NIGHT VERSUS DAY COUGHING

night-vs-day-coughing-heading

We may notice that sometimes we cough more frequently during a certain time of the day.

Why do we tend to cough more at night? And, why does cough seem to be worse in the morning? 1

What is a cough?

Firstly, we need to understand a cough and the difference between common cough types.

A cough is the body’s way of removing foreign materials or mucus from the lungs or a reaction to an irritation2,3. It can be voluntary or involuntary depending on its cause 2. There are two main types of cough; wet cough or a dry cough. A wet cough; also known as a productive cough produces phlegm and can be described as chesty or loose whereas a dry cough, also known as an unproductive cough doesn’t produce phlegm and can be described as tickly or irritating 1-3. A cough associated with a cold can often start dry, become wet and then become dry again as the person recovers, all of which can be very uncomfortable1-9.

Morning vs. Night cough

When it comes to symptoms worsening at night or in the morning, here is what we know:

A wet cough is often worse in the morning as mucus or phlegm can build-up overnight and pool in your lungs. When you start to move around in the morning, the phlegm starts to break up and may trigger a coughing fit1. This can occur during common cold, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) to name a few conditions.

Coughing at the beginning of sleep or when waking up in the morning can be caused by nasal conditions such as sinusitis10.

Postnasal drip can cause both a cough at night and upon waking up in the morning. Postnasal drip is described as excess mucus that drips down the back of your throat to cause irritation which can trigger your cough reflex and prompt coughing11.  This mucus can also pool in the lungs and need to be coughed up in the morning1. Postnasal drip is a symptom of a cold, flu or allergy.

Coughing at night can make it more difficult to fall asleep, and this may affect your quality of life 11. Common causes of a night-time cough include asthma, viral infections and even gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)11. GERD is a type of acid reflux that happens when stomach acid rises into the oesophagus, the food pipe that carries food from your mouth to your stomach8. This stomach acid can then irritate the oesophagus and triggers your cough reflex11.

If you are struggling to sleep at night due to a dry cough, using a humidifier will add moisture to the air which may help keep your throat moist and prevent further irritation. Also, propping yourself up on pillows so that your body is at a 45-degree angle can also assist in preventing mucus in your nasal passageways from running down into your throat and triggering a cough11

How to treat a cough

Cough treatment will depend on the cause and the duration of your symptoms. It is important to speak to your healthcare provider about the best solution to relieve your symptoms.

Bronchostop is a range of cough products that help relieve ANY cough; whether it’s wet or dry12-14*. Bronchostop Cough Syrup contains the natural ingredients; marshmallow root extract which coats the throat to relieve cough irritation and reduce the urge to cough and thyme herb extract to thin mucus to aid its removal 14-16. Learn more about the product range here www.bronchostop.co.za/products

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been commissioned and brought to you by iNova Pharmaceuticals. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information, speak to your healthcare professional.

 

* Children’s Cough Syrup – Cough associated with colds

References:

  1. What’s Causing my Morning Coughing Fits? (2020) at https://www.healthline.com/health/morning-cough (website accessed on 21 January 2022)
  2. Truter I. Cough. Evidence Based Pharmacy Practice. SA Pharm J 2007;74(4):20-27.
  3. Cough treatment. Specialist Forum 2017;17(6): 28-30
  4. Medical News Today. Flu and Colds – Why do we cough? (2021) at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320190#Coughing-is-temporary (website accessed on 21 January 2022)
  5. Merck Manuals. Cough in Children (2020) at https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/symptoms-in-infants-and-children/cough-in-children (website accessed on 14 March 2021)
  6. What’s Causing My ‘Unproductive’ Dry Cough at Night and How Can I Treat It? (2019) at https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-cough-at-night (website accessed on 14 March 2021)
  7. Pholtex Bronchostop® Cough Pastilles professional information, September 2019.
  8. Pholtex Bronchostop® Children’s Cough Instructions for use, February 2019.
  9. Pholtex Bronchostop® Cough Syrup professional information, September 2019.
  10. Capasso F. et al. Phytotherapy. Chapter 18 – Plants and the respiratory System. Springer Science & Business Media, 2003.
  11. Al-Snafi AE. The Pharmaceutical Importance of Althaea officinalis and Althaea rosea: A Review. International Journal of PharmTech Research 2013;5(3):1378-1385.

Scheduling Status: Proprietary name (and dosage form): Pholtex Bronchostop® Cough Syrup. Composition: Each 5 ml syrup contains: 39 mg Thyme herb extract and 277 mg Marshmallow root dry extract. Pharmacological Classification: Complementary Medicine: Discipline Specific Traditional Claims D33.6 Western Herbal Medicine. Scheduling Status: Proprietary name (and dosage form): Pholtex Bronchostop® Cough Pastilles. Composition: Each pastille contains: 51.1 mg Thyme herb extract and 4.5 mg Marshmallow root dry extract. Pharmacological Classification: Complementary Medicine: Discipline Specific Traditional Claims D33.6 Western Herbal Medicine. Proprietary name (and dosage form): Pholtex Bronchostop® Children’s Cough Syrup. Composition: Each 5 ml syrup contains: 48 mg Marshmallow root dry extract and 250 mg Honey. These unregistered medicines have not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for their quality, safety or intended use. Further information is available on request from iNova Pharmaceuticals. Name and business address of applicant: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Limited. Co. Reg. No. 1952/001640/07, 15e Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000. www.inovapharma.co.za. For more information, speak to your healthcare IN4477/22