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Asthma Symptoms: Time of Day

One of the things that I have always noticed is that my asthma is always worse at night and first thing in the morning. My pulmo said that was typical of asthma. Do you have certain times of day that are worse than others?

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  • Shea

    Dory, yes, I do notice time of day isdues with asthma. Like you, mine can also be worse at night (usually after dinner but before bed–possibly due to my inhalers' medications only lasting a certain amount of time and needing to be done twice a day, but alsi from just a days worth of breathing in posdible triggers). Also can be worse in the mornings (I am usually stuffier and wheezier, and sometimes I need a warm shower to help clear things out and a little time gor my prednisone to kick in).

    I sleep better and wake up better right after I have washed my bedding– which I try to do weekly and if I am even a few days later on washing, I can tell in how I feel when I wake up. 

  • LK

    Good question, Dory!

    Oh, yes!!    My asthma is definitely the worst first thing in the morning.  When I sleep better and longer I wake a lot tighter and coughing more.  So sleep little and lightly and wake breathing a little better or sleep deeper and longer and have more trouble breathing when I do wake up.   A Catch-22!!  

    This morning, I slept well – from about 10:30 PM until 6:30 AM.  That is a really long night of sleep for me!    Woke up several times but was able to get back to sleep fairly quickly.  When I sleep more lightly – maybe 11 PM or midnight until 4 or 5 AM -  wake up more often and am awake more during the night I am not quite as tight and don't cough as much first thing in the morning.  

    My pulmo also said the same thing as yours.  He said that our breathing changes when we are asleep and that affects asthma.  Maybe it's also from the latent reaction from triggers that I've encountered during the day.  

    I'm with you, Shea, I also sleep better with fresh sheets on the bed and when I get a shower and wash my hair in the evening.  

    I've also noticed that when our air conditioning or furnace is on more during the night then my asthma is worse in the morning.  I'm thinking it may be because more "stuff" in the air is getting moved about in the house then.    We do have a good filter on the AC/furnace and the bedroom has an AAFA asthma and allergy certified air purifier.

    It may also be that my maintenance inhalers are taken in the morning and their effect is wearing off.  

    Not that I've thought about this much!    

  • dory2005

    Lisa, I take my maintenance inhalers in the morning as well, so that's a good point about how the effects wearing off could cause more asthma problems in the AM. 

    Shea, I noticed that too about fresh sheets!  And I always seem to have a delayed reaction to things, so night is worse for me in terms of triggers from the day. 

    I always take a shower at night, mostly because I'm not a morning person and hit snooze too many times, but I do think it helps in terms of any allergens that I get exposed to during the day. 

  • Melissa G

    I typically have issues first thing in the morning…not a good way to wake up but. I also do better after having a hot shower. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Ditto on the early morning issues … and ditto on clean sheets fresh out of the wash. I've begun toying with the idea of washing sheets, folding them and putting them in a in my linen closet. That way, I could have clean, protected sheets any time my lungs are acting up.

    I can also have more issues if my sleep gets interrupted. When I have an asthma flare, my asthma gets worse at night. I've heard other members that asthma can get worse at night as well.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    My asthma seems to be at its worst around 2 pm, and progressively worsening as the evening wears on. My COPD symptoms are very bad when I get out of bed because of problems with my airway after lying down for a long time. Severe breathing problems from COPD occur between 1 am and 6 am. Doctors say your hormones change during those hours. I have breathing issues and triggers from both diseases, so I do my best to manage the situation. 

  • dory2005

    Deborah, I bet it's really hard to manage both asthma and COPD. Which one is worse for you? 

  • LK

    Deborah, I was wondering, if you don't mind the question, is COPD at a constant level or does it fluctuate as asthma does?  I don't know hardly anything about COPD. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I don't at all mind your asking! It fluctuates also. It can get scary. So, between both diseases, it can be tough at times. Cold weather is very bad for both. Mucus is the enemy of COPD. Mucus blocks and closes the airway. So, in other words, you never know when an asthma flare up can occur. On COPD, it is called an exacerbation. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Dory, COPD is the worse of the two. As my COPD progresses, my asthma can worsen also. There are 4 stages of COPD. I am on stage one. Stage 4 is end of life stage. I plan on sticking around for quite some time!!! 😇

  • LK

    Thank you, Deborah.  Asthma on it's own is so scary I just can't imagine asthma and COPD.    You handle it all well!  My pulmo calls an asthma flare an exacerbation, too.  

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Ok folks. There was another bad accident on the highway behind our yard. Cars and trucks backed up. Because of this, I will be using Albuterol as a preventative before I go to bed, due to the fumes. That is toxic for COPD.

  • LK

    Deborah,  !!  Good to take preventive measures!!  Hope all goes well!  Exhaust is one of my asthma triggers so I know the feeling.

  • dory2005

    Yikes, Deborah! I hope that you are able to avoid an exacerbation. (My pulmo calls an asthma flare an exacerbation, as well.) 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Thanks Melissa. I made it through! I was out of bed at 3 am. I was able to get rid of alot of mucus. I had a burning stomach ache from the smell of diesel from the trucks on the highway. 

    Now my mind is set to do all the things I need to get finished today! Where there's a will, there's a way. 😃

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Yes, exhaust is a trigger for alot of us. Combined with the cold weather it can be dangerous. Best thing we can do is to cover our mouth and nose with a scarf, wear a mask, or use both if necessary. If we know what to do in advance, we can prevent some problems!!!!

  • LK

    Deborah,  So good to hear that you made it through the night with few problems from all the exhaust!  Hope you have a great day!!

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Thanks for thinking of me Lisa! I hope you have an even better day! 😊  I stuck my pumpkin pie in the oven at 8 this morning. I love the smell of the pie as it bakes. It's a nice, safe scent!!!

  • K8sMom2002

    Deborah, my mom had COPD, and I know how it can make asthma so much worse … and asthma can make it worse as well. You have such a great attitude … love your goal of containing that COPD at stage one for the long haul!

    Ugh on the accident, but look at the way you are using your action plan to get ahead of things!

    Dory, have you figured out anything to ease that peak in symptoms during those times?

  • dory2005

    Cynthia, I sleep on a lot of pillows (semi-sitting up), and that helps quite a bit. I started doing that when I broke my shoulder last year, and I noticed it helped my breathing as well, so I've continued doing it. Last night was pretty awful because I'm having an exacerbation due to illness, but normally it does help. 

    Deborah, So sorry about the COPD, but I love your positive attitude! 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Thank you Dory!! 😊

    I sleep propped up on alot of pillows. It really does help in keeping my airway open. You adjust to it after a while.

  • K8sMom2002

    Dory and Deborah, every time I have a super bad exacerbation, I have to sleep sitting up as well. My doc has suggested putting slanted triangle shaped wedges under my pillow (or the mattress) so that the slope will be steep enough that I can feel the good effects, but gentle enough that I can get more rest. 

    I haven't had any luck finding the triangle shaped wedges … but maybe I could search a hospital supply website? 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Yes Cynthia. A place such as a surgical supply company. Years ago, Walgreens used to carry those "wedges". I am wondering if they are washable. If they are, would they dry enough not to get moldy. I think it seems like a good thing to try. 

  • dory2005

    We used one with our DS13 when he was a baby due to GERD, but I haven't seen one in years. DH and I talked about getting an adjustable bed, but I was afraid that they would be like the hospital beds and not very comfortable. 

  • LK

    Cynthia, I found some several years ago at Kohl's.

    I don't think they are washable but the zippered covers are.