Many people have a cough that worsens at night, especially a dry cough at night, which also affects sleep, is very uncomfortable and painful, and may seriously affect lung health if it is not relieved for a long time. Is there a good way to stop coughing at night? Here, I will introduce in detail the possible causes of dry cough and cough at night, and introduce 6 ways to stop coughing quickly at night.

1. What’s wrong with a bad dry cough at night that prevents you from sleeping?

1.1 Allergic cough

Allergic cough is mainly a morning and evening cough, but there is no obvious seasonality. The cough can also be aggravated after exercise and often recurs for more than a month.

1.2 Caused by bronchitis

Bronchitis is mainly caused by coughing in the early morning and midnight because the human body temperature and air temperature are at their lowest in the midnight and early morning when getting cold and inhaling cold air will cause coughing.

1.3 Upper airway cough syndrome causes

Upper airway cough syndrome is mostly caused by nasal diseases that cause secretions to flow backward behind the nose and throat to backflow into the voice box or trachea, which leads to coughing after throat tickling, especially at night when nasal secretions are channeled to the throat causing coughing.

1.4 Caused by pharyngolaryngitis

Patients with pharyngitis have spasmodic edema in their pharynx due to inflammation, causing narrowing of the pharynx and increased secretions from the lungs at night, thus stimulating the pharynx and causing coughing to worsen at night. Patients with chronic pharyngitis always feel a dry and itchy sensation in the pharynx, so they often want to contour the pharynx with a dry cough, thus leading to an irritating dry cough.

1.5 Caused by chronic bronchitis

Patients with chronic bronchitis have increased bronchial secretions from the lung organs at night, and when people are asleep they cannot expel phlegm in a timely manner. When changing positions and changing sleeping positions at night, the secretions stimulate the smooth muscle of the bronchi to contract, leading to a strong cough at night.

1.6 The lungs undergo detoxification at night resulting in

Coughing clears the throat and bronchial foreign bodies and is a way of detoxifying the body. 1:00-3:00 pm is the time when the body’s blood and qi run to the lung meridian when the lungs start to self-regulate and repair, and it is normal to have a slight cough at this time.

1.7 Improper diet before bedtime

Long-term consumption of spicy and irritating food can easily lead to coughing caused by strong lung fire, especially if you eat excessively at night before going to bed, which may cause the stomach and intestines to not get proper rest and develop a cough with food accumulation.

1.8 Improper sleeping environment causes

When sleeping at night, many people are accustomed to closing their doors and windows tightly. The indoor air is turbid, with less oxygen and more waste, and if the air is too dry, the throat will feel itchy, thus stimulating the lungs and causing a cough.

1.9 Allergies to sleep products cause

If you have little or no cough during the daytime, but your throat is always itchy when you sleep at night and then you cough more than once, you need to consider that it is caused by respiratory allergies, which may be related to the quilts and pillows used, and the allergens may be cotton wool, dust, mites, etc.

2. How can I tell what causes a dry cough and cough at night?

A dry or irritating cough is commonly associated with acute or chronic laryngitis, laryngeal cancer, the initial stage of acute bronchitis, tracheal compression, bronchial foreign bodies, bronchial tumors, pleural disease, primary pulmonary hypertension, and mitral stenosis, while nocturnal cough is common in patients with left heart failure and pulmonary tuberculosis. The following symptoms can be used in life to initially determine the possible causes, such as

2.1 Cough with fever: Most commonly seen in acute upper and lower respiratory tract infections such as pulmonary tuberculosis pleurisy.

2.2 Cough with chest pain: Commonly seen in pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchopulmonary cancer pulmonary embolism and spontaneous pneumothorax, etc.

2.3 Cough with dyspnea: common in laryngeal edema laryngeal tumor, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, severe pneumonia, tuberculosis, massive pleural effusion, pneumothorax pulmonary stasis, pulmonary edema, and tracheal or bronchial foreign bodies.

2.4 Cough with hemoptysis: common in bronchiectasis tuberculosis pulmonary abscess, bronchopulmonary carcinoma, mitral stenosis, bronchial calculi pulmonary iron-containing hemoglobin deposition, etc.

2.5 Cough with croup: Most commonly seen in bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiogenic asthma, diffuse panbronchitis, tracheal and bronchial foreign bodies, etc. When bronchopulmonary cancer causes incomplete obstruction of the trachea and bronchi, inspiratory croup with a restricted distribution may appear.

2.6 Cough with pestle-like fingers (toes): common in bronchiectasis, chronic lung abscess, bronchopulmonary carcinoma, and colloid chest.

3. Quick ways to stop coughing at night

If you have a strong dry cough at night, the following methods are recommended to relieve the treatment.

3.1 Salt water gargling method

Coughing at night may be caused by things like clothing fibers, animal hair, and dust particles in your throat, which cause your throat to itch before you keep coughing, and light salt water has a disinfecting effect on your mouth, which can open up your throat passages to make your breathing smooth and relieve coughing symptoms.

