Coughing is actually a positive thing, as unlikely as it may seem. According to the research, this is your body’s way of getting rid of whatever is irritating your airways. A persistent cough, on the other hand, is not only annoying but can also keep you awake at night and make you feel unpleasant.
The good news is that you can stop coughing if you have been having trouble doing so. Most cases of cough resolve on their own, without medical intervention. However, there are a number of effective natural cures for coughing that can be used in the meantime.
Why Do People Cough?
When you lie down to sleep with a cold, sinus infection, or the flu, mucus from your congested nose or sinuses can trickle down your throat. That’s why you might find yourself coughing more often during the night. The drip may cause a slight tickling in the back of your throat, leading you to cough.
Coughing, however, is just one of several symptoms of different diseases that can keep you up at night:
- The bronchial passages in the lungs become constricted and clogged with mucus. When a person with asthma breathes in too little air, they can get a dry cough. A deterioration in air quality due to dust is possible.
- A stuffy nose and runny throats are symptoms of hay fever and other allergy conditions.
- GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, causes heartburn (GERD). Acid from the stomach can travel up the esophagus and irritate the nerves at the base of the digestive tract. Even if you don’t feel a burn or pain, this could make you cough.
- Coughing can be caused by mucus in the lungs. Toxins in the airways can cause you to feel like you need to cough.
- Medication for high blood pressure Taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor may cause a persistent dry cough in some persons.
Natural cough remedies
It’s common for people to try various natural remedies in an effort to alleviate a chronic cough.
Research suggests that honey can help soothe a cough. Honey’s efficacy in relieving coughs caused by upper respiratory infections was examined in a systematic study conducted in 2021. Researchers discovered that honey was more effective than standard therapy at calming coughs and reducing antibiotic use.
Honey was studied alongside the commonly used cough suppressant dextromethorphan in a 2021 study. Both honey and dextromethorphan were effective in reducing coughing, according to the study’s authors. They found that honey performed similarly to dextromethorphan in some tests and slightly better in others. A tablespoon of honey can be taken orally, or it can be mixed into a warm drink like herbal tea.
2. Use steam cautiously
A dry cough can be made worse by dry airways. Taking a hot shower or bath before bed, or even just hanging around in a steamy bathroom, may be very relaxing.
3. Keep an eye on the relative humidity
If the air is dry, a humidifier might ease coughs. On the other hand, if there is too much humidity in your bedroom, you may find that you cannot stop coughing. Allergens like dust mites and mold flourish in humid environments. You should maintain the normal humidity level. An affordable hygrometer can be purchased from a hardware shop and used to measure the relative humidity in the air.
4. Incline your bed
Stomach acid might more easily run back into the esophagus when you’re lying down. Consequently, you shouldn’t go to sleep for at least 2.5 hours after eating. Additionally, you could try elevating the top of your bed by 6-8 inches.
In addition to those who suffer from acid reflux, practically anyone who has trouble sleeping through the night due to a cough might benefit from resting on their back.
When you’re lying down, it’s much simpler for irritants to get to your throat and cause a cough.
Make the first move by propping up some pillows above your head. Or, if you want to splurge, you can get one that you can modify.
5. Clean your mouth out with some salt water
A mixture of salt and water is one of the most basic and effective cough treatments. Your child can gargle a solution made from half a teaspoon of salt and eight ounces of water. Coughing can be irritating to the throat, and this should help with that.
As the irritated tissue of the upper respiratory tract is often the result of excess mucus and fluids, the use of salt as a cure for coughing and sore throats is a tried and true method.
6. Consider medicine
Medications available without a prescription can help in two ways with coughing. To assist cough up mucus, take an expectorant. Cough suppressants work by inhibiting the neural pathways that trigger the cough reflex. To ensure you get the correct medication, read the label thoroughly.
Indirectly or directly, some natural therapies may help alleviate a person’s cough.
Although many of them at least have some scientific support, they might not be effective for everyone. Also, natural therapies may not guarantee safety for everyone.
Before considering any new supplements or home remedies, people who are currently taking medications or who are living with particular health issues should consult with the best ENT doctor.
1. What makes the cough worse at night?
When you’re lying flat, mucus will start accumulating in the back of your throat, called postnasal drip. Acid reflux is another cause of nighttime coughing. Remember that acid, like mucus, viruses, and dust, is an irritant to the throat.
2. How long can a cough attack last?
Paroxysmal coughing often lasts anywhere from one week to six weeks. Paroxysmal coughing can grow so violent that it causes vomiting and can deplete your blood of oxygen, causing your lips or skin to become blue.
3. What causes sudden coughing attacks?
Extreme coughing, especially when combined with a full stomach, can cause nausea and vomiting. Cough-variant asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acid reflux (GERD), and postnasal drip are typical triggers for such severe bouts of coughing.
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