Sleep disturbances in patients with bronchial asthma include early morning awakening, difficulty in maintaining sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness, often with a combination of insomnia and hypersomnia/4' In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sleep efficiency is reduced, sleep onset is delayed, and awakenings increase with frequent stage shifts and arousals. Cardiac arrhythmias may occur, particularly during sleep. In some patients, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may coexist with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, when it is known as overlap syndrome. Sleep disturbances may also be related to medication (e.g. methylxanthines), increased nocturnal cough, and accumulation of bronchial secretions leading to hypoxaemia and hypercapnia.
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If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.