Common illnesses are all disruptive but perhaps the most annoying out of all of them is a bad cough. Not only does it mess with your physical comfort, but it is disturbing to other people as well. If you’re married, you will be keeping your spouse awake with your frequent “barking.”
And speaking of sleeping, a bad cough makes it practically impossible to get a decent night’s sleep:
- First of all, certain sleeping positions can easily send you into a coughing fit.
- Secondly, there’s always that difficulty with breathing.
- Thirdly, there’s just that unwavering discomfort from the chest to the throat that makes you cough while you are trying to get some quality shut-eye.
To make things worse, because it’s so hard to get enough sleep, your body’s ability to recover somehow gets derailed. Lack of sleep, studies reveal, weakens the immune system. With an “ill-equipped” immune system, you will likely have a cough for a much longer time. Having a cough for a long time can spawn other health complications such as:
Therefore, when you have a bad cough, it is imperative to work on getting a good night’s sleep. This way, you’ll get over the illness much faster.
Get Quality Sleep Despite Having a Bad Cough
There are several different ways you can sleep well even when you are suffering from hacking coughs. Listed below are 10 of them:
1. Take your cough syrup as recommended
Make sure that your cough medicine offers long-lasting relief. There are powerful yet safe formulations that can really stop you from coughing for several hours. You can get a full night of sleep not coughing or coughing just a few times.
2. Massage your feet with warming oil and wear socks
If your bad cough is partners with the sniffles, staying warm can help greatly in improving your physical comfort so you can sleep more easily. Also, medical research shows that being warm prevents the cold virus from spreading.
A light foot massage with warming oil (eucalyptus) or even vaporub will help do the trick. And to lock in the warmth from the massage and oil, wear thick fluffy socks to bed.
3. Apply mentholated topical ointment on your back
Doing this can ease congestion (which manifests through coughing) and bring instantaneous relief. Additionally, it can loosen mucus that makes breathing difficult and which usually triggers coughs.
If you can get someone to apply some mentholated topical ointment on your back, request to be “clapped” on your back with a slightly cupped hand. This will further loosen mucus buildup and generate more heat in your back area.
4. Take a hot bath before bed
The steam from the hot bath water is good to inhale to clear your throat or nasal passage (however, do not do this if your cough is due to asthma). If you want to optimize the effects of steam, you can add any or a combination of the following oils to the water:
Also, consider adding Epsom salts to your bath water. Epsom salts are naturally occurring minerals that will not only alleviate the pains associated with a bad cough, they can also help you get better quality sleep. Epsom salts have detoxifying properties to expedite your body’s healing process.
5. Gargle with water and sea salt before bed
Water and sea salt will get rid of bacteria residing in your mouth that can aggravate your bad cough. Likewise, it can ease whatever rawness or pain your throat is feeling due to a cough.
6. Elevate your head with an extra pillow
An extra pillow will help your nasal passage stay open when you’re sleeping. This will ease any urge to cough. A wedge-style pillow is the best to use for this purpose. It can provide you with a better neck and back support for a more comfortable shut-eye.
7. Do not eat a lot for dinner
Proper digestion can be a problem when you have a bad cough. So, eat light yet nutritious food for dinner. Salad, soup and saltines make for an ideal dinner meal when you have a cold.
Raw vegetables and fruits digest much faster, and soup is just that comforting treat when you are sick. But for people who have a cough, warm soup, particularly chicken soup, is great because it has a decongesting ability and has been known to alleviate the discomforts of upper respiratory tract infection, which, in turn, causes severe coughing.
It is worth noting, too, that if you eat light for dinner, you do not have to worry about your gag reflex getting triggered by any occasional coughing before you doze off.
8. Drink warm water before bed
Staying hydrated is an absolute must when you have a cough. This will not only keep your mouth and throat moist, but it will also flush out toxins that are weakening your immune system.
If you are not a big fan of drinking plain warm water, add lemon and honey. Lemon has detoxifying components, while honey possesses disinfecting properties.
9. Keep your humidifier and vaporizer on throughout the Night
Humidity helps dry mouths and throats due to cough and colds. You can create fake humidity in your bedroom by using both humidifiers and vaporizers.
If you wish to boost the cough-healing benefits of using both, add eucalyptus oil, or lavender oil, or even tea tree oil, or combine the three. These oils are known to improve sleep quality (lavender especially), and they can fight viral particles in the air.
10. Clean the bedroom thoroughly before bedtime
You want to make sure that there are no allergens and pollutants in your sleeping quarters. These can trigger a coughing fit while you’re trying to doze off.
Get a family member or caregiver to do the following to ensure cleanliness in your bedroom:
- Vacuum rugs and carpets.
- Mop the floors to pick up even more dust.
- If you use an air conditioner, have someone give the filter a thorough wash.
- You may also want to get your sheets and blankets changed especially if you have been using them for about a week.
A bad cough can be a pain especially at night, but you can still get good quality, proper sleep despite it. Just prepare adequately for bedtime using the tips shared above and soon, you’ll be sound asleep in no time.