Directions: Pour a cup of cool boiled water, put in a spoonful of salt, and gargle several times repeatedly until the tickling sensation in the throat is reduced and the cough will be relieved quickly.

3.2 Press and rub the Taiyuan point to stop coughing

Location: Taiyuan point is located on the radial side of the transverse wrist palm line, where the radial artery pulsates.

Method: Press and rub in a circular motion with the thumb, 50-100 times, which can be done alone.

Efficacy: In the middle of the night when coughing, it is very convenient and useful to press and knead the Taiyuan point. The Taiyuan point is the original point of the lung meridian, and pressing it can enhance the middle energy, strengthen the respiratory function of the lungs, reduce the resistance of the airway, replenish the lungs and benefit the energy, stop coughing and resolve phlegm, and open the meridians and revive the veins.

3.3 Ginger on the soles of the feet

Principle: Ginger is warm and pungent, and contains a variety of pungent volatile oils, while the Yongquan point is mainly used to treat lung-related diseases. Slicing or crushing garlic and compressing it on the Yongquan point on the soles of the feet can stimulate the point and relieve wind-cold cough.


  • Clean your feet well with hot water at night and apply a small amount of petroleum jelly on the soles of your feet.
  • Then shred the ginger, then heat a pan with a little oil, add the shredded ginger, and stir-fry until the ginger is burnt.
  •  Then prepare two pieces of gauze, put the fried ginger on the gauze wrapped, paste it on the feet of the Yongquan point location (location in the heel up 1/3 of the palm), fixed with gauze or medical tape, the next morning remove, continuous use 4-5 days, the cough effect is very good.

3.4 Mugwort foot soak

Composition: mugwort leaves 30-50 grams.

Effect: Dispersing cold and relieving cough, suitable for wind-cold cough.


  • Decoct mugwort leaves in about 1,500 ml of boiling water for about 15 minutes and fish out the leaves.
  •  Pour the decoction into a small foot basin and place your feet on the rim of the basin to receive fumigation while it is hot. To avoid evaporation of the medicinal gas, cover your feet with a cloth slightly larger than the foot basin.
  •  When the water temperature is slightly lower than the feet can tolerate, the feet can be placed directly in the basin to soak.

This method is once a night (to bedtime is better), each time 15 ~ 20 minutes, generally 3 ~ 5 times in a row that can cure the cough.

The course of treatment: 5 days for a course of treatment.

3.5 Lily Snow Pear Paste

Principle: Lily is slightly cold and sweet in nature, and has the effect of nourishing Yin and moistening the lung, clearing the heart, and calming the mind, while Snow Pear is cold in nature and sweet in taste, and has the effect of generating fluid and moistening dryness, clearing heat and resolving phlegm, Lily and Snow Pear together have better cough and phlegm effect, can be used to treat dry cough, blood in phlegm, dry mouth, and thirst, hoarse voice and other symptoms.

Ingredients: lily 250g, snow pear 4, honey 250g.


  •  Soak lily in water for 1 night, the next day with water to cook with low fire until extremely rotten.
  •  Snow pear washed and squeezed juice, with honey together in a pot, and lily simmered together into a thick liquid.
  •  In a tile jar. Use 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 tablespoon in the evening, and drink warm with boiling water.

3.6 Medicine to stop cough

If the cough condition is serious or persists for a long time, it is recommended to promptly seek a medical diagnosis of the condition and then treat the cough with medication under the guidance of a doctor to avoid the aggravation of the cough condition or injury to the lungs, resulting in a deficient and prolonged cough in the lungs in the future, which is difficult to cure.

4. Things to keep in mind when coughing at night

In addition to the above 6 ways to stop coughing, the following 3 things should be noted in daily life to cope with nighttime cough.

4.1 Adjust your body position

It is advisable for people with nighttime coughs to sleep on their side with a high pillow to reduce the irritation to the throat.

4.2 Open doors and windows

The turbid air in the bedroom stimulates the lungs and can trigger or aggravate a cough at night. It is recommended that people with a bad cough in the middle of the night should make sure that the air in the room is well-ventilated and that the doors and windows are opened appropriately for ventilation.

4.3 Avoid getting cold

When it is cold at night, people with poor health are more likely to wake up with a cough in the middle of the night, so it is important to keep warm at night, cover yourself with a thick blanket, and turn on the heating or use an electric blanket when it is cold in winter to avoid catching a cold and cough.

If you have a dry cough at night, you should seek medical attention to identify the cause and treat it according to the primary disease. In addition, the room where you live should be ventilated to maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity; you should not eat spicy and irritating food before going to bed to moisten the respiratory tract to reduce stimulation; and you should usually try the six quick cough relief methods described in the article according to your own situation. At the same time, choose a suitable exercise method to continuously enhance physical fitness, and the dry cough at night will gradually improve.



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