DIET AND FITNESS:

Trouble Sleeping At Night? --
Causes and Top 7 Natural Remedies
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May 27, 2017

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist



Bedtime should be relaxing, and sleeping should be calm. But
if you have difficulty breathing at night it is far from restful.
Trouble breathing at night comes in many forms. Sometimes
it is obvious when you have trouble breathing at night
because you struggle for breath, wheeze, or feel a tightness
in the chest that is alarming. But often the sign of trouble
breathing at night is subtle – sometimes you may not even
notice it at all.

You may only notice you have trouble breathing at night
when you sleep in a different bed with different pillows –
you realize how much more comfortable it is to sleep with
your head raised up. Many people don’t realize they have
difficulty breathing at night – this is part of a condition called
sleep apnea where you actually stop breathing for short
periods at night, but because you are sleeping you may not
notice.

Trouble breathing at night could, therefore, have a number
of causes. Treatment depends on the reason for breathing
difficulties and could range from better sleep habits to
surgery for heart and lung problems.

Is It Dangerous to Have Trouble Breathing at Night?

Trouble breathing at night is common for people who suffer
from heart or lung conditions. Therefore, if you experience
difficulty breathing at night it is important to get a diagnosis
from your doctor that can rule out serious causes.

Another issue that may cause trouble breathing at night is
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cor
pulmonale.

Difficulty breathing at night may also be caused by sleep
apnea and panic disorder. Other less serious causes of
difficulty breathing at night include obesity, cold and flu,
eating too much before bedtime, and snoring. It is not
always a medical emergency when you have difficulty
breathing at night or lying down, but it should always be
reported to a doctor.

How Common Is It to Have Difficulty Breathing at Night?

It is surprisingly common to suffer difficulties breathing at
night.

If your difficulty breathing is caused by sleep apnea you are
one of many people with this issue. Between 2 percent and 4
percent of people over the age of 50 suffer from the
problem, according to the European Association of Urology
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also widespread.
COPD International says that 12 million Americans have
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and around 12 million
more are undiagnosed. It is the fourth leading cause of
death in the United States according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.

We looked at recent scientific studies to see how the most
common reasons for trouble breathing at night can be
treated with natural remedies.

































1.
Treat Sleep Apnea to Control Breathing Problems at Night

If you have sleep apnea and this is causing difficulty
breathing at night then you may also experience other
symptoms including difficulty sleeping, feeling tired during
the day, snoring, frequent headaches on waking, and sore
throat on waking.

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing stops and starts
when you are sleeping. Unchecked, it can cause problems
such as heart disease and depression.

Sleep apnea can be treated through the use of positive
airway pressure therapy. A 2012 study from the Children's
Hospital of Philadelphia showed that treating childhood
obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) with the therapy
resulted in significantly improved neurobehavioral outcomes.
The study looked at 52 children after three months of the
therapy and saw that many symptoms and developmental
delays were improved.

2.
Treat Breathing Problems at Night Caused by Sleep Apnea
to Prevent Excessive Nocturnal Urination


There is another reason to treat sleep apnea, apart from
resolving trouble breathing at night, and that turns out to be
reducing the need to pee in the middle of the night
(otherwise known as nocturia).

A 2017 study from the Maastricht University Medical Centre
in the Netherlands shows that there is a link between sleep
apnea and increased urination, and that treating the
breathing problems in sleep apnea helps to reduce nocturia
in many cases.

Researchers looked at 256 patients who were treated with
continuous positive airway pressure – wearing a mask that
increases air pressure inside your throat so that it doesn’t
collapse as you sleep. After using the mask, 65 percent of
the patients said they experienced a reduced need to pee at
night.

3.
Treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to Solve
Breathing Problems at Night


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the name for a
group of lung disorders which includes chronic bronchitis,
emphysema, and chronic asthma. Symptoms of chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease include difficulty breathing,
particularly with anxiety and often at night, chronic cough,
wheezing, and frequent chest infections.

Researchers think that two specific vitamins can help to treat
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A 2010 study from
Cornell University and Brigham and Women's Hospital shows
that long term use of vitamin E by women aged over 45 can
help decrease the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease by around 10 percent – and that’s in bot smokers
and non-smokers. Researchers think that vitamin E could
protect the lungs against the damage caused by
inflammation and free radicals.

They looked at the results of the Women's Health Study,
looking at nearly 40,000 women. Women in the study took
wither 600mg of vitamin E or a placebo every other day
during the study.

And a 2011 study from the Telethon Institute for Child
Health Research in Subiaco, Australia demonstrates that
vitamin D deficiency alters lung function and can therefore
contribute to a greater risk of asthma and chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as associated
problems with breathing at night. The study looked at the
effect of
vitamin D deficiency on mice. It could mean that
extra vitamin D to improve deficiency could result in an
improvement in breathing.

4.
Use Vitamin D to Treat Respiratory Infections and Stop
Problems Breathing at Night


Vitamin D has also been linked with a significantly lower risk
of developing respiratory tract infections, according to a
2012 study from the Karolinska Institute and Karolinska
University Hospital. Respiratory tract infections can cause
difficulty breathing at night and lying down.

The study showed that patients who are at risk of infections
who were given high doses of the vitamin for one year had a
significantly reduced risk of developing an infection. The
study involved 140 volunteers who were at risk of
developing respiratory disease. They took either placebo or a
dose of 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day.

Those in the vitamin D group had a 25 percent drop in
respiratory tract infection symptoms.

5.
Trouble Breathing At Night Can Be Caused By Anxiety

Problems breathing when lying down, at night, or at other
times of the day, can be caused by panic disorders and
anxiety. It is common for sufferers to experience shortness
of breath resulting from hyperventilation.

Actually changing the way you breathe can help prevent
problems with shortness of breath and hyperventilation at
night.

A 2010 study from Southern Methodist University in Dallas
talks about a treatment program that helps people with panic
disorder reduce their symptoms by normalizing their
breathing. It is a biological-behavioral treatment named
Capnometry-Assisted Respiratory Training. It teaches
patients to breathe in a way that reverses hyperventilation.

6.
Sighing Could Hold the Key to Treating Breathing
Problems at Night


We often do it out of tiredness or relief, but it turns out that
sighing actually helps our lung function, which could be key
to treating breathing problems at night.

A 2016 study from the David Geffen School of Medicine at
the University of California-Los Angeles has found the brain
cells that are responsible for sighing.

They say that we need to sigh frequently in order for our
lungs to work properly. But sometimes sighing can be a
problem with people who are under psychological stress and
excessive sighing becomes a disabling condition. Research
into the brain cells responsible for sighing will help people
who have a problem with sighing, and a problem with
breathing, as well as people who sigh too much.

7.
Breathing Problems at Night Can Be Caused by Snoring

A 2013 study from Exeter University and the Royal Devon
and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust in the UK shows that if you
have problems breathing at night because you are a snorer,
singing lessons or joining a choir can help.

Vocal exercises designed by a choir leader helps reduce
snoring, according to the researchers. They discovered that
singing lessons helped to strengthen muscles in the throat,
which helped snoring and also helped with symptoms of
sleep apnea, which can cause problems with breathing at
night. The study looked at 60 chronic snorers and 60 people
who had sleep apnea. They followed a signing regime for
three months or did nothing.  Daily singing reduced snoring
and improved sleep quality.

















































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