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Living with COPD Series

In the Bedroom


  • Put your bed on rollers if it must be moved or keep it away from the wall if at all possible.
  • Raise your bed if the current height makes it difficult for you to get in and out of.
  • Organize you closets for easy access. Make top shelves and rods low enough for easy reaching without straining.
  • Organize drawers so that your most commonly used items are in those you can reach easily.
  • Although lovely, fancy curtains, dust ruffles and table skirts are a breeding ground for dust, dust mites, animal hair, pet dander, etc. These create more work for you in cleaning and maintaining your home. Instead, try to go for less frills and more practicality. There are lovely curtains that are easy to care for. The use of shades or mini-blinds with a cute little topper or alone can be nice. They come in all kinds of attractive colors these days and are easy to care for.
  • An oversized comforter on your bed will cover a multitude of errors. Just pull it up over everything. When removing the comforter for linen changing, fold it in quarters. It is easier to put back on by placing it on the corner it was removed from and just unfolding it again.
  • When making your bed, try to make one side at a time and then go around to the other side to complete it. You can place your fitted sheet and top sheet on one side then go to the other, completing you bed making almost in one trip around the bed. Practice what works best for you. There are many new styles of sheets available, including a t-shirt style, which is easy to apply and comfortable.
  • Maintain a temperature that is most comfortable for your breathing. Some prefer to have air circulating at all times. A nice ceiling fan, an oscillating fan on a stand or a tabletop fan will help greatly.

Going to Bed

  • Even getting ready and going to bed can be stress-free if planned ahead.
  • You may wish to wash and put on your nightclothes earlier in the evening then relax for a bit before bedtime.
  • Set up your nightstand or bedside table with any items you may need during the night. Items to include are: a telephone, emergency numbers, light, flashlight, medications if needed, (like a rescue inhaler or your nebulizer), a glass of water. If you get thirsty during the night, there are many insulated-type cups and mugs available with lids to help prevent spillage. Any thing else you think you may need, such as a small snack, tissues, your favorite novel or a radio.
  • Do NOT keep large supplies of medications on your bedside table. We can occasionally become confused during the night, especially if you take mind-altering medications, such as tranquilizers or sleep aids. You do not want to take the chance that you took a medication, forget that you took it and retake it by mistake. Take only what you will need for the that night to your nightstand.
  • To cut down on frequent bathroom trips, if you are so inclined, there are urinals available for both male as well as females.
  • A small night-light may be a good idea if you awaken during the night. It lessens the chance that you will awake suddenly and perhaps trip or fall during the night, especially over your oxygen tubing.

Compiled by COPD-International Community Members

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Last modified: June 17, 2002