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Why Does Asthma Cause Coughing At Night

How To Sleep Better With Severe Asthma

Nighttime Wheezing: Could It Be Asthma?

In addition to taking asthma medications as prescribed, here are seven steps you can take to lower your chances of having a nighttime asthma attack:

1. Clean your bedroom regularly. Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter to trap mites and their waste and get them out of your bedroom. If your vacuum doesnt have a HEPA filter, you can buy one from an allergy supply company, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American .

2. Wash your bedding in hot water weekly. Make sure the water is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit so it will kill dust mites. Finish the job in a hot dryer.

3. Invest in dust-proof mattress and pillow protectors. These zippered covers are woven tightly to keep dust mites out of bedding. You can find them at bedding and housewares stores, the AAFA says.

4. Invest in a humidifier. Cold air is drier and more troublesome for people with severe asthma. Depending on where you live, you might benefit from a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your bedroom in the winter, Bose says. Whats more: Dust mites thrive in low humidity, so boosting humidity by using a humidifier in your bedroom can help keep dust mites at bay.

5. Dont sleep with pets. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom so their dander doesnt collect or stick to the carpeting and bedding, Bose says. You may also need to keep the door to your bedroom shut to keep your pet and its dander out.

Peak Flow Meter For Diagnosis

Peak flow meter measurements are used to diagnose asthma, including nighttime asthma. A peak flow meter is a handheld device provided to asthma patients as part of their asthma care plan, said Jameel F. Durrani, MD, of the Regional Lung and Sleep Clinic in Allentown, Pa. These devices help to compare the severity of airway narrowing or spasm at different times of the day.

Studies show that anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of patients with asthma tell their doctors about waking up with nighttime asthma symptoms at least once a month. You can have nocturnal asthma regardless of the type of asthma you have including allergic, nonallergic, occupational, and exercise-induced asthma.

If you have nighttime asthma, chances are its because your asthma is poorly controlled. All asthmatics can get nocturnal asthma if their asthma is out of control, Gilbert said.

The best way to control nighttime asthma is to control your asthma in general. If you wake up more than twice a month with asthma symptoms, then you need to be on controller therapy, Gilbert said. If you wake up in the middle of the night, you can take your rescue inhaler to ease your symptoms. But that wont prevent it from happening again.

If youre waking up more than twice a night with cough, wheezing, or chest tightness, then your asthma is poorly controlled and you need to review your asthma treatment plan with your health care provider, Dr. Durrani added.

Does Melatonin Improve Sleep In Asthma

Researchers have revealed that the hormone melatonin plays a vital role in improving the sleep cycle in asthma patients. Melatonin helps in regulating human circadian rhythms and is believed to have sleep-inducing activity. Additionally, melatonin studies suggest that it affects smooth muscle tone and inflammation too. Both of which helps in improving the sleep cycle for asthma patients at night.

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Whats An Asthma Attack

When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:

  • Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
  • Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
  • Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.

What To Do During An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler At Night

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Follow these tips to survive a night-time asthma attack without an inhaler:

  • Sit straight to keep your airways open
  • Stay calm, as stress or panic can worsen your symptoms
  • Take long, deep breaths to reduce symptoms
  • Asthma can be triggered by dust, cigarette smoke, and other allergens. Stay away from triggers and go to any area with clean air.
  • A cup of coffee can open up your airways and provide you some relief
  • Seek emergency medical attention if symptoms persist

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What Causes An Asthma Attack

An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.

What To Do When Asthma Stops You Sleeping

  • If you have asthma symptoms, sit up and take your reliever inhaler as prescribed.;
  • Always make sure your inhaler is beside your bed before you go to sleep, so you dont have to search for it in the middle of the night.
  • Give yourself a bit of time to check your reliever medicine has dealt with your symptoms before you go back to sleep, says Dr Andy Whittamore. This is better than falling asleep straight away only to wake up soon after with asthma symptoms because your reliever didnt help enough.
  • Some people find propping themselves up with extra pillows helps as it keeps the airways open.

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Video: Phlegm And Asthma

Phlegm and asthma

0:07 Gross as it looksphlegm and mucus protect your body from infection.

