Why Do I Cough in the Morning and at Night?

Reviewed on 9/13/2022
Woman covering her mouth to cough
Coughing in the morning and at night can be caused by the common cold, COVID-19, pneumonia, whooping cough (pertussis), postnasal drip, allergies (allergic rhinitis), sinus infection, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), smoking, congestive heart failure, and others.

A cough is the body’s way to help clear the airways of irritants and to prevent infection. Cough is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Cough can occur any time throughout the day, and some people may find they cough more often in the morning and at night. 

Causes of cough in the morning and at night may include:

What Are Symptoms of Coughing in the Morning and at Night?

A cough in the morning and at night is a symptom in itself and may be accompanied by other symptoms depending on the cause, such as:

How Is a Cough in the Morning and at Night Diagnosed?

The cause of a cough in the morning and at night is diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination, and tests such as: 

How to Stop Coughing

Treatment for a cough in the morning and at night depends on the cause and whether the cough is acute or chronic. 

If your cough is not serious, home remedies include:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Drinking tea with honey
  • Gargling with warm saltwater 
  • Sucking on cough lozenges 
    • Lozenges are not recommended for young children because they can be a choking hazard
  • Using a humidifier 
    • If the cough is due to dust mite or mold allergies, additional moisture can make it worse)
  • Inhaling steam in a shower before bed 
    • Steam should not be used if you have asthma as it can worsen the cough)
  • Using a mentholated vapor rub to help open airways
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding inhaled irritants such as smoke, dust, and other pollutants
  • Avoiding allergens such as pollen, dust, animals, or mold 
  • Laundering bedding at least once a week in hot water to keep dust mites in check if cough is due to allergies
  • For GERD: Avoiding foods that increase reflux, avoiding meals before lying down, elevating the head while sleeping

Medical treatment for cough may include: 

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 9/13/2022

Image source: iStock Images