Tips for Soothing a Nighttime Cough
Coughing can be caused by many factors, including allergies, asthma, acid reflux, some medications, and, of course, smoking. The common cold can also lead to post-nasal drip that triggers a persistent cough. If a cough is accompanied by a fever or other symptoms, or doesn’t improve within a week, it’s best to see a doctor to rule out infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, and whooping cough.
On the other hand, if you’re generally healthy, a nighttime cough is probably not a cause for alarm. However, it can severely limit your ability to get a good night’s sleep. To help you get some rest, here are some things you can do to soothe your itchy throat and clear your irritated airways:
- Drink hot, decaffeinated tea with lemon and honey before bed – Warm beverages can help quiet a cough by breaking up mucus in the airways, and honey is a natural cough suppressant.
- Avoid moving air – Turn off your ceiling fan and redirect your heater or air conditioner vents if they blow air toward your face while you’re lying in bed.
- Try using a humidifier – If the air in your bedroom is too dry, a humidifier might help your cough. However, keep in mind that too much moisture can allow cough-inducing allergens like dust mites and mold to thrive.
- Keep water at your bedside – Drinking water can help soothe your throat and halt a coughing fit. Proper hydration can also serve to thin mucus.
- Take over-the-counter medications – A cough suppressant can block the cough reflex and reduce the urge to cough, and an expectorant can help clear mucus.
- Elevate your head – Propping yourself up with a few pillows or relaxing in a recliner chair might do the trick. That’s because sleeping in this position can allow you to take advantage of the effects of gravity to keep your throat clear of postnasal drainage. This might silence your cough long enough for you to fall asleep.
If you would like to consult with a physician about a nagging cough, or for any other reason, please feel free to contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. At our walk-in clinic, you will be seen by a qualified doctor who has years of experience in identifying and treating many common illnesses and injuries, and no appointment is ever necessary.