Reasons for Coughing When Sleeping


There are times when you may seem healthy during the day but cough up a storm at night while trying to sleep. Lots of people cough when they lay down, and this can be the result of various reasons. It is always best to consult your local physician if the cough continues for too long.

Post Nasal Drip

A post-nasal drip is like having a runny nose, but because you are lying down, the mucus is dripping into your throat causing irritation, which in turn makes you cough. The post-nasal drip is usually caused by sinus infections, which could be the side effect of certain medication or allergic reactions to the direct environment. One of the simplest solutions to clear a post-nasal drip is by gargling a saline solution, which is a teaspoon of salt mixed in a glass of water. Also, drink lots of water to keep the mucus thin, as this helps to alleviate the symptoms of a post-nasal drip.

Acid Reflux

Another very common reason for night coughs is acid-reflux. The acid in one’s abdomen pushes up to the esophagus (throat) when you lay down and this then irritates your throat, resulting in a cough. The most common reason for acid reflux is bad eating habits. By avoiding food for at least two hours before bedtime, you should be able to resolve most of this problem. Alcohol can also cause your acid reflux, as this increases acidity in the stomach. Thus Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a coughing problem that could be relieved by having a healthier lifestyle.

Allergies and Dust

Allergens from your direct surroundings could be the reason for your night cough. Dust and pollen can irritate the membranes of the respiratory passage. It is best to sleep in a clean, plant-free environment. Mold and fungi can also cause your night cough to increase, so keep clear of mushrooms and moldy foods such as speciality cheeses if you already battle with this. Food allergies, such as sensitivity to nuts and seafood, can also be the culprits for your night cough.

Heart Failure

The body’s natural reaction to air deprivation is coughing, so if you continuously wake up gasping for a breath of air but have no medical track record of asthmatic problems, congestive heart problems might be to blame for your constant night coughing. This could be seen as a mini-heart attack, as the heart muscles contract in order to pump the blood through the body. The organs needs oxygenated blood and adequate amounts are not available. This in turn leads to a lack of oxygen, which causes coughing and fatigue.

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