A cough that shows up only at night may seem like a strange occurrence, especially if you don’t have a cold or respiratory infection. You may feel well during the day and not feel the need to cough at all, but come bedtime and there’s a tickle or itch in your throat, keeping you up and disrupting your sleep. Here are some common reasons for nighttime coughing.

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive issue in which stomach acid or bile backs up and irritates the esophagus. It results in frequent heartburn and a tickle in the throat. If you’re experiencing this, best to see a doctor so she can work with you to find ways to manage this chronic condition.

Allergies or asthma. The stuff that causes allergies and can trigger an asthma attack, such as pollen and dust mites, may be in your bedding and cause a dry cough reaction as you sleep. Wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week and consider investing in a mattress cover.

Postnasal drip (PND). Postnasal drip may be the result of a chronic sinus infection, allergies, or sinusitis. When the sinuses get clogged mucus drips down the back of your throat, causing a persistent annoying tickle. Clear your sinuses and you may get rid of the PND and the associated cough.

Certain medications such as ACE inhibitors may carry a dry cough as a side effect. Talk to your doctor about all of the medications you’re taking to see if the cough could be the result of one or more of them.

If you’ve been ill recently and have experienced nighttime coughing for more than three weeks, see your favorite OrlandoENT specialist.


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