Coughing is a natural reflex that helps in protecting your lungs by clearing them of irritants like smoke and mucus. However, coughing is also associated with a cold or flu. Coughs can either be dry or chesty, meaning, unproductive or productive. Chesty coughs are usually productive since they produce mucus, and dry coughs, on the other hand, are unproductive since they don’t produce mucus.
They can be caused by anything, but those that are caused by colds and the flu generally only last up to two weeks. That is to say, if you see you’re dealing with a cough that lasts longer than that, and you are coughing up thick mucus then you should make sure to contact your doctor. Symptoms such as weight loss, fever, chills, or fatigue are also signs you should contact your health provider.
Coughing can be quite the bother. You’re at work, lectures, or coffee shops, and suddenly here comes another round of coughing. So, you get on with it, truly hoping that tickling sensation will stop soon so you can proceed with the day. All you want to do when the day ends is have a good nights sleep so you can hopefully feel better tomorrow. And then you see yourself awake in the middle of the night and notice your coughing has gotten worse.
Coughing at night – Why does coughing get worse during the night?
So, when you’re laying down at night, you will lose the gravitational advantage that you have when you stand during the day. If you have acid reflux, the acid will come back up your esophagus, this way causing you to cough by burning and irritating your throat. And in cases of post-nasal drip, the mucus drains into your upper airway and will activate the coughing reflex.
To solve this problem, as research suggests, you should sleep in an elevated position so you will prevent the mucus from collecting in the back of the throat.
– Dryness of the room
If the air in the room is dry, then this can lead to a worsening of a cough. Dry air might aggravate the nose and throat. To solve this, you can use a humidifier. However, you should make sure to take proper care of it, by cleaning it to avoid the mold and making sure the water you put in it is sterile.
How to stop coughing at night?
The remedies of coughing can depend on what is causing it in the first place. Below you will find some of the ways you can ease a nighttime cough and get better sleep.
– Elevate your position
When you’re lying down, it’s easier for irritants to make their way to your throat and trigger coughing. So, in this situation, you should put some more pillows under your head to elevate your position.
Mixing a hot drink, like tea, with honey can help to loosen the mucus in your throat. Healthline suggests mixing two teaspoons of honey into a caffeine-free tea and drink it before bed. However, keep in mind that you should not give honey to children who are under the age of 1.
– Use a humidifier
As mentioned, when the air is dry and warm, it can irritate the throat and airways. Coughing can sometimes be caused by the heater during the winter. This happens because the pollutants that build up in the heating ducts get released. A humidifier would be one of the solutions so the air in the bedroom remains moist and your throat feels better.
If your cough is caused by a cold, then take some rest, drink soup, and stay hydrated. However, severe coughs may be treated with cough medication, in adults and children older than 6 years, such as decongestant sprays that will help reduce postnasal drip, according to Healthline.
– Steamy shower
Taking a shower, bath, or simply sitting in a steamy bathroom before bed can be quite useful. However, WebMD suggests that for people who have asthma, steam can make a cough worse.
Remember: If your cough persists and doesn’t stop in a matter of about two weeks, make sure to contact your health provider.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.
You might also be interested in: Home Remedies For Cold: How To Relieve Cold Symptoms.