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Doctor insights on: I Seem To Get A Cough While Sleeping At Night That Wakes Me Up It Is A Tickle In My Throat What Is Going On

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I seem to get a cough while sleeping at night that wakes me up. It is a tickle in my throat? What is going on?

I seem to get a cough while sleeping at night that wakes me up. It is a tickle in my throat? What is going on?

Possibilities....: Possibilities include post-nasal drip and gerd, both of which can cause bronchospasm that worsens when you lie down. The treatment for these is different so you need an evaluation by your doctor to determine if you have either of these. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,613 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more


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Suffering from general flu, after running nose stopped I have throat irritation, feels like dry cough stuck inside, have problem sleeping at night?

Suffering from general flu, after running nose stopped I have throat irritation, feels like dry cough stuck inside, have problem sleeping at night?

Typical: This is a very typical symptom of viral upper respiratory infections. I would stay well hydrated, suck on ice cubes if needed. Try using some honey in hot tea, chloraseptic losenges or spray. Use a humidifier in your bedroom at night. It should pass within 7-10 days. ...Read more

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When I try to sleep I get a tickle in my throat and cough and sneeze. What do you think it is?

When I try to sleep I get a tickle in my throat and cough and sneeze. What do you think it is?

Possible allergy: Typical allergy symptoms are sneezing, itching, congestion and clear nasal discharge. If a person is allergic to something in the house or in the bedroom such as dust mites, animal dander, etc, this could lead to the symptoms with post nasal drip and subsequent cough. An allergist can help identify the trigger so avoidance measures can be taken and less medication needed. ...Read more

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Tickling throat that makes me cough happens every night. How do I get rid of this?

Tickling throat that makes me cough happens every night. How do I get rid of this?

? reflux: If this only happens every night when you lay down to go to bed - this sound like it is most likely being caused by gastroesophageal reflux. Would probably be helped most by seeing an ENT doc to look down your throat to see - and if the appearance of your vocal corsds confirms this possibility, then seeing a gastoenterologist for complete work-up and treatment. ...Read more

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Throat hurts bad/cough in the mid of night/wake up. Coughs are w/ phem. Culd it b cuz I workout, 5 min after shower, then sleep with AC on? Or m I sic

Throat hurts bad/cough in the mid of night/wake up. Coughs are w/ phem. Culd it b cuz I workout, 5 min after shower, then sleep with AC on? Or m I sic

Don't Blame A/C: Air conditioning can dry air and cause mild throat/nasal irritation and possibly stimulate some cough. Significant throat pain, severe cough more likely related to allergies or acute upper respiratory infection. Eliminate all allergens/irritants from air, humidify air in room and consider use of antihistamine before bed to limit posterior nasal drip. If increase fever/pain, see physician. ...Read more

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At night while sleeping, I wake up with a racing heart&tons of drainage down throat. I cough after. The fluid&racing heart go handinhand, for months now?

At night while sleeping, I wake up with a racing heart&tons of drainage down throat. I cough after. The fluid&racing heart go handinhand, for months now?

Postnasal drip: Postnasal dripping of mucus while you are recumbent in bed may be caused by excessive dryness or dust collection in your bedroom. I believe that the rapid heart beat is secondary to the nasal dripping and not due to cardiac pathology. Taking an antihistamine like benadryl (diphenhydramine) at bedtime may prevent symptoms but avoid decongestants like Sudafed or neosynephrine nasal spray which accelerate the heart ...Read more

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My throat was extremely dry 2 weeks ago. Now it is just a constant tickle in my throat and cough drops don't help. I can't sleep. What do I do?

Allergies?: Your symptoms may be a sign of allergies. Treatment with antihistamines may help to alleviate the tickle and sore throat. ...Read more

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I have a terrible dry cough that is making it very hard to sleep, I would have to describe it like a tickle in my throat. Been hardly sleeping for 1w?

I have a terrible dry cough that is making it very hard to sleep, I would have to describe it like a tickle in my throat. Been hardly sleeping for 1w?

Be seen: For short duration cough of this kind the viral upper respiratory tract infection is the common cause. For longer duration of similar cough it can be from incipient asthma, post nasal drip or acid reflux disease. You need to be seen and examined. ...Read more

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I cant go to sleep. Whenever I felt sleep I been pulled by a cough and wakes up. Mucus builds up in throat. Ts been 2 days without any sleep. Any help?

