Does your child have a cough and it tends to be worse at night? Is your child’s sleep disrupted because he tends to cough continuously at night? Are you concerned about his health and want to use natural remedies to ease his coughing instead of using over-the-counter medications? This article discusses the basic things that you can do to ease his coughing at night.
Coughing is a natural mechanism of our body to remove harmful objects in our respiratory tract. When there is enough mucus in the lungs or just in the throat, our brain sends signals to the muscles of the respiratory tract in order to stimulate the coughing reflex. However, coughing may be disturbing especially if your sleep becomes affected. Children suffer more because they need the most sleep at night. There are many antitussive or anti-cough remedies in drug stores, but you do not want to prevent your child from spitting out the phlegm in their lungs. Instead of trying to completely stop coughing at night, it is better to limit coughing episodes because the child still needs the reflex to remove the phlegm or any foreign body in their airway at night.
The following are the most common ways to ease coughing at night:
1. Give a spoonful of honey
According to research, honey may help ease coughing at night so that children can sleep soundly. Honey has long been a remedy for coughs and colds and it still proves its efficiency in managing these conditions. Honey contains high amounts of antioxidants, which help fight any infection that may be causing coughs or colds. Among these antioxidants are flavonoids and vitamin C. Honey is also a sweet liquid, which stimulates salivation that can thin the mucus in the lungs at night. Coughing at night may also be caused by a drying of the throat. In line with saliva stimulation, honey may help lubricate the throat to avoid coughing due to irritation from the dry mucous membrane.
2. Never give citrus fruits at night
Contrary to popular belief that citrus can help ease coughing, taking them at night will just aggravate the irritation in the throat. Citrus fruits contain acids that tend to irritate or cause more inflammation in the mucous membrane in the throat; thereby contributing to more coughing at night. You may give citrus fruits such as lemon during the day for added vitamin C, but make sure not to give them at night to ease coughing episodes.
3. Offer liberal fluids throughout the day
When you drink fluids, it helps liquefy the mucus in the lungs for easier expectoration. Due to this, children may be able to clear their chest during the day; thereby preventing excessive coughing that may disrupt their sleep at night. You can give fluids in the evening, but make sure not to give them just before they sleep because this may also cause frequent awakening due to the need for urination.
4. Give your kids warm milk
Warm beverages such as warm milk help sooth irritation in the throat and help prevent coughing at night. Other warm beverages such as soup may be given too, but to maximize induction of sleep, a warm glass of milk is best because of its tryptophan content that helps promote sleep.
5. Remove allergens in your kid’s room
Allergens such as dust mites, pollens, molds, pet dander and feathers may aggravate coughing at night. When they become inhaled and reach the lungs, they tend to cause allergic reactions that trigger the coughing reflex to expel these materials from the respiratory tract.
6. Apply eucalyptus rub
Aside from being relaxing and helping to induce sleep, eucalyptus also eases any throat irritation. You can give a small eucalyptus lozenge to your child before going to sleep for a more soothing effect.
7. Provide steam inhalation
You can also use steam inhalation before bedtime to assist in the relaxation of the airways.
These measures help your children sleep better at night, which is important because sleep disruption may prevent faster recovery from the coughing episodes. A good night’s sleep is also essential for restoring and repairing the body from infections and various illnesses.
Posted by Pitt Goumas