How to Earn a Restorative Night’s Sleep While on Oxygen Therapy

Everybody needs their zzz’s! But how can you wake up feeling rested when there are 99 sheep keeping you from a good night’s sleep?

For one, a person’s breathing rate typically decreases and can become quite erratic during non-rapid eye movement sleep. Not everyone is able to sleep through these changes.

Sleeping with an oxygen concentrator can help you maintain your oxygen levels throughout the night, and your physician may prescribe this when consulted.

Whether or not you use an oxygen concentrator while sleeping, there are a number of sleep tactics worth trying. It is important that you wake up each morning feeling ready for the day!

Some of the following practices may even help you keep your oxygen levels steady throughout the night, and ultimately get a more restorative night’s sleep.

1. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise in during the day.

Exercising during the day will not only improve sleep quality but also sleep duration at night.

As few as ten minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or taking a tai chi class, can dramatically improve your sleep quality.

This is especially true when this exercise is done on a regular basis.

Lace up those sneakers!

2. Avoid carbonated beverages late at night.

Your mom probably used to scold you, “No soda before bed!” Well, we’re taking your mom’s side on this one.

While the caffeine level in certain sodas is certainly a consideration, in this case, we’re thinking about the carbonation.

Carbonated beverages can produce gas that pushes on the diaphragm, making breathing more difficult.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to avoid carbonated beverages before bed. This includes sparkling water for hydration or a glass of ginger ale to help settle your stomach.

3. Establish a bedtime routine.

Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. This means weekends, too!

This may not always be possible: some nights, you may be out later and some mornings, you may need to set an earlier alarm for a meeting or appointment.

But try your best! When your body has a sleep cycle to rely on, you can more naturally achieve sleep, even if you are sleeping with an oxygen concentrator during the night.

4. Designate your sleeping spot.

Whether you are catching your partner up on your day or reading a chapter of your book club book, there are several helpful activities that can become routine before bedtime.

As part of establishing a nighttime routine, many of these activities are ok to do. In this case, we’re asking you to consider where they take place.

It’s important that you designate your bed – and bedroom – for sleep.

That way, there’s a better chance that a sudden reminder of that errand you forgot to run or the death of your favorite character in the book you’re reading won’t keep you from falling asleep.

5. Practice techniques for airway clearance before bed.

Techniques for airway clearance are something you can practice throughout the day, especially after meals; however, this is especially useful before bed. This tactic may help you more naturally maintain oxygen levels throughout the night, whether or not you are sleeping with an oxygen concentrator.

One technique is coughing. Another technique worth trying over coughing, though, is huffing. It’s less tiring!

To huff, take a breath in. Then, exhale forcefully.

Practice this technique more gently if you are new to it. Eventually, you can try huffing in front of a mirror with the goal of steaming it up.


Consult your physician if you feel like you’re having difficulty sleeping, or more importantly, maintaining your oxygen levels throughout the night.

Your physician may review your list of medications, as some can cause side effects that are keeping you up at night; you may also be prescribed supplemental oxygen.

Your physician may have helpful sleep aid suggestions from other patients, such as using several pillows to prop up your upper body.

What tactics do you rely on when you’re having trouble falling asleep? Have you discovered a way to help maintain your oxygen levels while you’re sleeping? Tell us on Facebook!