Cough is bad enough during the day, but it becomes downright horrible during nighttime when you’re desperately trying to get some much-needed rest. If a nighttime cough is keeping you from getting some shut-eye, our well-being experts have useful tips and natural remedies lined up for you:
1) Pre-Bed Rituals
There’s a reason why a leisurely warm bath or hot shower provides some measure of relief when you’re down with an infection or a cold. The drier your airways, the more irritated they get and the more likely you are to cough the night away - that’s why your pre-bed rituals are so important.
Steam, heat and moisture, all three of them can break up the congestion (that tight feeling you feel in your chest) and help loosen up the cough-inducing phlegm in your airways. That’s why you should include a hot shower or a soothing warm bath to your pre-bed rituals.
Too lazy to shower? Boil a pan of hot water, add a few drops of black seed oil to it, and then inhale the steam by drawing in a deep breath. If you’re suffering from a dry cough, you can even use a humidifier to increase the moisture content in your bedroom - but make sure you clean your air humidifier and change its filter regularly.
2) Stay Hydrated
Phlegm or slimy mucous can drip down the back of your nose and throat, irritating your airways and triggering cough attacks. One way to alleviate the symptoms of a viral infection is to stay hydrated throughout the day. Increasing your water intake can thin down mucous and make it less sticky. As a result, your throat will stop feeling scratchy and you will be less likely to cough.
Staying hydrated also has other benefits. It helps your lungs clear out excess mucous buildup. You also need water for optimal immune response. Our body releases histamine when it's dehydrated. Histamine, an inflammatory organic compound, stimulates mucous production and causes your nose to swell up, increasing the risk of a midnight cough attack.
Follow our simple infused water recipe for a healthier and more delicious alternative to plain water. We recommend you keep a bottle by your side when you’re down with a cold or an infection.
3) A Spoonful of Manuka Honey
Honey is an age-old natural remedy that is said to soothe the throat and provide some relief against rampant cough attacks. While honey does not cure a viral or cold, it reduces throat irritability and has an overall soothing effect on our inflamed airways. Since honey is very viscous, it forms a protective coating at the back of your throat, and that can reduce your cough drastically.
Though you can opt for any variety of raw honey since all strains of honey have major antimicrobial properties, we recommend you take a spoonful of manuka and black seed honey before going to bed. That’s because manuka honey is one of the most nutrient and antioxidant-rich varieties of honey.
When blended with black seed oil, a potent herbal oil that is loaded with immunity-boosting ingredients, anti-inflammatory compounds, and phytochemicals, manuka honey becomes an all-natural panacea for tickly throat and cough.
You can either take a tablespoon of black seed & manuka honey directly or follow this recipe to make a soothing pre-bed drink for yourself:
- Boil 300 ml of water
- Pour the water in your mug and wait for it to become lukewarm
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of black seed and manuka honey (or another raw honey)
- Squeeze in a tiny lemon and enjoy your honey drink!
4) Sip Black Seed Tea
Black seed oil, a wonderful natural oil extracted from the seeds of the exotic Nigella Sativa plant, can also relax the airways and decrease the release of inflammatory histamines in the bloodstream. Black seed oil is also packed with beneficial immunity-boosting nutrients like vitamins B and E, amino acids, polyunsaturated fats, and active phytochemicals.
Thymol, one of the active ingredients of black seed oil, is a powerful disinfectant with significant anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Similarly, thymohydroquinone is another active compound that has major anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds work together to reduce congestion, relax the airways, and provide relief by alleviating a wide range of respiratory symptoms like breathing difficulties, nasal blockage, mucous buildup, wheezing, and cough attacks.
You can consume black seed extracts in various forms; you can opt to sprinkle black seeds on your mid-day meal, take black seed capsules to build up your immunity or take a set dosage of black seed oil directly- but our bedtime favourite is ginger-infused black seed oil tea:
- Boil 300 ml water
- Pour it in a cup and sprinkle some diced ginger root onto it
- Stir in quarter a teaspoon of raw black seed oil by Nature’s Blends
- Squeeze in a little lemon
- Add manuka honey, to taste
Ginger black seed infusion works best for midnight cough because ginger is another natural remedy with powerful antioxidant and anti-viral properties. Combining it with black seed oil can bolster its cough-fighting power and provide some relief against cough.
5) Tidy Up!
Tidying up is vital, especially if you have an allergy. Getting rid of allergens and irritants such as damp, mold, dust, and pollen can also help reduce the intensity and frequency of those horrid cough attacks. If your nose has been feeling funny for a while, identify your triggers and get your cleaning supplies out.
Wash your sheets in lukewarm water to get rid of any dust or dander and scrub your windows thoroughly with a bleach-based solution. Use a HEPA-filter vacuum to get clean your bedroom floor, declutter and you’re good to go.
If you’ve cleaned up and your cough still isn’t subsiding, you may have a sensitive nose. Look out for common triggers like strong-smelling perfumes and detergents, figure out what’s causing those sneeze attacks, and then remove it from your sleeping quarters.
6) Pillow Angle
When it comes to cough relief, how you sleep is important. If you lie flat, mucous may pool in your airways and increase their irritability, resulting in more cough. That’s why when you’re down with a cold, viral flu or an allergy, you need to raise your head or sleep on an inclined surface. Use an extra pillow to prop up your head or use a flat surface (like a book) to raise the head of your bed.
7) Don’t Forget to Gargle!
Gargling with saltwater can loosen up the sticky phlegm and reduce the mucous buildup in your airways. Gargling before going to bed can also soothe your throat and flush away any germs (bacteria and viruses). Here’s what you need to do:
- Boil 300 ml of water and pour it in your rinsing cup
- Add ½ a teaspoon of salt
- Gargle, spit it out, repeat
*Stay Healthy, Stay Safe*