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Cough at night: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The night cough is a very annoying symptom that can be produced by multiple causes and usually interrupts the deep rest of the people. Why do we cough? Coughing is a defense mechanism that the body exerts in order to expel a large amount of air from the respiratory tract to move the phlegm that may be accumulated in them. Coughing is a fairly common symptom that we have all experienced from colds and flu, but when it occurs at night; for what is this?

If you tend to get out of bed lately because of a nighttime cough, keep reading this FastlyHealarticle and find out everything you need to know about coughing at night: causes and treatment .

Coughing attacks at night

The nocturnal cough is not a disease, it is a symptom that can be caused by different diseases and external factors, such as dust. You have probably noticed that when you have the flu you cough more at night than during the day: why? During the night the amount of mucus increases , which begins to accumulate in the back of the throat, causing irritation. When there is abundant mucus in the pharynx, the body activates its defense mechanism, the cough, to expel said substance and improve breathing.

Mucus accumulates more at night due to the drop in temperature and the position the body takes when lying in bed. One way to prevent this and avoid coughing at night is to sleep semi-seated, placing several pillows under your upper back. Although it is not the most comfortable way to rest, it will be the one that will allow us to sleep through the night without interruptions.

In addition, you have surely noticed that the cough at night is much drier, since the horizontal position does not allow the phlegm to be properly expelled from the bronchi. Sleeping in a sitting position will also help improve dry coughs and clean the bronchial tubes properly.

Causes of night cough

There are some diseases that among their symptoms include nocturnal cough, some of them are:

  • Sinusitis : inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and the accumulation of mucus inside them are consequences of sinusitis. People who suffer from sinusitis also have a condition known as posterior rhinorrhea, which is nothing more than the descent of mucus from the nose down the back of the pharynx and into the throat. This is also known as postnasal drip and is one of the main causes of nighttime coughs.
  • Respiratory infections : flu, bronchitis, pneumonia and any virus that affects the respiratory tract greatly increases the production of phlegm and mucus, as a mechanism of the body to eliminate bacteria. As we explained earlier, the buildup of mucus and phlegm causes coughing at night.
  • Asthma : When a person has asthma, their airways become swollen and narrow, making it difficult to breathe. When a person with asthma is lying in a horizontal position, the passage of air becomes even more difficult and coughing and dyspnea appear.
  • Allergies : Dust and its mites are highly allergenic agents that cause symptoms such as nighttime coughs, sneezing, burning throat, and itchy nose and eyes. If you have been coughing at night for a long time without knowing why, this may be the reason for your discomfort. We recommend that you go to an allergist to carry out the relevant tests and determine if you are allergic to dust.
  • Gastric Reflux Disease : Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the valve in the esophagus does not close properly and allows stomach acids to pass into the pharynx. This condition is very bothersome and must be treated by a gastroenterologist. Gastric acid is very irritating and causes a nighttime cough.

How to treat a cough at night

Treating a nighttime cough is important to prevent interrupted sleep from depressing the immune system and developing other complications. To treat this symptom, it is necessary to discover its cause and offer the appropriate treatment for the condition. In the case of viral infections, cough syrup can be of great help. In the case of asthma, inhalers are essential to expand the airways and improve breathing; However, each disease requires a different treatment , it is best to wait for the diagnosis to know how to treat nocturnal cough.

When the night cough is dry, it is usually allergic, in these cases taking cough syrup will not help at all. Anti-allergy medications with the recommended medications to improve the symptom of dry cough at night and reduce its frequency. In addition, these drugs are also indicated to correct posterior rhinorrhea. Some tips to cough less at night are:

  • Take steam inhalations before sleeping to loosen mucus from your nostrils.
  • Sleeping semi seated.
  • Empty the mucus from your nostrils before going to bed.
  • Placing a camphor pill on the bedside table helps a lot to expand the respiratory tract. This is highly recommended for asthma sufferers.
  • Taking an infusion of ginger helps to improve coughing and breathing due to its astringent effect.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Cough at night: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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