Why Do Asthma Symptoms Worsen At Night?

You are not alone if you have asthma and find that your symptoms are worse at night. In the India, there are more than five million individuals with asthma, and up to 75 percent of those people are considered to have nocturnal asthma, often known as nighttime asthma.

Coughing fits, chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath shortly before and during sleep are all signs of nocturnal asthma. Patients may be repeatedly awakened, which may result in fatigue, lack of focus, and trouble managing asthma symptoms throughout the day in both adults and children. The quality of life may be significantly impacted by this.

Nocturnal asthma is a critical illness that requires proactive measures and efficient treatment since more asthma-related fatalities and severe episodes occur at night. Though some variables are considered to have a role and there are steps you can do to reduce your risk, so let’s know why the symptoms of asthma worsen at night?

Causes and Symptoms of asthma worsen at night

Although there are several elements that might increase the likelihood of an asthma attack at night, it is unknown why for some individuals their asthma becomes worse at night. Night time asthma attack triggers include:

  • Position for sleeping. Lying on your side or your front when you sleep, for example, might restrict your airways and exacerbate the symptoms of nocturnal asthma. A nighttime cough may also be brought on by lying flat on your back, which can lead to nasal mucus dripping into the back of your throat.
  • Inhaling chilly air. A cold atmosphere is preferable for sleeping, but if you sleep in an air-conditioned room or during the winter, your night time asthma may become worse. This is due to the fact that cold air is dry; a loss of heat and moisture in the airways might result in an asthma attack.
  • Night time exposure to allergens Pet dander, dust mites, or mould in your bedroom may irritate your airways and increase your risk of developing nocturnal asthma. House dust mites can also be found in your mattress or bedding.
  • Evening exposure to allergens. Evening exposure to allergens, such as pet hair or pollen, might result in a delayed or “late phase” reaction. A few hours later, airway blockage might occur, raising your chance of having an asthma attack at night.
  • Asthma with poor daytime control. Inadequate adherence to your asthma treatment plan throughout the day might increase your chance of developing asthma episodes at night.
  • Changes in lung function. You may be more susceptible to nocturnal asthma due to normal body activities while you sleep. At night, the lung’s natural performance declines. The upper airway narrows during sleep when muscles relax, increasing lung resistance. As a result, you have a higher risk of experiencing breathing problems and nighttime coughing fits.
  • Changes in hormones. Your body experiences hormonal changes when you sleep, which might aggravate your asthma. For instance, several studies have shown that decreasing cortisol levels during sleep cause airway blockage.


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