Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night coughing or perhaps start coughing shortly before you go to bed? Do you know how to stop a coughing attack in the nighttime? It’s going to be tough to go back to sleep if you can’t make the coughing stop.
How to stop a cough attack at night? I’m going to give you the best methods I have found to work for myself as well as recommendations sourced from across the Internet that have proven successful for other people.
The simplest and probably the quickest way to get rid of a cough is to take a cough drop or use a cough syrup. What a lot of these do is coat the esophagus and help to soothe it. Be careful about the kind of cough medicines you give to children, though. Some of them may contain alcohol or another substance that could make them unsuitable for children. Make sure you read the directions first and use the prescribed amounts.
Cough drops are less dangerous, and you can usually use a couple cough drops in a row, if your cough is persistent. With cough medicine, though, such as a syrup, you need to stick to the dosage recommendations. This will ensure that you are safe and that you don’t have to deal with potential side effects of overdosing. Using too much cough medicine at once can be dangerous and worse for you than the cough itself.
One thing to keep in mind about using cough drops is that they can make your coughing worse for a while, for some people. If you’re the kind of person who salivates extra when you suck on a cough drop or a hard candy, cough drops might not be the best option. They can eventually soothe your cough, but right away, they may cause extra saliva that increases the coughing and therefore increases the damage to your throat.
Change the Temperature
Sometimes, cough is caused by a low temperature or high fan or air conditioning settings. You may need to increase the temperature to make it less irritating for your throat. A cold temperature can dry out your throat and make it easily irritated, especially when combined with other factors.
If you’re using an air conditioning or a fan to keep yourself cool, it can help to direct those away from you or change your sleeping position so that cold air is not blowing directly on your face. You may want to turn away from the breeze or cover yourself up with a sheet or blanket. All this can help to increase your body temperature and keep direct air off your face where it might dry out and irritate your throat.
Drink Something Soothing
For a minor cough, just taking a drink of cold water can be enough to help. However, I don’t suggest drinking cold water for most coughs. Any kind of serious cough or persistent cough should be treated with a warm, soothing drink.
My top choices for treating a cough and soothing my throat are hot tea, honey, and warm lemon water. Warm drinks work a lot better to soothe your throat and get rid of coughing quickly. If you’re looking to try something natural and not bother with medication, then a hot drink is definitely the way to go.
Honey is a great option for relieving a cough because of how it coats your throat similarly to a cough drop. In fact, a lot of cough medicines and cough drops include honey for its soothing quality and its coating ability.
Change Your Position
I talked a moment ago about changing your position to keep the breeze out of your face, but there or some other sleeping position changes you may want to make if you’re coughing at night. One of the quickest ways to help with a cough is to either sit up or incline your head further. You can put your head up further on the pillow or add another pillow onto the bed. Whatever you do, it helps to prop up your head a bit more than it already is.
How come this change of position makes a difference in your coughing? A lot of times, coughing is caused by excessive saliva or congestive mucus in the throat and nasal cavities that is draining poorly. If you incline your head, you will help the saliva to drain down properly and not pool. This will cause less throat irritation and allow for proper drainage.
You may wonder why coughing starts as soon as you lie down. That’s probably because of the position your neck and head are in and how it makes saliva drain the wrong way. Your head position is especially important when you are sick or congested. Inclining your head helps to straighten the airways and allows for proper flow of both air and liquids through your respiratory system. You may not need to drink anything or use medication to get the coughing to stop. Simply sitting up or propping up your head can make a huge difference and make the cough go away.
Long Term Fixes
What I’ve given you so far are methods you can use to fix a coughing attack quickly and help yourself fall asleep faster when your throat is irritated. These may not treat the root cause, however. If you want to cough less and not have so much trouble sleeping at night, there may be some changes you need to make that can help you over the long term. You can improve air quality and reduce throat irritation with some of these methods.
The reason you’re coughing so often could have to do with pests in your home. Cockroaches and dust mites are probably the biggest offenders for most people. Cockroaches leave behind saliva, feces, and other materials that can cause coughing fits and allergic reactions.
How do you keep cockroaches out of your home? If you know you have some in your home, you’ll probably have to put down traps or spray your home thoroughly. To keep them out, you want to keep your windows closed, particularly during the evening. You should also make sure there are no spaces under your doors for them to get through and make sure your home is sealed up tight.
You also want to make sure that your home is unattractive for cockroaches and other pests. You can do this by cleaning up food, covering and sealing your trash receptacles, keeping your floor swept, and ensuring you have a clean kitchen. Don’t leave any food (or even crumbs) out overnight, as this can attract cockroaches all through the night.
Clean for Dust
If you have any kind of dust allergies, keeping your home clean will make a huge difference in how easily you breathe and how often you cough. Dust can irritate your throat even if you don’t have allergies, blocking up your nasal passages and causing problems for your respiratory system.
Keeping your home swept and cleaned and ensuring proper ventilation will help immensely with any dust problems. You want to make sure that you’re cleaning under the beds, on top of furniture, behind appliances, and other places where dust can settle and might not be easily removed or seen.
If you or someone else in your home smokes, that will cause persistent coughing. The smoke will irritate your throat, causing long term damage. If you can make the smoking stop, that will allow your throat time to heal and reduce irritation.
Smoking can cause emphysema, lung cancer, throat irritation, persistent coughing, lung damage, and more. Making this change might not be easy, but it will allow you to sleep better at night, improve your lung capacity, and reduce your risk of lung and throat cancer. All this is true whether you are the smoker or someone else in your home is. Secondhand smoke can be just as damaging or more damaging than smoking yourself.