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Coughing and Sleep (or lack of)

I'm currently recovering from a couple of serious attacks with hospitalisations. The doctors said one trigger for the first was an infection which I finished a course of anti-biotics for yesterday.

I've got a cough now that seems to be getting worse rather than better. I sound like a sea-lion!! I'm still bringing up some green yuck, but not anything significant.

This cough is much worse in the evening and overnight. The doctors had given me codeine to suppress it at night so I could sleep, but even that's not working now. I gave up in the end last night and got up, because I wasn't going to sleep with it. I've dozed today as I've been exhausted, but I really don't want to get into a pattern of sleeping at the wrong times.

I live in student halls, and I'm keeping my neighbour awake with the cough and feeling very guilty about this. Does anyone have any tips to reduce the coughing so I can get some sleep (I cough upright and lying down, so stacked up with pillows isn't even helping now which normally does :( ). I am seeing my GP on Monday, but anything I could try to get through the weekend would be appreciated. Thanks.

9 Replies

Hi There,

I'm quite new to this myself and am currently suffering in the same way-very little sleep and coughing all night-and day! So I'm really sorry I can't offer any advice I just didn't want to read and run. Hopefully someone will come along with some good advice and we might both sleep a bit better tonight. Take care.


sorry i'm no help cuz i'd have said pile up the pillows (not that it works for me either!)

I'll get thinking though and see if i can think of anything else while i watch this....

Geina x


Thanks both, I'm really hoping the GP can come up with something on Monday as I need to sleep. My neighbour slept through the fire-alarm last night, but was woken up by my coughing!!!


Pholcodine cough linctus helps although you say you've had this Ratty. For those who havent had it, it is definitely worth a try (available over counter at chemists). A teaspoon (or more) of honey soothes the throat and we also find a hot water bottle (not too hot & placed so that the heat radiates towards the chest) comforting. My son has a bottle of water on bedside table at night, as he gets a very dry mouth with so much coughing.b xx


Ratty, try snuggle up to water bottle on your chest or wheaty bag.Ive got a wheaty monkey x


Inhaling steam helps me, or drinking a cuppa of something hot, usually gives me some respite for an hour or so.


I find fresh lemon and honey is good (if you're OK with lemons) + feel better in morning afterwards.

My GP/asthma nurse advised antihistamines, ask yours before trying, they also help me sleep.

If I'm not on the above, I'll have a drop of brandy in tea/hot water BUT don't mix that while on the Codeine and check OK with other meds you take.

Good Luck, I've watched so much rubbish on early hours tv while like this!



hows the cough and are you getting any sleep now? with regards to coughing at night waking others (i once had a neigbour complain too) asthma is asthma and coughing is part of it so unfortunately its their problem as if youve tried everything you can and are still coughing then unless you sleep in a field people are going to get disturbed occassionaly. i take it youve tried having a drink next to the bed to sip? i have a bottle of gaviscon and a bottle of cough mixture to coat my throat (i dont take the cough mixture to stop the cough just to ease my throat and stop the itching and burning.). have you tried an air purifier in your room before bed? hope you are feeling better x


Hi everyone, thanks for the suggestions (and PMs - can't reply to some as they're set as no reply - I'm not ignoring you if that's you!).

The cough's got a lot worse and is driving me mad - I was getting some respite during the day, but no longer. My GP heard me coming from a long way away today!!

Unfortunately she/we have decided that anything to suppress the cough isn't a good idea as I need to get rid of the gunk. :( She's keeping a really close eye on my as my asthmas not good at all at the moment and she mentioned the 'H' word a few too many times for my liking this morning - waiting for my resp. nurse / consultant to get back to me to decide whether a Costa Holiday is necessary :(

As for my neighbour, I'm not cross with her at all, just feeling very guilty - I gave her a terrible fright last weekend when she had to call the Little Green Men out for me, so it's no surprise she's hyper-sensitive - trouble is, she's worrying if I'm coughing and then checking up on me when she doesn't hear me coughing!


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