How to Stop Coughing at Night: Breathe-Easy Exercise
How to stop coughing even at night? Persistent coughing at night or daytime is the most common symptom among asthmatics. Over a quarter of million of asthmatics became symptom-free naturally, and stopped persistent coughing at night using one breathing technique called the Buteyko Emergency Procedure. It stops bouts of persistent coughing (and dry cough) naturally and helps to fall asleep fast.
The Buteyko breathing method has been used by more than 100 MDs in the USSR and Russia for over 40 years. These doctors taught this exercise to their patients with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. It also solves the problem how to stop coughing at night. It works fine for dry cough at night, excessive or severe cough, nagging bouts of coughing, and other similar situations. Can't stop persistent coughing during the day?
Coughing means breathing about 3-5 times more air than the medical norm. This activity is called "hyperventilation".
'Overbreathing reduces oxygen levels in the brain, heart, and all other vital organs (see links with medical studies below). This is the main reason why coughing promotes chronic diseases, like asthma, COPD, cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, and many others.
Steps to follow (if you can't stop persistent coughing at night)
The preliminary requirements in order to eliminate or stop coughing at night are:
1. Go to sleep when you are really sleepy, not earlier.
2. Before and during sleep breathe only through the nose (if you can't, learn the "Breathing exercise to unblock the nose").
3. Do not sleep on your back (if this is your problem, learn the therapy "How to prevent sleeping on back").
Relax all your muscles when you are already lying in bed on your tummy or left side even if you have a cough. Next, pinch your nose and hold your breath until discomfort. If you cannot hold your breath because you can't stop coughing, cough only through the nose and inhale using your nose too.
After the breath hold, take a small inhalation (one small sniff) and do it only through the nose. If you have a persistent cough, limit your inhalations and exhalations, while coughing only through the nose. After this short inhalation, relax all body muscles, especially upper chest and shoulders in order to exhale slowly. The exhalation must be natural and unforced. Take another small inhalation and again completely relax to exhale.
With each breath, take a small or reduced inhalation and then try to completely relax even though you still have a cough (again, all this must be done through the nose only). Your goal is to gently create air hunger while relaxing your body muscles. You will soon experience light air hunger.
'Your breathing can be frequent during this reduced or shallow breathing exercise, but this is OK. If you do the exercise correctly (you breathe less while being relaxed),
you will notice 2 signs:
- The arms and feet will get warm in 1-2 minutes after starting the reduced breathing (this is the central sign);
- The nasal passages will become moist and the nose colder.
Preserve this comfortable level of air hunger for some minutes until you fall asleep. You need to breathe less and have air hunger! This is also the fastest way to fall asleep naturally. This method has already helped thousands of cough sufferers (with asthma, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions) with severe cough, constant coughing, and dry cough.
'During the daytime, the same breathing exercise will help you to reduce the duration of your bouts of coughing by at least 3-4 times. If you study this page with the explanation of the mechanism of cough, you will understand more how and why this technique works: The Cause of Cough - A general overview of the pathological physiological mechanism that makes coughing chronic or persistent.
You will solve your problem with chronic or persistent coughing, if you slow down your automatic breathing back to the medical norm and get more than 20 seconds for the body oxygen test 24/7.
Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Mar; vol 48(no. 3): p. 343-345.
The role of cough and hyperventilation in perpetuating airway inflammation in asthma.
Singh V, Chowdhary R, Chowdhary N.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur-302 016, India.
Air flowing through a pipe exerts frictional stress on the walls of the pipe. Frictional stress of more than 40 N/m2 (velocity equivalent of air 113 m/s) is known to cause acute endothelial damage in blood vessels. The frictional stress in airways during coughing may be much greater, however, since the velocity of air may be as high as speed of sound in air. We suggest that high levels of frictional stress perpetuate airway inflammation in airways which are already inflamed and vulnerable to frictional stress-induced trauma in patients with asthma. Activities associated with rapid ventilation and higher frictional stress (e.g. exercise, hyperventilation, coughing, sneezing and laughing) cause asthma to worsen whilst activities that reduce frictional stress (Yoga 'Pranayama', breathing a helium-oxygen mixture and nasal continuous positive airway pressure) are beneficial. Therefore control of cough may have anti-inflammatory benefits in patients with asthma.
Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2007 Jun 15; 156(3): p. 331-339.
Cough and ventilatory adjustments evoked by aerosolised capsaicin and distilled water (fog) in man.
Lavorini F, Pantaleo T, Geri P, Mutolo D, Pistolesi M, Fontana GA.
Dipartimento di Area Critica Medico Chirurgica, Unità Funzionale di Medicina Respiratoria, Università di Firenze, Viale G.B. Morgagni 85, 50134 Firenze, Italy.
Airway receptors mediate cough and ventilatory adjustments. Simultaneous assessment of cough sensory-motor components and changes in breathing pattern may provide insights into the receptors prevailingly stimulated by inhaled irritants. Nineteen subjects inhaled capsaicin and fog up to threshold concentrations for cough. Cough intensity, respiratory sensations and changes in breathing pattern induced by the two irritants were compared. Capsaicin and fog cough threshold values did not correlate. Coughing induced by both agents was preceded by qualitatively similar sensations and by significant increases in minute ventilation and respiratory drive due to selective increases in tidal volume (P<0.01). Cough intensity was similar with both agents. Cough frequency and the intensity of the urge to cough were higher with capsaicin (P<0.01). The lack of correlation between fog and capsaicin cough threshold values suggests differences in the neural mechanisms activated. The selective increase in tidal volume suggests prevailing involvement of rapidly adapting receptors. The stronger sensations evoked by capsaicin may contribute to the higher cough frequency observed with this agent.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 1999 Jun;54(3):275-9.
Advances in understanding and treatment of cough.
Sherrington School of Physiology, St. Thomas' Hospital Campus (UMDS), London, UK.
Many different conditions and diseases cause cough. The commonest acute causes are pollution, including cigarette smoke, and upper respiratory tract infection. The commonest chronic causes are postnasal drip, asthma, chronic bronchitis and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Epidemiological studies give widely different patterns of incidence. The different conditions that cause cough have in common the fact that the cough is mediated via the vagus nerves, with sensory receptors in and under the epithelium from the larynx down to the smaller bronchi. These receptors are polymodal, responding to a large variety of stimuli, including mechanical and chemical irritants, inflammatory mediators, intraluminal material and large volume changes of the lungs. With irritation and inflammation, C fibre receptors release neurokinins such as substance P, which in turn stimulate cough receptors. The central nervous pathways for the cough reflex are poorly understood. They can be activated or inhibited voluntarily. Studies on the pharmacology of the central nervous pathways of coughing are opening up new therapeutic possibilities. Other new therapies include drugs acting on the sensory receptors for cough, thereby avoiding adverse central nervous effects.
Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2007;20(4):416-22.
The problem of cough and development of novel antitussives.
Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cough is a very common clinical symptom and current therapies are largely ineffective, indicating a major unmet medial need. There is a pressing need to develop novel and safe antitussive therapies. This is likely to arise from better understanding of the sensory nerves involved in cough and the signalling pathways that are activated. A major therapeutic target should be sensitization of the cough reflex which is a feature of patients with both acute (virally induced) cough and chronic cough, including chronic idiopathic cough. Studies on human cough mechanisms are limited. There are several novel therapeutic approaches that are currently being explored. Perhaps the most promising drugs are transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV(1)) antagonists, selective cannabinoid agonists (CB2 agonists), maxi-K channel openers and P2X3 antagonists. New cough therapies may target airway nerve sensitization and may best be delivered as inhalers to minimize any systemic effects. Understanding the intercellular signalling pathways involved in nociception may lead to novel drugs, such as p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitors, being used in the treatment of cough in the future. It is also likely that several novel treatments that are developed as analgesics will also prove to be beneficial in the treatment of cough.
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