How to Stop Night Time Coughing With Vicks VapoRub

Nighttime coughing isn't associated with a cold and isn't contagious.
Nighttime coughing isn't associated with a cold and isn't contagious. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Nighttime coughing usually occurs after a day of cold-free symptoms and can last from one to three consecutive nights, interrupting needed rest and keeping you awake for hours at a time. It's not necessary to spend money on two or three different medications. Vicks VapoRub can help. The topical solution is effective at relieving the throat irritation that contributes to nighttime coughing.

Things You'll Need

  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Two pillows
  • One cup of cool water

Prop yourself up in bed. Place two full pillows behind you, one to support your shoulders and the other to support your neck, so that you are sitting up without being in a full upright position. This allows any phlegm or mucus to come up more easily.

Apply the Vick's VapoRub ointment. Using two fingers, gently apply a coat of the ointment to the outside of your throat. Massage the ointment in a circular motion to help ease the sensation to cough.

Pull the bed covers up and around your neck. You want to have the covers around you tight enough to allow the vapors to travel from your neck to your nose. Leaving the covers down around your chest is not as effective.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a cool glass of water by your bed. Drink at least 1/3 cup before getting back in bed. This should be done before applying the VapoRub.
  • When applying the ointment on someone else, wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
  • Don't place Vicks VapoRub directly under the nose. The smell may cause your eyes to water and can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Don't ignore a nighttime cough lasting more than three consecutive nights. See your doctor. Nighttime coughing is associated with asthma and a severe form of acid reflux.

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