nocturnal asthma

How to treat nocturnal asthma

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Nocturnal asthma is a condition characterized by worsening of the symptoms at night. Sometimes, symptoms can be experienced during day time and worse between 1:00 am and 4:00 am.

The pulmonary functions are reduced due to circulating blood vessels of epinephrine and cortisol, protecting the body against asthma in the lowest levels. There is inflammation of the bronchial tubes and narrowing of the airways. An affected person can be awakened at night caused by difficulties in breathing and disturbance in the quality of sleep that will cause sleepiness during day time and affecting the ability to perform tasks.

Causes of nocturnal asthma

  • The circadian rhythm which depends on the sleep and waking cycle of the person. Working at night and sleeping during day time can put one at risk from nocturnal asthma during day time.
  • Exposure to allergens such as dust mites, pollen and pet dander at night can cause asthma in the middle of the night.
    Take the prescribed short-acting beta inhaled bronchodilators to improve function of the lungs in a few minutes.
  • Melatonin which is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm can trigger asthma attacks. Avoid taking medications that contains melatonin.
  • Acid reflux causes irritation and coughing at night
  • Chronic rhino sinusitis and postnasal drip
  • Inhaling cold air
  • Suffering from sleep apnea


  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing at night


  • Take the prescribed short-acting beta inhaled bronchodilators to improve function of the lungs in a few minutes. Use corticosteroids such as prednisone and methylprednisolone orally or by injection. It relieves the episodes of an asthma attack.
  • Take long-term asthma control medications to treat the symptoms for 24 hours at a time.
  • Take the inhaled medications that dilate the airways
  • Increase the intake of vitamin C supplements at least 500 mg of Vitamin C every day as long as not suffering from kidney disease.
  • Inhaling steam to loosen phlegm that causes tightness of the chest and difficulties in breathing. In a pan filled with hot water, mix juniper oil. Inhale the steam to lessen the symptoms of nocturnal asthma. Another alternative is adding peppermint oil to the hot water.


  • Keep the bedroom clean as much as possible. Dust mites are the common cause of nocturnal asthma. Vacuum rugs regularly, and sheets and pillow cases should also be vacuum
  • Use an air conditioner instead of opening the windows to lessen exposure to pollen and dust and lower the humidity of the bedroom.
  • Minimize exposure to mold which can make the condition worse. Close windows at night because spores of mold are more active at night.

More Information

The details posted on this page on nocturnal asthma is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage asthma, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.


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