0:11 A little bit of phlegm is totally normal but if your phlegm

0:18 changes in colour thickness or amount it could be a sign that you’re ill and your

0:20 asthma may be affected

0:23 if you find you’ve been coughing up more phlegm than

0:28 usual this could be a sign that your airways are inflamed this can cause

0:34 asthma symptoms like coughing wheezing shortness of breath or a tight chest

0:38 You should take your daily preventer inhaler as prescribed and it should help stop

0:42 these symptoms because it reduces the inflammation in your airways over time

0:47 if you’re doing this and still getting a lot of mucus on your chest you should

0:51 book an appointment with your doctor or ask the nurse

1:00 if you have yellow or green phlegm this might be a sign of an infection like a cold flu or a chest

1:04 infection these can often make asthma symptoms worse so it’s really important

1:09 to keep taking your preventer inhaler every day

1:15 if your phlegm is streaked with blood this is usually down to the pressure put on the blood vessels if

1:19 you’re coughing a lot the best thing you can do in this case is to see your

1:24 doctor to make sure it’s nothing to worry about if you have brown or black

1:28 tinged phlegm it usually occurs in smokers or if you have COPD chronic

1:34 obstructive lung disease as well as asthma when you stop smoking even just

What Triggers Asthma Attacks At Night

Why Do People Cough? | Asthma
  • Colder airways work less effectively, resulting in a narrowing that causes wheezing and coughing at night. However, before turning up the heating, its important to consider the effect of overheating at night, particularly for babies and young children. Learn more about baby sleeping temperatures.
  • Lying flat can also cause more wheezing and coughing at night due to a combination of factors, such as decreased lung volume and a build-up of catarrh in the airways.
  • Night-time allergies, such as allergic rhinitis, can cause catarrh to flow from the nose to the throat, triggering coughing and breathing difficulties at night. House dust mites are one of the most common causes of night-time allergies as they like to live in mattresses and bedding.
  • Incorrect medication use or dosage: regularly coughing and wheezing at night could be a sign that you are not taking your medicine effectively, or that the dosage or type of medication needs to be reviewed.

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How Do You Calm An Asthma Attack

A reliever inhaler is the best treatment for an asthma attack, but in case one isnt on hand, sit upright and force yourself to take long, deep breaths. It improves lung function, wont irritate airways, and slows your breathing, preventing hyperventilation. If symptoms worsen, seek emergency medical help immediately.

Video: Asthma And Your Sleep

Transcript for Asthma and your sleep

0:04 We hear from a lot of people on our

0:07 helpline and on social media that asthma does

0:10 interrupt their sleep on a

0:11 regular basis. As a health care

0:13 professional I know that unfortunately,

0:14 this means that your asthma is not quite

0:16 as well controlled as it can be. And it’s

0:18 worth making appointment with your GP or

0:20 your practice nurse to see what we can

0:21 do to help relieve those symptoms and

0:24 actually improve your quality of sleep.

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Could My Cough Be Covid

Cough can be a symptom of asthma, hay fever, cold and flu, or COVID-19.

Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital respiratory clinician Dr. John Blakey told Asthma Australia that people with an asthma cough may have found it challenging amid the COVID-19 heightened concern when it comes to displaying respiratory symptoms.

Under these circumstances, we would encourage people to keep it simple, be transparent about their cough and be willing to say, Its my normal asthma cough, he says.

He says when considering if the symptom could be from COVID-19 think about whether there are other issues such as a sore throat, fatigue, runny nose or congestion, or breathlessness.

A major factor is whether the person has been in contact with a COVID-19 case or a person who has been overseas recently.

He also suggests asking yourself if the cough is more persistent or produces unusual mucous or has worse symptoms in the nose especially with the sense of smell.

For more information on asthma symptoms,; call 1800 ASTHMA ;and speak to an Asthma Educator.

Get more support for your asthma management by joining Asthma Assist.


Why Is My Child’s Asthma Worse At Night

Why Does My Child Only Cough at Night?

There are no proven reasons why asthma may be worse at night. Possibilities may include:

Allergen exposure. If youâre around items that trigger or cause you to have symptoms, thatâs allergen exposure. Common triggers include:

  • Dust mites
  • Allergens and mold that can build up in bedding, pillows and mattresses

Sleeping position. If youâre leaning back or lying down, this can cause drainage or postnasal drip, less lung capacity and more resistance in your airways.

