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Volunteer Advocate
cf insights cf insights

Sweet Dreams

Sleep is one of the most important relationships we have with our body. Is your relationship with sleep impacted by CF? You’re not alone. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get a full night’s rest:

  • “Sleep, or lack thereof, can be one of the biggest factors in dictating how my day unfolds. I struggle greatly without sufficient sleep.  I wake up much more during the night than I used to.  As a result, I try to pay very close attention to what may body needs when it comes to sleep and rest.  I follow a nightly sleep routine or at least I make a concerted effort to do so. I have anxiety and without enough rest my anxiety heightens.  Sleep, to me, is vital for recovery, healing and working through my daily self-care.  Sometimes that means sleep is the answer and the best form of care for the moment.  So I nap if I need to.  Overall, I really try to “listen” to what my body is trying to tell me and simply comply.” – Alex McCombes
  • “Yes. So much! Coughing during the night often keeps me up. I elevate my pillow with other pillows or a wedge pillow. I always try drinking something carbonated. It helps sooth my throat. If that doesn’t work I try ventolin puffer. If that doesn’t work I do a ventolin aerosol. By that time I will be on the couch and usually able to sleep because I am mostly upright. I have even started eating ice cream in the middle of the night. I find the cold on my throat helps with twitchy airways. But be careful, I am pancreatic sufficient and have gained about 10 pounds doing that over the past year.” – Jess Best
  • “Yes, my sleep is impacted very much. Both before and after transplant. Unfortunately I haven’t found a healthy answer to the issue, often relying on medicine to help.” – Robert Burtch
  • “I put audiobooks on my iPod and fall asleep listening to books every night. I set a sleep timer for my iPod to shut off after 15 minutes and I usually have to rewind the book the following night because I’ll fall asleep before the 15 minutes is up. Takes forever to get through the books, but it works like a charm to get me to sleep every night.” – Megan Parker
  • “I love sleep! I think it is my favourite activity! My mom always told me that I could fall asleep anytime, anywhere, sitting or even standing. Sleep is so important to a person’s wellbeing, whether they have a health issue or not.  Thinking back to life pre-transplant, the absolute worst times were the nights when sleep eluded me because of the marathon coughing sessions.  It was absolutely exhausting and only exacerbated how horrible I felt.  From personal experience some of my recommendations to aid with sleep would be:
    • Hot drinks with honey and lemon, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric to sooth the chest and throat. The spices have antibiotic and inflammatory properties *
    • Melatonin tablets to help induce sleep*. Available at most pharmacies and health food stores.
    • Propping yourself up with pillows, or sleeping upright in a large comfortable chair with your favourite blanket
    • Try not to watch TV or use your electronic devices just before bed
    • Yoga, meditation and listening to relaxation music (this also helps with anxiety)
    • Caution: always check with your physician first before treating yourself with any type of home remedy.” – Brenda Chambers-Ivey


Have insights you would also like to share? To be quoted in our blog please contact Terra at tgillespie@cysticfibrosis.ca