I cant go to sleep. Whenever I felt sleep I been pulled by a cough and wakes up. Mucus builds up in throat. Ts been 2 days without any sleep. Any help?

Try benadryl (diphenhydramine): Sounds like you may be having allergies and mucus building up when you lie down. Try propping your head up a bit and taking 25 mg of diphenhydramine (benadryl) at bedtime. Benadryl is an antihistamine that can help with allergies and with sleep. If that does not help try an medication for reflux like prilosec. If you have reflux sometimes it gets worse when you lie down and causes a cough. ...Read more

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I COUGH ALL THE TIME AND IT FEELS LIKE MUCOUS IS STUCK IN MY CHEST AND THROAT. Sometimes I wake out of sleep gasping for air and coughing?

I COUGH ALL THE TIME AND IT FEELS LIKE MUCOUS IS STUCK IN MY CHEST AND THROAT. Sometimes I wake out of sleep gasping for air and coughing?

Evening cough: Your symptoms could be from post nasal discharge but also could be from a cardiac or pulmonary cause
i would suggest that you begin with your primary doctor for a full evaluation ...Read more

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I've had a bad cough for about 2 weeks now the cough has improved but now I get a painful burning/tingling itch in my throat that causes me to gag/cry?

I've had a bad cough for about 2 weeks now the cough has improved but now I get a painful burning/tingling itch in my throat that causes me to gag/cry?

Allergy / infection?: Is it dry cough? That could be as an allergic reaction to meds of foods, if there are mucus, then it could be a slight chest and throat infection that may need antibiotics and meds to loosen mucus. ...Read more

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Dry intermittent cough for 3 weeks with throat and chest tightness. I do not smoke. Not an issue when working out or sleeping. Starts a couple hours after waking up. Can pnd cause all of this?

Possibly: While it is possible that PND is causing this, PND typically does not cause a dry cough unless it is very little; also chest tightness seems odd in the scenario of PND causing your cough. An evaluation by a pcp and perhaps a chest x-ray would not be a bad idea. ...Read more

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Whenever I tried to sleep I wake up with a cough and mucus in my throat. And heart beats fast but slows down after a while?

Whenever I tried to sleep I wake up with a cough and mucus in my throat. And heart beats fast but slows down after a while?

Could be reflux: You could have acid reflux which causes those symptoms also a form of sleep apnea could be occurring see your provider or a sleep doctor I order to evaluate which problem is occurring and help you ...Read more

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Cotton feeling throat and lungs. Cannot breathe in cold air cough like seal. When sleeping wake up coughing sometimes, is this asthma?

Cotton feeling throat and lungs. Cannot breathe in cold air cough like seal. When sleeping wake up coughing sometimes, is this asthma?

Maybe: Asthma symptoms are cough, wheeze, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness that is recurrent. It typically worsens at night and with exercise. There are multiple triggers including allergies, smoke/irritants and even acid reflux. An allergist or pulmonologist can perform a history, exam and lung function tests to help determine if asthma is the cause. ...Read more

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I work almost everyday, I get 5-6 hours of sleep. I'm taking a lot of naps. Was bloated for 3 weeks. Sore throat and cough. Got last two periods. Prego?

I work almost everyday, I get 5-6 hours of sleep. I'm taking a lot of naps. Was bloated for 3 weeks. Sore throat and cough. Got last two periods. Prego?

URI: You may be having upper respiratory tract infection. It could start with a viral infection during cold season with flu-like symptoms as you are experiencing. Keep yourself warm and hydrated by drinking warm milk, soups and fluids cotaining vitamin c, such as oj. At bed time, gargle with luke-warm salt water to disinfect ; soothen your throat. If your cough is dry, you may use otc cough syrups. ...Read more

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I have neck pain and stiffness, tingling in shoulders and headaches every day. It's relieved while sleeping and returns when I get up the next morning?

I have neck pain and stiffness, tingling in shoulders and headaches every day. It's relieved while sleeping and returns when I get up the next morning?

