Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep related disorders

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Purpose of review

Sleep related disorders are common and under-recognized in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) population. COPD symptoms can disrupt sleep. Similarly, sleep disorders can affect COPD. This review highlights the common sleep disorders seen in COPD patients, their impact, and potential management.

Recent findings

Treatment of sleep disorders may improve quality of life in COPD patients. Optimizing inhaler therapy improves sleep quality. Increased inflammatory markers are noted in patients with the overlap syndrome of COPD and obstructive sleep apnea versus COPD alone. There are potential benefits of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation therapy for overlap syndrome patients with hypercapnia. Nocturnal supplemental oxygen may be beneficial in certain COPD subtypes. Nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic therapy for insomnia has shown benefit without associated respiratory failure or worsening respiratory symptoms. Melatonin may provide mild hypnotic and antioxidant benefits.


This article discusses the impact of sleep disorders on COPD patients and the potential benefits of managing sleep disorders on respiratory disease control and quality of life.

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