5 Lifestyle Changes to Make to Minimize Coughing at Night


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Getting good quality sleep every night is important, regardless of your age. When you get sufficient rest, you will feel refreshed and energized the next morning, ready to take on the day’s activities.

Good quality sleep also helps improve your memory and heart health. Additionally, it can reduce your chances of getting diabetes and lower your blood pressure.

Getting sufficient sleep at night also helps you maintain a healthy weight and boost your immune system.

5 Lifestyle Changes to Make to Minimize Coughing at Night

However, getting good quality sleep can sometimes be difficult. Certain factors can affect your nighttime rest, which include stress, lack of exercise, too much caffeine intake, and excessive use of gadgets at night.

Night coughing, one of the common types of cough that affects thousands of adults, can also prevent you from getting sufficient sleep and the health benefits it provides.

Stopping Nighttime Cough to Get Sufficient Sleep

If you suffer from frequent bouts of nighttime coughing that prevents you from sleeping soundly, make these lifestyle changes to turn things around and start experiencing the health benefits of getting sufficient rest:

1. Keep your bedroom allergen-free

Certain elements in your bedroom can cause you to cough at night, which will affect your ability to sleep. Making some changes in this space will do wonders for your health and nighttime rest.

If your night cough is caused by an allergy, eliminate allergens in your bedroom and prevent them from entering this room. Start by keeping the windows closed, especially during the pollen season. Do not let dogs and cats inside this area as well since pet dander is a known allergen.

Dust mites are also allergens that can cause nighttime coughing. As such, it is important to keep your room free from these organisms.

Use allergy-proof bedding to keep dust mites away from your bed. Additionally, wash them once a week to ensure they are completely clean and allergen-free.

Also, the saliva, feces, and body parts of cockroaches can cause coughing and other allergy symptoms. You therefore need to keep these pests out of your bedroom, too.

Remove piles of newspapers and magazines that attract dust and give cockroaches a home and breeding ground from your bedroom. Avoid storing food in your sleeping space, too. If you can’t stop doing so, keep them in sealed containers.

If you have an air conditioner in your room, make sure it is well-maintained to prevent it from spewing out dust and allergens. Clean the unit, registers, return vents, and ductwork. Replace the HEPA filters regularly and have professionals inspect and give it a thorough cleaning at least once a year.

2. Modify your bedtime habits

Implementing changes in your sleeping habits can also help you stop coughing at night.
Dry, warm air inside the bedroom often irritates the throat and airways and aggravates a cough. To add moisture in your room, try using a humidifier at night. It can help soothe your throat and minimize your coughing.

If you tend to cough more often when you turn the heater on during winter, a humidifier will also help you avoid this due to the moisture it introduces in the room.

Also, incline your head when you are sleeping. Irritants can make their way to your throat when you are lying down and trigger coughing. Using two or three pillows and propping them up ensures you keep your head elevated and helps you avoid nighttime coughs.

In addition to brushing before you sleep, gargle with warm saltwater. Doing so can help you soothe your irritated or sore throat. Do this before going to bed, preferably after brushing.

3. Tackle your acid reflux

Acid reflux or its chronic form, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, is a common cause of nighttime coughing. While sleeping, stomach acid, an irritant, can flow back into your throat, which can lead to coughs.

Keeping your head elevated on propped pillows while sleeping can help you avoid acid reflux. Additionally, do not lie down for at least two hours after eating.

Also, avoid foods that can trigger acid reflux. These include spicy dishes, red wine, citrus fruits, and caffeinated drinks.

If you are not sure what foods trigger your GERD, keep a food diary to know which items to avoid.

4. Alter your diet

Modifying your eating habits will not only help you avoid GERD, but it can reduce your nighttime coughing.

Start by drinking hot herbal tea with honey every day, which is one of the best home remedies for dry cough. This beverage can soothe your throat and reduce irritation. It can help loosen mucus as well if you have a wet or productive cough.

Add two teaspoons of honey to hot herbal tea and drink it before going to bed. Aside from preventing nighttime coughing, this beverage can help you relax and sleep better.

If pineapple does not cause your GERD, try to eat more of this fruit. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, a healthy enzyme that can suppress coughs and loosen mucus.

You can also reduce your nighttime coughing by adding chicken soup and clear broths to your daily diet. These dishes help relieve mucus congestion in the nasal passages.

Lastly, increase your intake of water to stay hydrated, keep your throat moist, and expel mucus, if you have a wet cough. However, avoid drinking milk and other dairy products and caffeinated beverages since they can aggravate nighttime coughing.

5. Stop smoking

People who smoke usually develop a persistent cough, which does not only occur at night. This condition is caused by the body’s natural response to get rid of the harmful chemicals from tobacco that enters the throat and lungs.

This chronic cough, which is also known as a smoker’s cough, usually starts as a dry cough, but can eventually turn into a wet or productive cough.

Although you won’t stop your chronic cough immediately when you stop smoking, it will gradually help decrease coughing. Also, keep in mind that when you kick this unhealthy habit, you improve your overall health. As such, you will do well to quit your nicotine addiction.

If you need help with quitting smoking, your doctor can guide you throughout the whole process.

Getting good quality sleep and stopping nighttime coughing are good for your well-being. Follow these tips to achieve both and start experiencing more health benefits from your nightly rest.


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