How Can I Stop Dry Cough at Night? 25 Home Remedies

Medically Reviewed on 3/8/2022
How Can I Stop Dry Cough at Night
Dry coughing at night can disrupt your sleep. Learn about why dry coughing at night occurs and how you can stop or ease symptoms

Dry coughing at night can disrupt your sleep and make you drowsy the next day. Learn about why dry coughing at night occurs and how you can stop or ease symptoms.

What triggers dry cough?

Dry cough does not produce phlegm or sputum and can make the throat feel dry and irritated. The most common triggers of dry cough include:

25 home remedies for dry cough

  1. Use a humidifier: Dry coughs are frequently caused by dry weather, so a humidifier may help alleviate some symptoms. Inhaling steam infused with essential oils such as wintergreen, rosemary, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil may help decongest and clear airways, as well as ease chronic coughing. You can also try a hot steamy shower to relieve throat tightness caused by a hacking cough.
  2. Stay hydrated: One of the next best things you can do to stop a dry cough is to drink plenty of warm fluids and stay hydrated. Herbal teas, soups, teas, warm fruit juices, and even hot water can help relieve dry cough symptoms. Proper hydration not only reduces dry cough but also eases other symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing
  3. Sleep with your head elevated: Coughing is often aggravated at night when you are lying down on your bed, since mucus can accumulate in the back of the throat and trigger coughing. Sleeping with your head raised or propped against a few pillows can help reduce postnasal drip and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, both of which cause nighttime coughing. Changing your sleeping position allows mucus to flow without irritating your throat.
  4. Avoid allergens: Airborne pollutants can irritate your throat, aggravating or even producing dry cough. Cigarette smoke, for example, is one of the most well-known irritants. Therefore, try to avoid smoking or smoky environments. If you do smoke, try to cut back or quit.
  5. Honey and lemon: Honey is an antioxidant that can help relieve coughing spells, and lemon is a great source of vitamin C. You can take a teaspoon of raw dark honey for a sore throat, or you can mix two tablespoons of honey with lemon juice to relieve cold and cough symptoms.
  6. Ginger: Ginger is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties that has been used for centuries to treat cough. You can soak 20-30 grams of crushed ginger root in a cup of hot water with dark honey and/or lemon juice to make a tea that can help soothe a dry, non-asthmatic cough. 
  7. Pomegranate: Pomegranate peel has anti-inflammatory properties and makes an effective cough remedy when soaked in hot water.
  8. Orange juice: Orange juice is high in vitamin C. In one meta-analysis, high doses of vitamin C were found to reduce symptoms, especially coughing, in individuals suffering from pneumonia.
  9. Pineapple: Bromelain, a mucolytic and anti-inflammatory enzyme, is abundant in pineapple, particularly in the firm core of the fruit. Mucolytic qualities help ensure that mucus is broken down and removed from the body, which can alleviate dry cough. Before drinking pineapple juice for dry cough, however, make sure you are not allergic. Avoid bromelain if you are pregnant.
  10. Thyme: Thyme can help with dry cough, bronchitis, and digestive disorders. Thyme and ivy soaked together are an excellent dry cough treatment, as its high antioxidant concentration may help relieve an inflamed or itchy throat.
  11. Peppermint: Menthol, which is found in peppermint, can help calm an inflamed throat produced by coughing. It can also relieve congestion and break down mucus.
  12. Marshmallow root: Marshmallow root extract is abundant in soluble fiber. When combined with thyme and ivy extracts, marshmallows can be extremely effective in treating sore throat and dry cough. Marshmallow root tea bags are widely available, and you can steep them in hot water to prepare a tea that relieves dry cough at night. Avoid marshmallow root if you are pregnant or have diabetes.
  13. Licorice root: Due to its antiviral and antibacterial qualities, licorice root is an excellent remedy for throat discomfort and can be consumed as a warm tea.
  14. Eucalyptus oil: Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your steam or humidifier can help relieve dry cough at night. You can also combine it with a carrier oil of your choice and apply it topically to your throat and chest to help reduce inflammation.
  15. Chili peppers: Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can dramatically reduce congestion and coughing caused by postnasal drip due to allergies or rhinitis. Studies have shown that people who used capsaicin nasal spray showed immediate improved symptoms that lasted for up to an hour. Avoid spicy foods, however, if you have acid reflux. Capsaicin nasal spray may also cause burning sensation or irritation.
  16. Turmeric milk: Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a strong anti-inflammatory substance. Drinking turmeric tea before bed may help with dry cough at night.
  17. Onion juice: Taking a teaspoon of onion juice twice a day can help ease a sore throat and significantly reduce coughing.
  18. Chicken soup: Chicken soup has long been used as a cold remedy. It combines numerous other tried-and-true cough cures, and ingredients such as herbs, salt, and fluids have cough-fighting properties that help relieve symptoms of dry cough.
  19. Avoid GERD triggers: If your dry cough has been bothering you for a long time, consult your doctor to see if you have acid reflux. Along with medication, there are a few foods that may help lessen acid reflux symptoms and, as a result, dry cough. Food triggers to avoid vary from person to person and may include alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits, spicy foods, fatty foods, mint, tomatoes, and even garlic and onions.
  20. Probiotics: Probiotics may not offer immediate relief from coughing, but it can boost your immune system which can help you battle cold symptoms. Foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, kimchi, and miso.
  21. Slippery elm: The bark of slippery elm contains mucilage, which when coated in the throat can help relieve cough. The plant is also antitussive, which simply means that it is an excellent cough cure.
  22. Warm water gargle: A warm saltwater gargle can be very relaxing when you have a dry cough. It is also cleansing and helps remove pollutants and allergens from your lungs while also keeping your mucous membranes moist.
  23. Steam shower: Data on steam as a cough treatment are inconsistent, with some trials showing benefits and others showing no benefit. However, regardless of whether it has a significant improvement on coughing, many people find a hot shower or bath soothing or relaxing.
  24. Suck on lozenges: Lozenges work by moistening your throat, which can help relieve dryness, scratchiness, and the urge to cough. You can also consider menthol drops if you have a sore throat. To avoid restricting your airway, avoid taking cough drops just before going to bed.
  25. Cough syrup: Over-the-counter cough syrup can relieve symptoms of persistent dry cough. Prescription cough syrup also has active ingredients, such as acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, and phenylephrine, which work together to reduce pain and fever, suppress cough, and offer decongestant relief.


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Medically Reviewed on 3/8/2022
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