How to Sleep When You Keep Coughing: Effective Tips and Remedies

Coughing is the body’s natural reflex to clear the airways of irritants. However, it can become bothersome and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Sleeping while coughing may seem impossible, but there are ways to manage it and get some much-needed rest.

Understand the Causes behind Your Cough

Before you start looking for solutions on how to sleep better while coughing, understanding why you keep coughing is crucial. Some common causes of chronic cough include allergies, asthma, acid reflux disease (GERD), postnasal drip, or respiratory tract infections like the flu or pneumonia.

If your condition is severe or persistent over an extended period and accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.


Allergies cause inflammation in the nasal passage resulting in mucus build-up triggering a dry tickly cough which can worsen at night


Asthmatics experience shortness of breath due to inflammation leading to constriction of bronchi causing wheeziness also known as nocturnal asthma making sleep difficult

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

Acidic content from stomach gets back up into food pipe during GERD causing irritation which leads to resultant dry irritating cough

Tips for Getting Better Sleep with a Cough

Here are tips that can help you improve your chances of getting quality rest despite having a persistent cold-related nighttime cough:

Elevate Your Head Above Your Body’s Level

Elevation helps reduce post-nasal drip flow back into throat hence reducing frequency and duration of night-time spells.

You can use extra pillows under your head instead but sleeping upright isn’t recommended since it can lead to neck pain.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids (preferably warm) throughout the day helps keep your throat moist and reduce irritation leading to less coughing at night. Honey and lemon in warm water can be soothing for a tickly cough as well

Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, or Smoking

These substances have been shown to irritate the air passages resulting in exacerbation of symptoms hence it’s better avoiding them before bedtime.

Breathe Moist Air with Humidifiers or Steamy Showers

Dry air aggravates a persistent cough by irritating the throat lining so using humidifiers may ease symptoms making it easier to sleep. Taking steamy showers also has effects similar to that of humidifiers as they help relieve chest congestion.

Taking Over-The-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications such as lozenges, cough syrups or antihistamines provide relief from nighttime dryness and soothes irritated throats although use only after consulting with pharmacist regarding interactions with other prescribed medicines if any .

If none of these methods work, consult your doctor about prescription medication options like inhalers which may offer additional benefits depending on underlying causes. In any case, avoid self-medicating especially with over-the-counter treatments since some ingredients have negative interactions when combined inadvertently blocking progress towards recovery


In summary, getting good quality rest while still having a persistent cold-related nighttime cough is achievable through several measures including elevating your head above body level while sleeping , staying hydrated throughout the day taking steamy showers sometimes humming along favorite tunes not forgetting regular medical check-ups following consultant’s advice Lastly If you are experiencing severe or persistent symptoms such as fever seek medical attention immediately.