Why do breathing problems get worse at night?
You probably notice that if you have a bad cold, it seems to feel worse at night when you’re trying to sleep. It’s also true that you’re more likely to experience asthma symptoms while you’re asleep, and nocturnal wheezing, coughing and associated breathing problems are common - and can be dangerous.
Why asthma symptoms often seem to come on or get worse at night is not currently known, but it’s possible that it’s because there are more allergens in the air at night, your airways cool down, a reclining position exacerbates breathing problems and/or some hormonal secretions increase at night.
While you’re asleep, it’s normal for your airways to narrow slightly; this can cause extra problems if you’re already having problems with your breathing. In some people, this can trigger nighttime coughing, which leads to the airways tightening even further. Sinusitis is common in people with asthma, and an increase in drainage from the sinuses is another trigger for asthma.