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Coughing at night can make the sufferer unable to sleep well. In fact, to be able to recover quickly, the body needs a lot of rest. However, you don't need to worry, because there are several ways you can do to relieve coughing complaints at night
Coughing is the body's natural way of clearing the throat and respiratory tract of germs, viruses, as well as pollution and dirt, such as dust, cigarette smoke, or mucus. Coughs are also often felt when you have the flu, allergies, or asthma.
In some cases, coughing due to irritation or infection of the respiratory tract can be felt more severe or more annoying at night. If this is the case, the sufferer will find it difficult to sleep and rest.
Causes of Cough at Night
Coughs that get worse at night can be caused by several conditions and diseases, including:
- Respiratory disorders, such as asthma, COPD, bronchitis, and ARI
- Heart problems, such as heart failure or heart valve disease
- stomach acid disease (GERD)
- Sleep apnea
- Side effects of drugs, such as ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and NSAIDs
- Smoking often
Different Ways to Relieve Cough at Night
To treat cough complaints at night, you need to check with a doctor. Once the cause of the cough is known, the doctor will provide appropriate treatment to treat the cause.
In addition to drugs, there are several ways you can do to relieve the annoying cough at night, including:
1. Take a shower or bath with warm water before going to bed
Dry airways can make coughing worse at night. Taking a warm shower or bath before bed can help moisten the airways and relieve coughing.
However, if your cough is caused by asthma, don't use this method. The reason is, the steam inhaled when bathing or taking a warm bath can actually worsen asthma symptoms.
2. Drink water or warm drinks before bed
Drinking water before bed can help thin mucus in the airways and relieve coughing at night. In addition to water, drinking warm tea or lemon water mixed with honey can also be an option to relieve coughs.
But keep in mind, honey can only be given to adults and children over the age of 1 year, yes.
3. Keep your head higher while sleeping
The lying position can cause you to cough more often. To outsmart, try to sleep with a higher pillow. Sleeping in this position will help drain mucus from your nose and throat.
In addition to relieving coughs caused by flu or colds, sleeping in this position can also prevent stomach acid from rising up into the throat (GERD) which can trigger coughing.
4. Use a humidifier in the bedroom
A humidifier can help relieve coughing if the air in your bedroom tends to be dry due to the use of AC.
Make sure to set the humidity level between 40%–50% only, because air that is too humid can trigger the development of mites and mold which can actually make coughing worse.
Another thing you need to remember is to avoid sleeping under the direct blow of the fan or air conditioner, to prevent the cough from getting worse.
5. Make sure your bed and bedding are clean
This is one of the tips to help relieve cough at night due to allergies. Dust and mites are the most common allergy triggers. So, make sure your bed and bedding are in a clean condition.
Change sheets, pillowcases, bolsters and blankets every week. Wash all the bedding by soaking it in hot water first. After washing, dry in the sun to dry.
6. Take cough medicine
In addition to the methods above, you can also take cough medicine to relieve coughing at night. Take cough medicine that suits your cough type.
There are several types of cough medicine with different contents and functions, including:
- Expectorants, which are drugs used for coughing up phlegm. This drug works by thinning mucus or phlegm, while reducing coughing.
- Antussive, which is a drug used to treat dry cough. Antitussive cough medicines, such as dextromethorphan, work by reducing the stimuli that can trigger coughing, so that the frequency of coughing can be reduced.
- Decongestants, which are drugs used to relieve nasal congestion and relieve pressure in the sinus cavities due to allergies and colds. Examples of these drugs are phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine.
- Antihistamines, which are drugs used for coughs due to allergies, which are accompanied by symptoms of sneezing, itching in the nose and throat, and runny nose. Examples of these drugs are brompheniramine and chlorpheniramine.
If the cough is caused by a viral infection, for example in the flu and ARI, then antibiotics are not needed. Antibiotics are only effective for coughs caused by bacterial infections.
Coughing at night is often annoying.But be patient, because basically, coughing is the body's way of getting rid of the cause of the cough itself. With adequate rest and following some of the tips above, a cough at night will usually subside within 1-2 weeks.
Even so, be aware if the cough at night gets worse, lasts more than 3 weeks, or is accompanied by a high fever, shortness of breath, weight loss, and phlegm that is green, yellow, or even bloody.
These symptoms can indicate a serious illness, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, heart failure, or tuberculosis, which requires medical attention. If you or a family member has a cough like that, it is advisable to immediately consult a doctor.