How to Stop Coughing at Night

Night time cough can be troublesome and may lead to sleep disturbance. It not only disturbs the sleep of the person having it but can interfere with the sleep of others sharing the bedroom. Children who have night time cough have difficulty in going to sleep. Therefore, it is important to know how to relieve the cough that is more serious at night.

Why Cough Will Get Worse at Night?

Before knowing the steps of how to stop coughing at night, it is better to have an understanding of why night time cough happens.

The nasal passages produce mucus to keep the airways moist. At daytime, if excessive fluid is produced, it will be swallowed naturally. However, the swallowing reflex is not so effective while you sleep. So it becomes difficult to breath from the nose at night, which will cause mouth breathing. Mouth breathing leads to a dry mouth and the walls of throat also become more sensitive. What' more, coughing is the body’s protective mechanism. Once the airways can't be cleaned naturally, the virus in your mucus will irritate your nerves and cause you to cough to keep airways clear and open. All these factors contribute to increased coughing tendency during night.

Home Remedies to Stop Coughing at Night

Here are some home remedies for stopping coughing at night:

1. Keep Your Head Elevated When Sleep

If night time cough is disturbing your sleep, you can add a few extra pillows to keep the head elevated. Or you can put some blocks under the head of your bed. Keeping head a bit higher than usual at night helps keep the airways open and prevent mucus irritation, which will make you cough less. This approach also helps if your cough is due to acid reflux.

2. Keep the Breathing Passages Moist

keep the breathing passages moist

There are more chances of cough when the airways are dry. Have a bath or shower before going to sleep will help keep them moist. You can also use a humidifier or put a bowl filled with water near the heater. But if you have asthma, the steam will only make the situation worse, so avoid this approach.

3. Do Not Sleep Under Air-Conditioner, Fan or Heater

Direct cold or hot air from fans, air conditioners or heaters can exacerbate cough as they can make the airways dry. You can notice certain relief by moving your bed far away from these electronic equipment.

4. Have Some Honey Before Sleep


How to stop coughing at night? Honey is excellent to relieve an irritated throat by soothing and coating your mucous membrane. It also contains antibacterial properties. Try to have a teaspoon of organic honey before bedtime. Mixing it with some warm water also works wonders.

5. Try Salted Water Gargles

salt water gargles

Salt water gargles are extremely effective in removing excessive mucus from the throat and are very soothing. You can mix some salt in warm water and gargle a few times before going to sleep to avoid coughing at night.

6. Have Warm Beverages

warm beverages

If you have an irritated throat or are having night time cough, drink some warm liquids before going to bed. Chicken soup, broth, warm herbal teas or simple warm water with a spoonful of honey can be extremely effective in soothing the throat and controlling cough. Avoid any caffeine based drinks at night.

7. Try Turmeric


If you are wondering how to stop coughing at night, you can try turmeric. It is very effective to control cough for its healing properties. You can add a pinch of turmeric to some warm milk for instant relief. You can also mix it with some honey and take it four to five times per day.

8. Consume Ginger


Ginger is extremely effective for dry cough. Have a little piece of fresh ginger, put some sea salt on it and chew it for instant relief. If the taste is too strong you can try ginger tea by simply putting a small piece of ginger in a cup of boiling water. You can add some honey and a few drops of lemon juice to make the tea more delicious. Another very effective cough treatment is to mix ginger and ground black pepper with honey. The taste can be a bit strong but it relieves the cough effectively.

9. Make Use of the Garlic


Garlic has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can control cough caused by infections. Cook several cloves of garlic with ghee and consume it when it is still warm for relief. You can also chew the raw garlic for great results.

10. Apply Eucalyptus Oil


Eucalyptus oil is another very good cough suppressant. You can add a few drops of it in water and then rub the water on your chest or throat before going to sleep. Consuming lozenges with eucalyptus oil ingredient also works wonders!

Medical Treatments for Stopping Coughing at Night

Medical treatment of night time cough depends on the cause of cough. To have a clear idea of how to stop coughing at night, the cause of cough has to be identified. Various treatment options available for different types of cough include:

1. Coughs Caused by Infection

If the cough is due to an infection and excessive mucus production, expectorants are effective to control the symptoms as they can dilute the mucus.

2. Coughs Caused by Acid Reflux

Excessive acid production or acid reflux can lead to dry cough and the best medicines to control this type of cough are those which reduce acid production. 

3. Dry Coughs Caused by Asthma or Bronchitis

This type of cough results from narrowing of airways. Inhalers are very effective to keep airways open at night and prevent cough.

4. Coughs Caused by Allergies

A very common reason for dry cough is allergy. Antihistamine will be prescribed in this case.

5. Unruly Cough

Cough suppressants can be used to tame the unruly cough. Such kind of medicine helps restrain the brain area which controls cough. But some suppressants may have serious side effects, so remember to consult your doctor before taking these medicines.

When to Call the Doctor

Night time cough can be a symptom of something more serious. If it does not get better or you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

  • If you have severe shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • If your breathing is shallow and faster than usual
  • If your lips or face is turning blue
  • If there is high grade fever
  • If there is cough and fever in children less than three months of age
  • If there is constant cough in infants for a few hours which is not getting better
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