Tips for daily living

2) Mornings

Alarm clock

Many people with COPD find they feel at their worst first thing in the morning. This is part of the disease pattern. You may not have slept well, you may be bothered by secretions / phlegm. You may feel your muscles are stiff or sore until you get moving again.

Chest clearance exercises will help you to clear your chest of as much phlegm as possible. If this is a particular problem for you then it is important that you are shown how to do this by a respiratory physiotherapist. Practice these techniques routinely first thing in the morning, and at regular points in the day as part of breathlessness management. For more information please see the Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT) on this website.

Have your inhalers beside your bed and take a first dose to open up your airways before you start to do your morning tasks. Start slowly until you feel your breathing is better.

If you do find it harder to get going in the morning reorganise any activities you plan to do around this. Try and make any appointments you have for later in the day if possible or give yourself extra time to do things

If you have not slept well, think about changing your sleeping position – you may sleep better if you are more upright with pillows for support. Consider rearranging your pillows or getting an ‘A’ shaped pillow.