Discover the ‘easy to do’ tips that can help support a good night’s sleep when you’ve got a cough.
Coughing in your sleep makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. A night of cough-interrupted sleep can mean increased tiredness the next day and can also make it harder to recover from illness. However, there are ways to help reduce coughing while trying to fall asleep, but first it’s good to understand why we cough and then discover what ‘easy to do’ tips can help us get that good night’s sleep we all enjoy, even when sick.
Coughing is a natural reflex that the body uses to protect itself.1 Coughing helps to clear the airways of small particles, mucus and bacteria, or any food or drink that we may have accidentally inhaled.
It is also a symptom of the common cold and the ‘flu’, which often gets worse at night and affects our quality and quantity of sleep.
There is a strong link between quality sleep and immune system function. Studies have found that people who don’t sleep well are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. A lack of sleep can also affect your speed of recovery.
The best way to prevent coughing in your sleep starts well before you go to bed.
Fluids – drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water, juice (ideally with added vitamin C) and broths are good choices. Ensuring you have enough fluids will help to thin the mucus in the throat, so it can cleared more easily.
Nutrition – consider increasing foods like onions, garlic and shallots that have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Adding chicken soup to the menu may also be of benefit – it has a number of beneficial properties.
At the same time reduce foods that are thought to be mucus causing, such as wheat, dairy products and sugar.
Honey – A study found that 1 and a half teaspoons of honey at bedtime helped reduce coughing in children. Add some to warm water with lemon, or eat it straight off the spoon.
Sleep with your head elevated – prop your head and neck up slightly while you sleep. This will help your nasal passages drain in the evening and reduce pressure in your head.
Use a humidifier – using a humidifier in your bedroom can help to reduce the dryness of the air. Dry air is known to irritate the throat and can cause coughing in your sleep.
These tips, along with helping your immune system with antioxidant rich nutrients and immune and respiratory supporting herbs, can help you obtain the rest and respite you need when feeling ill.
References Available Upon Request.