A dry, hacking cough is not only painful and irritating but can also result in many sleepless nights. Before you attempt to sleep through another night with such a cough, try changing your sleep position and experimenting with natural and commercial remedies to find a cough suppressant that works for you. See a doctor or health care professional if symptoms worsen, you cough up blood or the cough lasts for more than two weeks with no other symptoms.
Unlike mucus-heavy coughs that require expectorants to thin the mucus, dry coughs can require suppressants to control the cough so you may get a good night's sleep. Look for suppressant medications that contain dextromethorphan; do not relying too heavily on suppressants, as other health problems may result from their continued use.
Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables
Eat certain foods about an hour or so before bedtime to help control a dry cough. Chop a raw onion, extract its juice and mix it with 1 teaspoon of honey. Make this mixture about four or five hours before bedtime, as it must marinate for this amount of time. Take the resulting syrup two times daily, including before bedtime. Another concoction to make before bedtime requires grinding 4 ounces of raisins with water. Blend the mixture with 4 ounces of sugar and heat until you have a sauce-like consistency. Take about 4 teaspoons of the mixture each night before bedtime.
Liquid remedies for dry, hacking coughs include tea and fruit juices. Make a cup of green tea an hour or so before bedtime and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey to sooth a dry cough. Drink a cup of aniseed tea, a spice similar in taste to fennel as a remedy for a dry cough with thick mucus. Gargle with salt water or drink a cup of hot milk with 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey; the milk will also help promote sleep.
Additional ideas for treatment of a dry, hacking cough at night include lying with your head elevated, as lying flat can aggravate the cough. Also try coughing into a pillow; although this is not a "cure" it will help take the pressure off your stomach muscles as you cough. Add a humidifier to your bedroom to put moisture in the air, as dry air will make any cough worse.