How to Stop Coughing at Night and Get Enough Sleep to Get Rid of That Bug

You’ve probably had enough colds and flu in your life to know what steps to take to feel better as soon as possible. Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest are top priorities, but the latter can be difficult if you have a nagging cough that keeps you awake at night. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help relieve your cough and get you the rest you require.

What Causes My Cough to Be Worse at Night?

When you have a virus, your cough may worsen at night for a variety of reasons. When you lie down, mucus collects in the back of your throat, causing your cough to worsen.

When you have a cold or the flu, postnasal drip causes you to produce more mucus than usual.

Excess mucus can also cause nighttime coughing, especially if you’re lying down." And if the air in your home is dry, especially during the winter, it can irritate your throat, making coughing worse.

How to Stop Coughing at Night.

Here are five things you can do to relieve a cough before going to bed and throughout the night.

1. Take a long, hot shower.

As you wind down for the evening, it can be a useful preventative measure. Dr. Nasseri suggests letting the shower steam up for a few minutes before entering and using a small number of essential oils, such as a shower bomb, to help open up irritated airways. Inhaling eucalyptus steam can help loosen and reduce mucus, allowing you to cough it up before bed, whereas lavender can help improve airway resistance.

2. Sip some hot tea.

Another soothing nighttime ritual that may help calm a cough is drinking hot tea. Warm tea causes the vessels in the throat and muscles to open and relax more, soothing a sore throat, loosening mucus, and relieving coughing. Teas contain small amounts of “throat-comforting” ingredients such as chamomile, slippery elm, licorice root, cardamom, mint, and echinacea. All of these typically soothe, coat, and comfort without overpowering the palate.

3. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.

It’s not as tasty as tea, but gargling warm salt water before bedtime has its advantages. Gargling with warm salt water can aid in the removal of mucus from the throat and the reduction of coughing. It can also be used to relieve a sore throat. Gargling with one teaspoon of salt and warm water several times before going to bed.

4. In your bedroom, use a humidifier.

If the air in your bedroom is dry, it can aggravate a cough. Using a humidifier at night will add moisture to the air, which will help to soothe your throat and prevent coughing. Look for a humidifier with a HEPA filter or, at the very least, a UV light sterilizer, which aids in the removal of bacteria and viruses. Make sure the humidifier is also easily cleaned, as weekly cleaning is required. Otherwise, the humidifier can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and mold, aggravating your throat.

5. Raise your head.

You’ve finished your tea, gargled saltwater, and turned on the humidifier — and now it’s time to sleep. When you lie down on your back or side, the mucus accumulates at the back of your throat, exacerbating your coughing. This is why you should elevate your head to help reduce postnasal drip and coughing. Pillow yourself up with two to three pillows before (hopefully) falling asleep.

Thank you for reading.

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