Sleeping with Oxygen

November 29, 2021
3 Minute read

There are people whose oxygen level drops below what’s acceptable. If this becomes a regular occurrence, the person faces chances of developing complicated health problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),emphysema and other lung diseases.There are treatments for this, such as sleeping with supplemental oxygen at night to restore the level. Let’s find out if it is time for you to turn to therapy, too, or not!

How Do You Know Your Blood Oxygen Level Is Dropping At Night?

To know whether you are going to need an supplemental oxygen for sleeping, you should first confirm that your oxygen saturation levels are dropping at night. You can do this by visiting a doctor so they can run the an oximetry test to check your oxygen levels and determine if you are getting enough oxygen. You can also check your oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeter that can be purchased at your local drug store.

Normally, your waking oxygen levels hover between the 95 to 100 percent saturation range. Then, as you go into a REM or rapid eye movement sleep, your oxygen level starts dropping. At most, though, it should be 88 percent. If your level drops below that, you run the risk of oxygen desaturation and hypercapnia meaning carbon dioxide building up in your blood ,so it is time to call your doctor. 

Some of the side effects of breathing problems at night include a erratic heartrate, shortness of breath and overall terrible sleep quality. You might feel a headache oncoming as soon as you wake up. Your earlobes and nails might also have a red tint. Shortness of breath or erratic heart rate may have you waking up serveral time during the night. During the day, you may experience daytime sleepiness . Another clear sign is memory loss, along with being suddenly pulled from sleep due to sudden choking.  

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea your oxygen saturation levels may drop due to a condition called hypoxia and your sleep medicine doctor may recommend supplemental oxygen to be used along with your CPAP therapy. You can do this by purchasing an oxygen concentrator and an adapter that allows you to use home oxygen along with CPAP therapy.

How Does Sleeping With Oxygen Help?

Philips Respironics Everflo 5 liter oxygen concentrator

We would recommend thoroughly talking with your doctor on the matter. However, if you notice drops in the level of oxygen at night while sleeping, supplemental oxygen therapy might be the solution. Some of the benefits gained from this therapy include:

Less Risk Of Health Complications

Arrhythmia's, pulmonary hypertension, and sudden heart failure or heart disease are some of the few health issues experienced by people who have a low oxygen level in their blood. Oxygen therapy could reduce a lot of these problems and prevent them from occurring altogether.

Better Quality of Life

People who have gone through oxygen therapy have reported and improved quality of life. They have better cognition skills and feel happier in general. Their bodies are working properly, and they get a good amount of sleep, which lets them recharge and deal with any problems that come their way with a positive outlook.

Peaceful Sleeping

woman sleeping peacefully

Sleeping with oxygen means you actually get proper sleep. Anyone who experiences drops in oxygen level can face problems such as waking up at night suddenly due to a shortage of breathing or the choking feeling. It is rare for these patients to get a full, good night’s sleep. This leads to them feeling crankier and fatigued throughout the day. Oxygen therapy would lead to a better sleeping schedule. It may take some time to get used to sleeping with a nasal cannula but if you have used  continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy before you may not even notice the nasal cannula since you are used to sleeping with a CPAP mask on.

Better Stamina

Both the drop in oxygen and not sleeping enough leads to a permanent lack of energy. You feel too tired to do anything. Once you start using an supplemental oxygen for sleeping, you will find yourself much more motivated, and your body will cooperate with your intentions.

How To Improve Your Oxygen Levels Without Therapy?

Therapy can be a must, depending on your condition. However, you can make it easier for yourself in the meantime by trying out some simple methods that improve your oxygen level at night.

Don’t Drink Alcohol Close To Bedtime

no alcohol sign

Alcohol relaxes your throat too much, which can increase your sleep apnea problems. If your muscles are too relaxed, your airways have a higher chance of collapsing. You should at least have a 4-hour gap between the time you drink alcohol and go to sleep.

Sleep On Your Side

Sometimes, laying on one’s back leads to the constriction of your internal organs. Due to your body weight, your airways and lungs might bear down on each other. Sleeping sideways takes care of this issue.

Exercise As Much As You Can

workout equipment

If you are on oxygen therapy and combine it with exercise, you will feel better in no time. Even if you don’t sleep with oxygen, exercise can provide stimulation to your respiratory system. As a result, they work better, and your lung capacity increases due to exercising. This works wonders even as you are in a deep sleep.

Final Thoughts

If you are currently experiencing shortness of breath at night or erratic heart rate you may want to contact your sleep medicine doctor to see if supplemental oxygen use is the correct choice for you. If you have obstructive sleep apnea your doctor may add oxygen to your CPAP or BiPAP therapy to improve your sleep quality. 

These days, you can find lots of online stores that have the required equipment. Here at Sleeply, we offer portable oxygen concentrators as well as stationary concentrators. Make sure you speak with you healthcare professional so you are sure of what you need to purchase.

Written by The Sleeplay Team

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