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5 Causes For Coughing at Night

Why You Have a Nagging Night-Time Cough

You feel fine all day, but something happens when you tuck yourself into bed. A tickle in your throat leads to a nagging cough that only seems to happen at night, interfering with your sleep and leaving you irritable the next day. If you've ruled out the common cold or other respiratory infections, here are five common reasons you may be coughing at night.

  • Asthma: Most people equate asthma with the image of someone gasping for air. Although this can definitely be a symptom, most people with asthma commonly experience a dry cough. Make sure to talk to your doctor about getting tested for asthma to rule it out as the cause of your coughing.
  • Sinusitis: A chronic stuffy nose caused by allergies or a long-term sickness such as a sinus infection that won't go away could also be the culprit. When sinuses are clogged, the mucus can drip down the back of the throat (postnasal drip), causing that annoying tickle. If using a neti pot doesn't help, over-the-counter allergy meds or a prescription nasal spray could help clear your sinuses.
  • Acid reflux: Acid reflux disease, aka GERD, can also cause coughing. When lying down, the acid in your stomach, which causes indigestion and heartburn, can also wash into your lungs. If you think that GERD is the problem, try eating a smaller dinner earlier in the evening and prop your head up on a couple pillows when you sleep. If this doesn't help, there are also OTC medications that work wonders.
  • Iron deficiency: A diet lacking certain nutrients can also contribute to a chronic cough. If your body is low in iron, swelling and irritation in the back of your throat could be a symptom, which can lead to coughing. If this sounds familiar, then an iron supplement may be all you need.
  • Check your drugs: Meds, like ACE inhibitors prescribed for high blood pressure, can create the side effect of a dry cough. Talk to your pharmacist to see if your coughing could be caused by one of the medications you're on.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO
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Yvonne2394179 Yvonne2394179 5 years
at nights i cough non stop i have an itiching in my throat that would not stop i get shortness of breath just moving around and cannot breathe i us three of am asthma pumps  because i have copd please any advice for me help thank you
TheNewAlicia TheNewAlicia 7 years
I've been coughing at night and when I would laugh and it was AWFUL! No one could tell me the cause. I went to a pulmonary specialist and he diagnosed me with everything from sarcoidosis, asthma, name it. He tried everything such as inhalers, rescue inhalers, etc. and NOTHING WORKED!In my frustration I decided to go to my PCP and have blood work done and began trying to self diagnose myself. When the lab work came back my PCP told me that I had a very low red blood count and that I was borderline anemic...I asked what could have caused this and she asked if I'd had any heavy bleeding...That's when the light came on!During the months of December and January I had an extremely abnormal period which caused me to lose a lot of blood. Now everything began to make sense...I started investigating and reading everything that I could on anemia. In my quest for education I realized that the low red blood cells were the cause of my coughing, weakness, dizziness, etc. THANK YOU GOD!I realize now that it's imperative that each person becomes proactive in their own health...And that's exactly what I'm doing now!
Beaner Beaner 8 years
Me too princess eab. I was coughing for months and my ENT doc put me on 2 months of antibiotics to get rid of my sinusitis. Then when that didn't work, he anted to perform sinus surgery. When I got a second opinion, I found out I had asthma, triggered by allergies to my cats :( It was sad finding new homes for my putties, but I feel a million times better. Stupid ENT doctor.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
you know, i learned something new here. i'm severely anemic and i never related the coughing that i sometimes get at night to this - but now it could be related huh! thank you for posting this - i think that i'll ask my hematologist about this the next time i see him.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
That's how I found out I had asthma - I was having coughing fits all day long.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
ive been suffering from this lately. I hate it!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
*take meds
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
Same here Rosa. I have to meds every day.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 8 years
Sinusitis victim here. There's nothing more annoying than coughing all night.
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