Probably Tension: While the symptoms described can be attributed to muscle tension and spasm, as a result of posture or stress, you should have a thorough evaluation by your primary physician to determine if any further testing is required. ...Read more

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Got new mattress, 2 months hurts, wake up daily pain. Now back/neck pain, tingling in face. Did sleeping on too hard surface cause damage? What to do

Got new mattress, 2 months hurts, wake up daily pain. Now back/neck pain, tingling in face. Did sleeping on too hard surface cause damage? What to do

Back & neck pain: A hard mattress is supposed to be good for your back, if you can't return it give a little it a little longer time to get used to it, you can also use a soft foam mattress padding to give you some comfort. Tingling of the face most likey has nothing to do with the mattress, you need to see your doctor for that to rule out facial palsy & also to check you for your neck & back pain. Feel better. ...Read more

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Itching throat my throat is extremely itchy and feels like there is something in it. It has caused me not to be able to sleep what can I do to help this problem? Nothing else is wrong with me

Itching throat my throat is extremely itchy and feels like there is something in it. It has caused me not to be able to sleep what can I do to help this problem? Nothing else is wrong with me

You: You are likely dealing with allergies and/or post nasal drip. However that fact that you feel like there is something on your throat warrants a medical visit. In the meantime take a daily claritin, and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for the itching.
Good luck. ...Read more

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Hi I have a question regarding an itchy cough at night. Soon as I fall asleep I wake up with itchy sensation in throat coughing/gagging kinda.

Hi I have a question regarding an itchy cough at night. Soon as I fall asleep I wake up with itchy sensation in throat coughing/gagging kinda.

Itchy throat: Please see your doc to make sure you do't have a condition that may close your throught. After that, consider getting a food sensitivity lab panel. Great Plains Laboratory in Kansas has a good one. Eliminating the offending food (s) can help. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, hoarse voice, dry cough, bad headache, wake up at night coughing and can't fall back asleep and 99.1-99.4 fever?

Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, hoarse voice, dry cough, bad headache, wake up at night coughing and can't fall back asleep and 99.1-99.4 fever?

URI (common cold): Sounds like you're describing an upper respiratory infection or uri. Influenza or flu is accompanied by muscle aches & fever >100. Some describe it as worse cold ever. Strep throat is sore throat w/fever & swollen tonsils w/pus & tender glands w/o cough. Recent study says average duration of cough is 18 days. But if you have any concern for worsening symptoms or shortness of breath, go see doc. ...Read more

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I'm 25, and fit. For a month I have tingling sensation in my head and left chest, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, throat heavy, what's wrong?

I'm 25, and fit. For a month I have tingling sensation in my head and left chest, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, throat heavy, what's wrong?

Multiple symptoms: You should try to examine your own life to see if there have been any recent changes in diet, stress level, supplements, medications. Next, please see your doctor for a thorough exam and blood tests. My greatest suspicion is thyroid dysfunction, but other concerns such as anemia or liver disease or exposure to some toxins might be considered. If it all checks out okay, consider anxiety. ...Read more

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I have dry itching throat cough for over 7 to 8 years today. Went to a lot of docs but nothing worked. I never smoke. Can you please help me.

I have dry itching throat cough for over 7 to 8 years today. Went to a lot of docs but nothing worked. I never smoke. Can you please help me.

Hard Case: Sounds like chronic cough. Have your doctors review your medication. Top reason for chronic cough is post nasal drip/asthma/gerd/medications. That's with a normal cxr. If all ruled out see a specialist may need a bronchoscopy but yield is very low. ...Read more

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Start with sore throat and then chest congestion, itching throat, cough with sputum, yellow thick. Is that bronchitis?

Start with sore throat and then chest congestion, itching throat, cough with sputum, yellow thick. Is that bronchitis?

Possibly...: Your symptoms may be indicative of bronchitis, either bacterial, viral or even allergic etiology. In order to be sure, you should see your doctor. If you have a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be needed. For viral or allergic etiologies, therapy depends on the precise signs and symptoms present! ...Read more

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I have a tickling throat that makes me cough. This happens every night so what I can do about it?

Antacids: The most common causes of cough in adult include esophageal reflux and asthma/allergies. You can start by trying an antacid. If that works, then reflux is causing your cough. Also be sure you don't have obstructive sleep apnea, which would wake you up coughing. ...Read more

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It's been a week, I have a sore throat on off, and little dry and irritation. .. Sometime cough at night with sudden tingling. .. Kindly advice?

It's been a week, I have a sore throat on off, and little dry and irritation. .. Sometime cough at night with sudden tingling. .. Kindly advice?

Dr. Can check throat: Throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). Throat lozenges and Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin can help decrease throat pain. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,052 Doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more


Pharynx (Definition)

It is the connection between the mouth and the throat. The 3 parts are the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and hypo-pharynx. The pharynx leads into the ...Read more