How Do I Stop Coughing So I Can Sleep?

how do i stop coughing so i can sleep
How do i stop coughing so i can sleep

You might want to try using a humidifier, a lozenge, or elevating your head or neck if you get coughs at night.

It's past midnight. You would prefer to be deep asleep, but every time you think you are going to sleep, a cough wakes you up.

Coughing at night can be annoying and disruptive. In order to combat your illness and maintain your daily functioning, you must sleep. However, your persistent cough is preventing you from obtaining the much-needed sleep.

What then can you do to get rid of your nighttime cough?

We'll look at some options for various cough types in this post, including those irritating back-of-the-throat coughs as well as wet and dry ones.

How to calm a wet cough

Wet coughs, also known as productive coughs, are characterised by an abundance of mucus in the mouth, throat, and chest.

Elevate your head and neck

A cough may result from mucus buildup in your throat from sleeping flat on your back or side.

To prevent this, elevate your head and neck slightly using a wedge or stack a few pillows. Refrain from raising your head excessively as this may result in discomfort and soreness in your neck.

Try an expectorant

Expectorants facilitate easier phlegm coughing by thinneing the mucus in your airways.

In the United States, guaifenesin—sold under brand names including Robitussin DM and Mucinex—is the only expectorant that has received FDA approval.

Studies suggest that guaifenesin may be a safe and useful treatment if your cough is brought on by a cold or bronchitis.

Swallow a little honey

In a 2013 study, giving some coughing youngsters 1 1/2 tsp of honey before bedtime improved their quality of sleep. Keep in mind that parent questionnaires, which aren't usually an objective measurement, served as the study's foundation.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that children younger than one year old should not be given honey due to the potentially fatal botulism risk.

Drink a warm beverage

Warm, steaming liquids can help relieve sore throats caused by coughing and also help break up mucus.

Herbal teas, broths, and warm water with lemon and honey are all excellent choices. Make sure you consume no more than one hour before going to bed.

Take a hot shower

By releasing mucus from your sinuses and chest, steam from a warm shower can help open your airways.

How to soothe a dry cough

A number of illnesses, including upper respiratory infections, GERD, asthma, postnasal drip, and ACE inhibitors, can be linked to dry coughs.

Whooping cough is a less prevalent cause of dry coughs.

Try a lozenge

Drugstores and retailers carry throat lozenges, which are available in a variety of flavours.

Some contain menthol to aid with sinus opening. Some include vitamin C in them, and some have medicines to help with sore throats.

Whichever lozenge you choose, make sure you swallow it completely before lying down to avoid choking on it. Little children shouldn't be given lozenges since they pose a choking threat.

Consider a decongestant

Decongestants can aid in stopping the postnasal drip, which is the source of that bothersome cough at night.

Decongestants should not be used by children under the age of twelve or those with excessive blood pressure.

Look into a cough suppressant

Antitussives, another name for cough suppressants, stop you from coughing by inhibiting your cough reflex.

When you sleep, they may prevent your cough reflex from being triggered, which can be useful for dry coughs at night.

Drink plenty of fluids

It's crucial to drink enough of water when you're feeling under the weather. By keeping your neck lubricated throughout the day, you can help shield it from allergens and other things that might cause you to cough.

Try to have eight glasses of water or more each day. Just remember to cut back on liquids at least one hour before bed to prevent nocturnal defecation.

How to ease a ticklish cough

An itchy or ticklish cough may keep you awake if allergies or postnasal drip are the source of your cough.

Use a humidifier

An excessive amount of dry air can irritate your throat and cause you to cough violently.

Just a heads up: Take care not to overdampen the air. Moisture can sometimes make asthma symptoms worse and aggravate allergens like mould and dust mites.

Make sure the humidity in your sleeping area is at or close to the suggested level of 50% by measuring the precise amount of moisture in the air with a hygrometer.

Keep your bedding clean

Every week, the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology advises washing your blankets, pillowcases, mattress covers, and sheets in hot water at 130°F (54.4°C) or higher.

It would be better to avoid bringing pets into your bedroom at night if you have an allergy to pet saliva or dander.

Try an oral antihistamine

Speak with a medical expert to find out if taking an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drug that prevents your body from producing acetylcholine or histamines, which both trigger coughing, can help your cough.

Understanding what can cause a cough

Numerous situations and events might give rise to a cough. Selecting a successful treatment for your cough can be simpler if you know what's causing it.

Coughing is known to be caused by the following conditions and factors:

  • asthma
  • allergies
  • viruses like colds and flu
  • bacterial infections like pneumonia and bronchitis
  • postnasal drip
  • smoking
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • cystic fibrosis
  • whooping cough
  • various pharmaceuticals, including beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and several NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory meds)
  • COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

If you're not sure why you're coughing, your doctor may prescribe blood testing, scope tests, CT scans, or chest X-rays to determine the cause of your cough.

If you smoke, remember that giving it up may help your cough in as short as eight weeks. You should also think about getting vaccinated against whooping cough.

When to consult a doctor or other healthcare professional

When treating an illness or allergen-induced cough, over-the-counter (OTC) medications or home cures usually work in a few weeks.

However, a cough could occasionally be more dangerous. Schedule a visit with a medical practitioner if:

  • you’re wheezing
  • your ankles are swollen
  • you’re experiencing unintentional or unexplained weight loss
  • your cough doesn't go away after three weeks
  • Your cough becomes watery instead of dry.
  • You're producing more mucus when you cough.
  • You're also experiencing dyspnea, dysphagia, or vomiting.

Get medical help right away if you have a cough and:

  • have trouble breathing
  • have chest pains
  • cough up blood or pink-tinged mucus


How do you stop coughing fits?

  1. taking over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines.
  2. taking a steamy shower.
  3. drinking plenty of water.
  4. using a humidifier in the home.
  5. using cough drops or hard candies.
  6. sipping hot water with honey.

Why do coughs get worse at night?

A person's cough may get worse at night since they are lying flat. Coughing can result from a buildup of mucus in the back of the throat. Sleeping with your head raised helps lessen GERD and postnasal drip symptoms. Coughing at night might result from either.

Why am I coughing so much?

allergies affecting the sinuses or nose. The common cold, the flu, and other viral illnesses Asthma and COPD (emphysema or chronic bronchitis).

Is Onion good for cough?

Cough can be effectively treated at home with onions. You must slice an onion and store it in a basin for this. Pour some water into it to drink. Three to four teaspoons of the combination can be consumed three times a day.

The bottom line

Although a cough that occurs at night might be bothersome, there are numerous efficient ways to reduce its intensity and duration, allowing you to get a better night's sleep.

If you have a cold, the flu, or allergies, you might be able to get rid of your cough by taking over-the-counter cough, cold, or allergy medications, or by attempting these easy home remedies.

See a medical expert for a diagnosis and course of treatment if your symptoms intensify or persist for more than a few weeks.

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