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Can oxygen therapy help you sleep?

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Quick Answer

Oxygen therapy can help people sleep better if they do not have enough oxygen in their blood while they sleep and often wake up due to shortness of breath as a result, reports the University of California (USCF) Medical Center. When people sleep, their oxygen levels fall naturally.

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For people with lower oxygen supplies, oxygen can be even more elusive at night, and this can make it difficult to breathe. In these cases, doctors will prescribe oxygen for use while sleeping. However, the majority of people who use oxygen during the daytime will not need to use it during the night, and they will still experience health benefits.

Depending on their needs, patients who require oxygen will receive the oxygen through an oxygen concentrator, within a metal cylinder or through a liquid system, reports the American Thoracic Society. The oxygen will come through a tube, a mask or nasal prongs that can typically be inserted by the patient at home, states the National Institutes of Health.

Many patients who are given oxygen have conditions such as sleep apnea, cystic fibrosis, extreme asthma attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia or heart failure. Doctors will determine whether or not a patient needs additional oxygen by looking at a blood sample. The blood sample will be tested with an arterial blood gas test.

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