We want a peaceful, deep sleep at night after a long day. Thus, if any problems lead to restless sleep, it could be quite frustrating. For instance, some people experience shortness of breath at night. You can have difficulty breathing at night due to multiple reasons.

Difficulty breathing could mean that something is affecting your lungs or heart. Also known as dyspnea, this condition might cause trouble breathing when you lie down. But what are the factors responsible for this condition? Carry on reading this blog to find out.

Shortness of Breath at Night Causes

You could experience difficulty breathing for a number of reasons. Whatever the causes of shortness of breath are, it results when your body fails to pump oxygen into your blood properly. Moreover, you might have chronic shortness of breath if you have been experiencing this for more than a month.

Here are some reasons why you might have nighttime shortness of breath:

1. Asthma

Inflammation in your lungs can result in asthma, which leads to difficulties when breathing. Furthermore, many people also experience wheezing when lying down with breathing difficulties.

Asthma can cause shortness of breath at night due to the following:

  • Pressure on the diaphragm due to your sleeping pressure
  • Mucus buildup in your throat, leading to cough and trouble breathing at night.
  • Hormonal changes at night
  • The environment you sleep in, which can contribute to triggering your asthma
  • GERD can also trigger asthma

Therefore, visit your healthcare provider to deal with nocturnal asthma.

2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

People with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could experience trouble breathing at night. This is because COPD might block or narrow the airways, resulting in symptoms like shortness of breath. Some reasons why COPD might occur are:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Mucus Production
  • Chest Tightness

3. Obesity

People who carry extra weight might complain that it is difficult to breathe at night. This is because lying down might compress the chest and abdomen — which means they might be unable to expand fully. Hence, being overweight can lead to shortness of breath at night.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, and more health conditions are associated with obesity. Thus, consult your healthcare provider for weight loss strategies for a healthier lifestyle.

4. Heart Problems

Some conditions can interfere with your heart’s ability to pump blood. Consequently, you may experience shortness of breath when lying down or after a few hours of sleep. Hence, shortness of breath might indicate an underlying heart issue, as it is one of the primary symptoms of congestive heart failure.
So before you suffer any serious issues, make sure to have your annual physical exam done. Moreover, visit your heart specialist to keep your heart at the top of its game.

5. Panic Attacks & Anxiety

Mental health issues can show multiple physical symptoms. Thus, you might struggle to breathe due to anxiety. In addition, panic attacks might also occur if the fight-or-flight response is triggered. You might have difficulty breathing, nausea, and more. Seek medical attention for your mental health.

What’s Next?

You might have shortness of breath at night due to a number of reasons, ranging from anxiety to heart problems. Visit your doctor for breathing difficulties to get adequate treatment. The Internal Medical Diagnostic Center can help with your health issues. Schedule an appointment at (281) 252-8600. You can also visit our clinic by dropping by right across Breton Ridge Office Condominiums at 13644 Breton Ridge Suite B, Houston, Texas 77070.

Skip to content