Cough is the body’s reaction to a violation of the respiratory system.

Attacks occur at any time of the day, but more often disturb at night, when a person takes a horizontal position. There are several reasons for this pathology.

The main provoking factors

A coughing attack is a spasm of the membranes of the airways, a defensive reaction to any negative factor. When inflammation or irritation occurs, mucus forms inside the bronchi.

When you cough, it goes out, the airways are cleared. In the supine position, mucus accumulates, clogs the nasopharynx, preventing free breathing. The result is excruciating coughing fits. 

A nocturnal cough while lying down can be a symptom of respiratory pathologies. The most severe option is pneumonia. The disease is accompanied by shortness of breath, chest pains, general deterioration of health.

The symptom is typical for bronchial asthma. The attack occurs due to muscle spasm and swelling of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.

This cough is accompanied by choking, wheezing, chest pain. This is a chronic pathology that requires lifelong medication.

Causes of cough in a horizontal position, not associated with diseases:

  • Smoking. When smoldering, tobacco forms caustic substances that destroy the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. Solid particles settle in the respiratory organs, forming a dense plaque. The bronchi and lungs are trying to cleanse themselves, and an increased amount of mucus is produced.
  • Dust accumulation. Microparticles that are constantly present in the air can act as an irritant. Smog causes a similar reaction if the bedroom windows face a busy roadway.
  • Contact with corrosive substances. Night cough is a companion for chemical workers. Their respiratory system is constantly exposed to potential allergens and irritants.
  • Bed bugs, ticks. Small arthropods settle in underwear and pillows. Their waste products are a strong allergen that provokes coughing attacks.

Diagnostic measures

Regular bouts of cough that gets worse when lying down is a reason to see a doctor. Consultation of a therapist, otolaryngologist, pulmonologist is required.

At the initial examination, the doctor will study the clinical picture, listen to the lungs for wheezing. To clarify the diagnosis, a blood test, sputum examination, spirometry are prescribed.

The examination may reveal: 

  1. bronchitis;
  2. tracheitis;
  3. whooping cough;
  4. sinusitis;
  5. tuberculosis;
  6. reflux esophagitis.

An alarming sign is the addition of additional symptoms to a cough while lying down. 

It can be fever, chills, loss of appetite, increased sweating. They signal complications and the need for immediate medical attention.

What to do with a night cough

Treatment methods depend on the factors that trigger the symptom. If it is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are given. 

In other cases, antiviral drugs, mucolytics , antihistamines may be required .

Supportive measures are relevant for any cause of cough:

  • Increase in humidity in the room. Airing will help get rid of dry air. You can buy a humidifier or hang wet towels on the radiators.
  • Inhalation. Inhalation of warm steam will help soothe mucous membranes and make it easier for sputum to pass. It is impossible to carry out the procedure at an elevated body temperature.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. The liquid will soften the nasopharynx, make the phlegm less thick, and accelerate the elimination of toxins from the body.

To thin sputum, folk remedies are used – infusions based on licorice or coltsfoot.

Walking before bedtime, regular wet cleaning in the room, taking vitamins to strengthen immunity are useful. These simple measures will speed up your recovery and prevent new coughing attacks.