A cough is the reaction of the body to irritants such as allergens, mucus, stomach acids or odor that affects the respiratory tract. Coughing clears foreign secretions or substances from the lungs in order to avoid infection. Some conditions such as infections of the respiratory tract, postnasal drip, acid reflux and bronchitis can cause coughing at night time and cause interruption in sleep and make the condition worse.
Causes of coughing at night
- Viruses that cause cold and croup, allergens, bacterial infection and asthma can cause coughing at night among children. A child suffering from croup there is a barking cough caused by swelling in the trachea and larynx or windpipe.
- Changes in temperature at night can cause coughing at night
- The prone position of the child when sleeping can cause coughing at night. This is due to the mucus found in the nasal passages that go down into the throat that usually occurs with common cold and sinusitis.
- Postnasal drip can also cause coughing at night time.
- Exposure to dry cold air and asthma can cause coughing at night, due to the sensitivity of the respiratory tract to irritants during night.
- Using air fresheners inside the bedroom during night time.
- Bed linens that are not changed regularly might have allergens and cause coughing at night.
Treatment and home remedies of coughing at night in children
- Elevate the head of the child when sleeping in order to help prevent the mucus from draining down into the throat from the nose. It also gives comfort to the child from coughing at night when suffering from common cold, sinusitis and rhinitis.
- Install a humidifier inside the room of the affected child since this helps increase moisture in the air and also helpful in cough that is dry and croupy.
- Provide plenty of fluids to the child in order to maintain proper hydration and helps in liquefying the cough and makes it easier to expel.
- Take out the seeds from cardamom which is a spice which is used as flavoring for foods. Ground the seeds to a fine powder and mix one teaspoon of honey to it. Give the mixture to the affected child before going to sleep at night. Honey and cardamom helps in suppressing cough.
- If there is accumulation of mucus in the nose due to postnasal discharge, fill one drop of saline water inside each nostril since it helps in clearing the nasal passages from clogged mucus. Salt water helps in eliminating the germs that causes the condition. Saline solution is prepared by mixing a pinch of salt in a cup of boiled and clean water and when it is already cool, it is ready to use.
- Add a pinch of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and then add a teaspoon of honey for better taste. Mix all the ingredients well and provide to the affected child before going to bed. Honey and turmeric powder has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.