Nocturnal (Nighttime) Asthma: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention

If you have asthma and wake up coughing and wheezing at night, you may have a condition called nocturnal asthma, or nighttime asthma.

Just as with daytime asthma, nocturnal asthma can vary from mild to severe. But when asthma symptoms come on at night, the health impact is amplified: The fits of coughing and chest tightening may lead to sleep deficiency, which is associated with a higher risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

Keep reading to find out what you need to know about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment of nocturnal asthma so you don’t find yourself coughing and wheezing in the middle of the night.

How Common Is Nighttime Asthma?

Nocturnal asthma is surprisingly common, says Diana Chen, MD, clinical assistant professor and pulmonologist at Stanford Medicine in California. “About 30 to 70 percent of patients with asthma will report nocturnal symptoms at least once a month,” she says.

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