Sleep and bronchiectasis

Sleep disturbances are common in the older population and in people with chronic respiratory disease. However, little is known of the impact or prevalence of sleep issues in people with bronchiectasis, although sleep disturbance is more common in people with bronchiectasis than in healthy subjects.

Factors which may contribute to poor sleep for people with bronchiectasis may include:

Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR)

Post nasal drip (PND)

Sputum retention and nocturnal cough


Sleep disordered breathing

Older age

Strategies to assist sleep:

Proton pump inhibitor medication

Eating the evening meal 2 – 3 hours before bedtime

Raising the head of the bed on blocks


Nasal sprays

Sinus Rinse

If allergic to dust mite – pillow and mattress protectors

Sputum and cough:

Airway clearance routine close to bed time


Psychology assessment

Prescribed medication

Sleep disordered breathing
CPAP machine (humidified)
For advice on good sleep habits:

Sleep Health Foundation

Sleep Hygiene

Sexual activity may cause some anxiety or discomfort for patients resulting in a further barrier for sleep. It is important to discuss strategies that will assist with normal sexual activity such as positions that decrease the likelihood of shortness of breath or coughing and airway clearance before going to bed.