Gastroesophageal disease . GERD involves the stomach and esophagus or the part of the body that connects the throat and stomach. GERD symptoms can make asthma worse.

After lying down to sleep, stomach contents or acid can come back up into the esophagus. If your child wakes up from the discomfort, your child can aspirate or fluid can get in their lungs. This can cause coughing and difficulty breathing.

Air conditioning. AC cools down the air in a building. If your body’s airways are cooled by AC while you sleep, this can trigger asthma. Many homes in Seattle don’t have AC. Remember when you travel, your hotel may have AC.

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What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Cough

Cough variant asthma or an asthma cough is usually known to have no other symptom apart from a chronic dry and nonproductive cough. A nonproductive cough means that it does not produce any mucus. Lasting for more than 8 to 10 weeks in adults and more than 5 weeks in children, an asthma cough is not considered to be a serious condition on its own. However, a chronic cough is irritating and disrupts your daily life.

Sometimes, to understand whether or not your cough is happening due to asthma, doctors may assess if you have any of these related symptoms:

Keep in mind that it is necessary to treat an asthma cough properly and in time because if it is left untreated and ignored, then it may progress into regular asthma. If you notice the following symptoms, your asthma cough might well be developing into classic asthma:

  • Tightness feeling in the chest
  • Difficulty in breathing followed by shortness of breath
  • Asthma attacks when you feel that the air is not able to reach your lungs due to the narrowing of the airways

Personal Asthma Action Plan

As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.

If you’ve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.

The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.

Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.

As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.

Want to know more?

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What Causes Asthma Cough: Its Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment

Having a cough can be a big nuisance. Not only are you hacking away the entire day, but it often leaves you feeling tired and out of breath. Constantly coughing in the office can also become a cause of embarrassment when it refuses to let up. In fact, statistics show that a cough is one of the most common reasons or complaints for which people seek medical attention. Asthma cough, also known as cough variant asthma, is a form of asthma that only presents with a cough. Due to the fact that most people associate asthma with breathing trouble, asthma cough tends to go undiagnosed many a times.

Tips To Sleep Better With Severe Asthma At Night

Why does cough aggravates in night? – Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy T M

Nocturnal asthma is associated with poor sleep quality. This condition of sleeplessness and its effects are worse for children. The average total sleep quality score of children affected by asthma is 51, which is above the clinical cut off of 41, but it indicates the pervasive sleep disturbances among this population.

Here are a few tips that can help you sleep better with asthma at night:

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Does Having Phlegm Mean My Asthma Is Getting Worse

Coughing up more phlegm than usual could be a sign that your airways are inflamed. This means your airways get narrower and this can cause other asthma symptoms, like:

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • breathlessness.

If you have more asthma symptoms than usual, your reliever inhaler will help open up your airways. But remember, if youre using your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, you need to see your doctor.;

Taking your daily preventer inhaler as prescribed should help reduce the inflammation thats causing your asthma symptoms. Find out more about how preventer inhalers help asthma.

Why Asthma Gets Worse At Night

Whether asthma symptoms prevent you from falling asleep or wake you up in the middle of the night, it can be frustrating. The exact reason why asthma may be worse for some people at night is not completely understood. However, there are certain factors that appear to play a role.

Asthma might be worse at night for several reasons including the following:

Sleep Position

When you sleep and are in a reclining position, mucus from your sinuses can drip down your throat. This can trigger coughing, which makes it more difficult to breathe. The gravity from lying flat when you sleep also puts added pressure on your lungs and chest, which might increase shortness of breath in people with asthma.


Hormones affect most functions in your body, including your sleep cycle. Various hormones can change when you sleep.

For example, epinephrine helps widen and relax the airways. Your levels of epinephrine naturally decline when you sleep. The lower levels of the hormone may cause airways to narrow slightly. Histamine may also increase overnight, which causes airway restriction.


Allergens often trigger asthma symptoms. Common allergens may include dust mites and pet dander, which may be lurking in your bedroom.


Depending on the temperature in your bedroom, it may be making asthma symptoms worse. People with asthma have sensitive airways. If you sleep with the air too warm or too cold, you may be reacting to the temperature change.

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How Asthma Is Treated

While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.

Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:

  • relieving symptoms;
  • preventing future symptoms and attacks

For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.

You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.

These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.

Read our page on the;causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.

Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.


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