet to see if there is a HEPA filter to fit your vacuum cleaner.